Monday, November 8, 2010


Do you like pain? Probably not, most of us don't. I know I have a cabinet full of things to help get rid of pain. Tylenol, Advil, and some prescription medications. Physical pain is horrible, but I think there are many cases in which we enjoy and saver emotional pain. People say things, and we take it the most negative way possible, we start conflict and drama and issues because we become addicted to it. It makes us feel important, alive and powerful when we have anger and rage and we become defensive. It gives us things to talk about, something to focus on and it keeps our lives from being empty. It keeps us from being alone, empty and vulnerable. If we stay on the offensive, or if we stay offended then no one can sneek up and hurt us. We are already hurt, and that gives us control. When things calm down, we find drama or create drama or find the people who fill our lives with emotional trauma.

I believe it's an addiction. Physical pain becomes an addiction, everything from cutting to weight lifting becomes addicting because it releases endorphines. Emotional pain because addicting because of the power we feel like it gives us. It gives us purpose, makes us feel stronger and more powerful. Pain gives us focus, gives us something to concentrate on and leave the rest of the world behind. We can get into conflict and use it to excuse other parts of our lives, to ignore and block them out. Maybe that is why so many of our conflicts are self-induced and so many are very trivial. We avoid the serious things, and get caught up in petty and in-consequential things. I think we need a recovery program for the emotional trauma addict.

The Butterfly is still in God's Hands.

The Butterfly Effect How Your Life Matters by Andy Andres. This is a short e-book that I looked at. It's a small book, quick read only took me 10 to 15 minutes to read the entire book. The Butterfly Effect comes from chaos theory, saying that the increased air movement from a butterfly flapping it's wings, over time and distance changes the global climate. The book reviews the lives of some individuals who's actions through time made a huge impact. There isn't much for theological content, it seem almost secular. Our actions have an impact, but there is no talk of God's plan, or how God orchestrates history. I believe that God uses people to make a great impact, but I believe that it's God that is in control and He deserves the glory. This book seems pretty humanistic, elevating the accomplishments of men apart from the work of God. I guess if a book carries the label of "Christian" it should have a little more Christian content in it. At least it's short.

Living with Confidence in a Chaotic World by Dr. David Jeremiah

This is a book about end times, which is not my favorite read, but I enjoy Dr. Jeremiah. His theology has solid backing when it comes to the end times (even though I don’t agree with him, he has some good point). This book was a little less academic than I am use too, it's great for the average church member and the maturing Christian. Not much theological content, great for the concrete type learner and reader. Good advice by Dr. Jeremiah about how to keep faith strong when everything else falls apart. How to survive the turmoil we see in today’s world, and lays out 10 way we can stay strong and have confidence. He doesn’t get too deep into theological issues, doesn’t talk about eschatology much, which made it a much more enjoyable read. Dr. Jeremiah gives good real world examples, and writes much like he preaches. This is a great “every Christian” book, but don’t expect to get a lot of depth from it, but some good content.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Walking the Talk

There have been a few times in my life where God has made me walk my talk. There have been times when I have given hard advice and then had to live it myself. Things like forgive, or help or support or pray for or serve. It never seemed to be long before I found myself having to forgive or help or pray or serve. It's always easier to know what to do from the cheap seats. When you sit back and see a situation from the outside. When you are not emotionally invested and when you don't have to go through the process, it's easier to see what to do. The arm chair quarterback, the backseat driver.

Have you found yourself in a situation where you need to take your own advice, or should take your own advice? When it comes to certain things, are you doing the same things you are telling others to do? If someone needed spiritual growth, what would you tell them? Attend a small group Bible study, pray and read the Bible, attend worship and be connected. Are you doing those things? If someone is in conflict or angry, what would you tell them? To forgive and to love and to show grace? Are you doing those things?

How about gossip, what would you tell someone if you heard them gossip? What advice would you give to a younger person? What about if someone was gossiping about you, how would you react? We need to keep those thoughts close when we are tempted to gossip about a situation, or to make a negative or disparaging comment about someone. Its easy to know when someone should keep silent and not say anything negative. It's not so easy when we are upset and are tempted to gossip.

I want you to encourage you today to take your own advice. In your life, your job, your marriage, your church life, do what you would tell your kids or grandkids to do. Do what you would want to see others do. Be the person you expect others to be. Do the things you are waiting for other people to do. Be the one who steps up and steps out instead of waiting for someone else. The person who God is waiting to use just might be you.

In Him,

Pastor Dan