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Showing posts from July, 2009

I Need to Ask for Help

I had a meltdown last Friday. It wasn't any one thing that contributed to it but a series of events that, each on their own, should have been no problem. Last weekend was the church camp out. We book a group use area in a nearby provincial park and pitch our tents in one large field near a large cooking shelter supplied with running water, electricity, protection from the rain, tables, counters and fireplaces. I had such a good time last year that I didn't want to miss out this year--it's a great way to get to know others better.
But I haven't been well. My depression has seemed to be getting worse, not better, and the smallest things create anxiety and agitation. When I'm committed to an event, I plan the days approaching it with care so that I can be "pulled together" and function the way I want and need to. But that wasn't happening for the camp out. Other things were conspiring to take my energy and time so that by Thursday night, I was fee…

Ambivalence and Self-Contempt

Today I finished the chapter on Ambivalence in The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse Workbook by Dan Allender that I began a month and a half ago. It has been hard slogging and produced many tears. I'd like to quote a few parts (note that the "we" and "us" refers to those of us who were sexually abused as children):
"Ambivalence can be defined as feeling two contradictory emotions at the same moment....An experience of relational pleasure...or sensual pleasure...or sexual pleasure....will arouse deep parts of the soul. Sexual pleasure in particular is both frightening and stimulating to a young child....When the same pleasure is connected with the experience of being powerless, betrayed, and used, then untold damage will occur....The inevitable feelinegs of both enjoyment and shame produce the anguish of ambivalence. Central to understanding ambivalence is the fact that the very thing that was despised also brought some deg…

Born from Above

My study this morning asked the question, "What does it mean to be born from above?" It's something that most Christians can give a quick, pat answer to: It's becoming a Christian. True, but how? Why did Jesus call it a new birth? My thoughts are brief this morning.
What comes from above? The Holy Spirit of God through Jesus Christ. To be born from above means to be born of the Spirit; for God’s Spirit to enliven us, to give us life—a new life—that is impossible without him. The birth from above results from the union of my spirit with God’s Spirit and results in a new life. Just as the union of two bodies creates new bodily life, this union creates new spiritual life.
I don't have time to say much more than that but it does help answer a question I've had for a long time: What is the significance of marriage, that God would have such definite rules about it? Marriage is the bodily symbol of this union of spirit to Spirit.
What are your thoughts on this…

Motives

"I believe that our God is best praised in common things. He who molds a shoe with a right motive is praising God as much as the seraph who pours forth his celestial sonnet." --Charles Haddon Spurgeon
A right motive. Is this what makes the difference between what is godly and what is not? When truth and deception appear to overlap, do we embrace it all as truth, dismiss it all as deception or walk a road of discernment through the confusion, knowing that, as we do, the right motive distinguishes between the seeker of Truth and the seeker of anything else?
"He who moulds a shoe with a right motive is praising God." Would it then be true that he who meditates with a right motive is praising God? He who comes to God in contemplative prayer with the right motive is praising God?
Is motive all that matters or is there something more?


What Binds, Drives and Isolates

According to Malcolm Muggeridge, three things that bind [enslave] us, drive us and isolate us are:"excessive desire to possess things""devotedness to the gratification of the bodily appetites; free indulgence in carnal or sensual pleasures; luxuriousness; voluptuousness; lewdness""belief in one's own abilities or attractiveness to others"He uses the words cupidity, sensuality and vanity--words that aren't used much these days, so I went to hunt for their meanings. Who knew that cupidity has to do with greed and not love? When I searched for the meaning of sensuality, many wanted to equate the word with sex but, while sex is one of the bodily appetites, it is only one.
I think, of the three, sensuality is the one that catches me the most. I like comfort and do as much as I can to avoid discomfort. I like luxuries and indulge in the ones I can afford. I like to feel good and do what I can to ensure I do. It never occurred to me that this coul…

It Was a Wonderful Week!

Greetings, friends!
Tom and I returned home from camp late yesterday afternoon. I had a wonderful, restful time and am glad he urged me to go. My time of socializing and mixing with others, vs. alone time was a good mix, I think. I attended sessions and had a good time chatting over meals but, for the most part, I spent the other time at our cabin--outside on the deck when the weather was good and inside in a comfortable leather recliner looking through large windows to the lake and trees when the weather was cold and/or raining.
I had hoped to catch up on the book reviews I want to do, but managed only two or three, which I plan to post here soon. It is difficult to review a book when it's been a number of weeks or even months since I've read it, so I may give up on reviewing the books I've read since April, simply list them and hopefully be more able to write soon after reading books from now on.
It's good to be home, though I thoroughly enjoyed myself at camp, and…

Away for a Week

Tom and I are heading out to a lakeside camp for the week. I had a meltdown Thursday, Friday and Saturday and wasn't going to go, but Tom convinced me, so off I go. Please pray that this time together will be a healing time for me personally and for us as a couple.
Blessings to you all.

Wounds and Reconciliation

The last thirty hours have been very difficult for me. This evening I took a gander through some of the long-neglected blogs to which I am subscribed and found one that spoke very closely to where I am: Back on...reconciliation by Kenny Warkentin. The entire post is worth reading but I want to quote what specifically hit me:...when someone wrongs us, or we hold all the offenses in until one day it explodes and we put a boundary down and say, you hurt me and so you are unsafe. We spend so much time with the issue in our head, and never talk about it...and then we think it easier to just cut the person out of our lives, rather than realize that we too are in the wrong. I'm not quick to cut people out of my life--in fact I'm loathe to do it--but I have labelled at least one person as unsafe because of sustained wrongs that have hurt me. Recently I heard some great teaching on how David walked this out in his own life. Walking in meekness in the face of injustice. How often do …

Canada Day Outdoors

The overhanging trees darken the patio where I sit, despite the still-not-black sky above. It's 10:30 on the evening of Canada Day but it's still too light in the sky for the promised fireworks. Here against the back of my house, however, all is dark except for the citronella votive candle burning beside me (and doing little to keep mosquitoes away), the glow of my laptop screen and the embers of a fading fire Tom lit for me before going to bed.
I've been sitting here for the last four or five hours, enjoying the quiet absence of family and neighbours, the shade of the trees above me and the perfect weather for sitting outdoors. Most people in the city will have been to one or more of the various festive events throughout the city. Tom was at Assiniboine Park to watch the taiko drumming, Erik was in Osborne Village where this major thoroughfare is closed for the occassion and Mikael spent the day with friends at Grand Beach. I suspect that the Forks is where the bigges…

Which is Worse?

The following gave me a measure of amusement when I read it:
"If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing he next comes to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination." Thomas de Quincey (English author)
Normally we think the progression happens in the other direction, but I think de Quincey has a point. We think of murder and theft as big sins and procrastination and invicivility as minor offenses, hardly to be considered (I think I'm queen of procrastination), but maybe they're not. The average murderer murders once but how often is the average person uncivil or procrastinating?
What do you think?

Rick Warren and the Islamic Society

Rick Warren, author of the wildly popular Purpose-Driven Life will be speaking at the Islamic Society's annual convention this weekend. It seems an odd thing for a Baptist pastor to do, but he won't be alone. Rabbi Burton Visotzky, a leader of Conservative Judaism will also be a featured speaker.
How is it that Christians and Jews are showing support for the Islamic Society, or indeed any Islamic group, by their high-profiled presence? What kind of support does their presence indicate? Surely Warren is not suggesting that Islam is a religion worth pursuing, so what is he saying? Is it reasonable to expect Judaism, Islam and Christianity to live at peace with each other? Is it desirable? Is Warren's presence at the convention similar to Paul speaking at the Areopagus in Athens or more like the alliances Judah sought to make with Egypt? Where do we draw the line between living at peace with and acknowledging the right of others to choose other than Jesus, and embrac…