A Look At Spiritual Hunger

Atacora:

In prepping for my sermon this week, I stumbled across this post which fell in line with the direction that the Spirit is leading me. Bon appetit!

Originally posted on Defining Words:

I am not a fan of word games.  There is something very bane about two parties insisting on using two different terms to refer to the same thing.  Semantics is generally the parlor game of people pushing a tired message, or splitting hairs over irrelevant details.  (That being said, the balance of this post could be interpreted as a semantics on parade.)  There’s one word I’d like to serve up on a plate – only because it has bounced around in my spirit all evening. Hunger

To be honest, the word has been lost on me in recent years.  Haven’t we all heard sermons on the topic of “spiritual hunger” ad nauseam?  Only after hearing that word repeatedly, tonight, did I yield to ask, seek, and knock what Father might be saying.

Holy Spirit began to fire off a list of words that “hunger” has been construed to mean.  See if any of these translate into “spiritual…

View original 363 more words

Giving Comfort according to the “Ring Theory”

Ring TheoryI recently learned about this from Sarah, who learned about it from a missionary friend who has had to go through a lot of life challenges. At the present time, there are a lot of our friends and family who are going through some pretty horrendous challenges, and I thought I would share this with everyone to perhaps improve our ability to comfort those in need.

Susan Silk, a clinical psychologist, recently wrote an op-ed for the LA Times in which she shared her fantastic “Ring Theory” for helping people in crisis: “Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order.” [FYI Kvetch is of Yiddish origin and means "to complain often or loudly."]

Here are the rules,” Susan writes, “Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings. When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it. Don’t, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don’t need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, “I’m sorry” or “This must really be hard for you” or “Can I bring you a pot roast?” Don’t say, “You should hear what happened to me” or “Here’s what I would do if I were you.” And don’t say, “This is really bringing me down.” If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that’s fine. It’s a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring. Comfort IN, dump OUT.

You can find much more about this on the “web” but here are a couple of links:

Giving Comfort: The Ring Theory

Use the Ring Theory to Know How to Comfort Someone

This coming Sunday…

Just a reminder that this coming Sunday we will be celebrating Communion and then having our monthly fellowship meal. This month we will be having a BBQ in Boyd Skinner Park after the service, so please bring your own meat to grill and a dish to share. We look forward to having more time together as a family.

Passive versus Active Faith

This was this morning’s reading in A Christian’s Daily Challenge which I felt was a good reminder of our partnership with God.

Passive faith accepts the word as true—

But never moves.

Active faith begins the work to do,

And thereby proves.

Passive faith says, “I believe it! Every word of God is true.

Well I know He hath not spoken what He cannot, will not, do.

He hath bidden me go forward! But a closed-up way I see;

When the waters are divided, soon in Canaan’s land I’ll be.

I hear His voice commanding, ‘Rise and walk; take up thy bed’—

And I know that He can help me to arise as He hath said.

When I am a little stronger, then I know I’ll surely stand;

When there comes a thrill of healing, use with ease my other hand.

Yes, I know that ‘God is able,’ and full willing all to do;

I believe that every promise, sometime, will to me come true.”

Active faith says, “I believe it! And the promise now I take,

Knowing well, as I receive it, God each promise real will make.

So I step into the waters, finding there an open way;

Onwards press, the land possessing; nothing can my progress stay.

Yea, I rise at His commanding, walk straightway, and joyfully;

This, my hand, so sadly shriveled, as I reach, restored shall be.

What beyond His faithful promise would I wish or do I need?

Looking not for ‘signs or wonders’ and full willing all to do—

I believe that every promise at this moment can come true!”

Passive faith but praises in the light,

When the sun doth shine.

Active faith will praise in darkest night—

Which faith is thine?

Unknown.

SERMON: Jesus Wept

This sermon was delivered on May 25th and discusses the problem of pain and Jesus’ own pain over loss and pain.  Some of the take-aways were:

  1. Problems can be the “black chariots of bright grace.
  2. Christ’s compassion and the calamity & cost of sin.
  3. Jesus’ tears were a mingling of anger and grief
  4. We need to remove whatever is blocking God’s miracle in our life
  5. God the Father always listens
  6. The Word of God speaks life and provides comfort
  7. Removing the “grave clothes” is a group activity
  8. Freedom in Christ releases us from the power of sin and the fear of death.
  9. Jesus’ life and ministry causes reactions.