Embracing Change

As I write this I am in the Dominican Republic. It is not my first time here by any means but it has been about seven years since I was last here and in that sevenAcropolis years … things have changed. Three huge malls, a subway system and much improved roads make the old Santo Domingo I knew a hard memory to conjure up.

It is true not all things have changed. There is still a pickup truck 150 up in the air on the side of a building and chicken, rice and beans are still the normal food but the times “they are a changing”. How well the change happens will determine whether the future looks as good, or better than the present. At some point you can’t live in the past but must be able to embrace change.

IImageGen.ashx think I know part of the reason why change is such a challenge. We need constants in our lives establish our bearings and move forward with confidence. Gravity is a great constant that we don’t think about but imagine if some morning there was half the gravity we have now (super easy to move around but super difficult to land airplanes) or another day with twice as much (super difficult to move and fly airplanes).

Often we try to find our constants in the wrong things. For example; people can’t be constant because we are always changing but we often hold on to them as if they were our rocks. When those rocks crumble we do too. We establish a routine in our day but it too will change often creating great stress in our lives.

When we start to resist change and try to barricade ourselves in with the past we are building a box that only needs a lid to be our coffin. The rut is already dug and ready for the box Vintage_Haffenreffer_Beer_Wood_Box_Crate_6_Side_Logo_1928and we have moved from living to existing.

Yes, change happens but this has been true in any generation. Sometimes historians try to paint a picture of a never changing landscape of human history with very slow modifications stretched out over eons of time. Personally I think in the few thousands of years since the Garden, things have changed rather rapidly.

There are constants that we need and can rely on but they aren’t the ones we reach for easily.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

He is a constant and as he is described in scripture written hundreds of years ago he is still constant today.

John 16: 7-11  But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:  about sin, because people do not believe in me;  about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;  and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

The Holy Spirit, like gravity, has not changed and will not until the end of all we know comes.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4  Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Our Heavenly Father will not die and leave us an orphan or decide he doesn’t want us anymore.

These constants will enable us to get and keep our bearings and confidently move into the future. Those other things we try to surround ourselves with only tend to hide the three constants that will see us through the future.

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Last Week is Like Every Week

markLast week, I spoke eighteen times in local schools with different classes on Anger, Suicide, Depression/Addictions, and Stress. These classes and the interaction with the students keep me aware of the needs of today’s youth. After these various classes, I had some of the students come up to me with the following responses:

  •      A girl who was cutting herself
  •     Suicide note (with counselors and police called in accordingly)
  •     Request for my contact information
  •    Thank-yous that were hard to say but deeply sincere for addressing the tough stuff.

At some point each of us has to figure out how, when, and where we can invest in students in the ways they really need help. They don’t need another “you can do it”, “dream big”, or “the whole world is waiting for you” kind of talk. They need a good grasp of reality and the tools to deal with the real world of failure, death, competition, relationships, and pain. If they get the real tools they won’t be the victims of failure, death, competition, relationships and pain but those who can prosper in various situations.

Students aren’t pessimists or optimists anymore they are perfectionists, fatalists, or “I don’t give a *&^*$*%^”. These extreme reactions are often because they are pushed to punishing performances or ridiculed for their normal failures in learning how to live new parts of life on a regular basis.

Given the decreasing age of physical maturity (they are biological adults much earlier than in years past) and the increasing expectations and overwhelming information available; school kidsthey feel and hear the call to grow up too quickly. Only a few will fit that call and have the capacity to march into that brave new world successfully. The vast majority will falter along the way and find place to hide and try to recover from the wounds that are slowly bleeding out from hearts that often pay the biggest price for this new pace of life.

In whatever capacity, our role is to be real with them and help equip them for the bumpy road that life brings. We have to be willing to really listen to the mess of their lives and hearts and walk them through the real steps it takes to deal with them; we have to dive into the dirt.

Easy? Of course not, if it was I wouldn’t have the experiences I do with the students I speak to on a regular basis. Needed? Yes, and you can’t assume that someone else is already doing it. Too many students are completely disconnected from anyone who is pouring help, hope and healing into their lives.

Nothing surprises me anymore; nothing. Don’t become discouraged or overwhelmed just realize that anything you can do helps and the more you know the more you can help.

Some teens, out of need to protect themselves from more hurt, encourage adults to fear them. Give them a reason to hope and smile. The liar and the thief is taking full advantage of this pressure to get them to take their own lives, self-medicate with destructive addictions and walk away from the only real faith that will walk with them through it all.

 Half time talk is done; let’s go out there and make a difference in a student’s life today.

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Christians are like Pumpkins!

https://markschaufler.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/38eb0-pumpkins-5.jpg       I live in one of the areas of the country where pumpkins are grown and harvested annually. For some it is a family tradition to go out and find the perfect pumpkin(s) and then spend time carving them into to unique creations:for all who pass by to enjoy.

       There is a huge variety in the finished products as creative people take pumpkins of every size and shape and creatively produce their idea of the finished product. They decorate their home, business, or landscaping until the pumpkin finally returns to the ground from whence it came.

   pumpkin    Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in and wipes all the dirt off of you. Soon he opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff– including seeds of doubt, hate, greed etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for “the entire world” to see. When we are done here on earth we return to the one who picked us up and changed us.

       His desire to do that, need to do it, and methods are sometimes a mystery to us. We don’t understand why He would bother with us. Our dark secrets and brokenness shame us as we struggle to deal with the inner us while He has no problem addressing those issues. His smile on our face coming from the depth of our hearts is His greatest accomplishment in creation.

       We struggle with that but He is who He is and who He is has already been written down for us.

Luke 19:1-9
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

       He is always looking for us and the opportunity to find us when we finally allow it. The difference between us and a pumpkin is that we can run away while the pumpkin can only wait for its future to unfold.  We can avoid it.

Ezekiel 11:19
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
From deep within he will remold us and work in the depths of who we are till the stone becomes flesh. Then from that new heart comes a new life.

John 15:9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

       That change in time produces a genuine authentic “this is really me” smile.  We are not trapped in the past because the inside seeds of doubt, anger, greed and pain can be replaced through His ministry to our hearts and minds .

2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Pumpkins have a temporary existence here on earth as do we. What people will remember is our smile or frown; whichever is carved on our faces.

https://markschaufler.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/ad861-smile2bv2bfrown.jpg

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Organic versus Mechanical Thinking

linotype machineThe industrial revolution changed many things but perhaps the most impacting change was the gradual change in the way people thought.  As the revolution gained momentum it also   gained people as they moved from the rural farming communities to the larger cities and industrial zones.  At first these people still thought organically but as each generation was farther and farther away from the farm (where the organic world was well understood), the new mechanical world infused their thinking process as well.

The “plow, plant, water, and wait” mentality was replaced by a “replace the missing part and get back up to full speed” Four horse plow, Sharon, Idahoway of thinking. The new way of thinking was needed for the machines that now surrounded them but proved unreliable when it came to the people that they lived life with. People aren’t plug and play machines but organic in nature and the idea of plowing, planting, watering, and waiting apply much more than the plug and play of a mechanical fix.

Today we struggle as so few now have ever had enough organic thinking opportunities to realize that it works in the human realm better than the mechanical plug and play concept.  You see sport teams struggle with the “chemistry” of a team even though all the right parts are there. Marriages and families go to a plug and play counseling session where the right information is given but without an organic opportunity to change; the results are limited at best.

Jesus could have given us mechanical parables, they had chariots, kilns, and pumps but he didn’t. His parables always wrapped around the organic world because we wrap around the organic world.  Now knowing that, let’s look at organic thinking and how it applies to the real lives we are trying to live and shape and change.

Image

There are of course more but this should start us thinking about our thinking and the students and people we work with.  There needs to be a renewing of the mind that goes beyond just the facts we present to people.  People need to have a mental frame work that will hold the organic truths of scripture.  That is one of the tasks we have as we make disciples of the individuals we work with and ultimately all the nations he wants us to reach.

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Doors, Loaded Guns, Cars, and our Mouths

europe doorAs you grow up, you encounter a continuous stream of potentially dangerous situations. How you learn to approach and respond to them will determine many things in your life:  from the length of your life, to the health you enjoy along the way, to the level of responsibilities that will be placed in your hands.

I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I watched a grade school friend get their fingers stuck in a door hinge.  It was a big heavy school door with a hinge that seemed to devour and hold on to my friend.  His screaming and the amount of blood that was produced will be forever etched in my mind.  That memory would soon be reinforced as I managed a similar event on my own at home and to this day can look at the scar on my ring finger that had its origin in a door hinge.

The challenge is that these potentially dangerous situations are seldom viewed that way.  They are ignored, assumed, or overlooked as everyday parts of normal life.  You don’t have to take a safety course before you begin to use doors.  In fact, everyone assumes that you know how to use them and to protect yourself from the scar-producing experiences that can await those who naively put their fingers where they don’t belong.

Our naïve approach to life means our first experience with things can be our last.  My rural upbringing in the United States meant guns were a common part of life; so common that we were too casual with them.  At age twelve I came back from Christmas Vacation to find out that one of my friends had died cleaning a gun for his dad; it was to have been a surprise Christmas gift.  But it wasn’t empty and the fatal accident that followed forever changed that family.

gunA few years later another friend came to school with a cast on his leg. He was trying to play quick draw with his pistol but before he got it out of the holster he pulled the trigger. The bullet put six holes in his leg before it exited out the bottom of his foot.

Guns were common so unfortunately people were casual about them.  Cars were my next encounter with the dangerous world that is all around us.  During my high school years many friends were involved in accidents, one classmate even killed an elderly couple as he came through an intersection and didn’t see their car in time.car

Yes, we had a course we took before we got a license but it obviously didn’t prepare us that well. Statistically we know that young drives are the most dangerous yet we continue to give them the keys to cars without good preparation for what driving a car will entail.

But before doors, guns, and cars, we all opened our mouths and hurt others and ourselves.  There is no permit or training at all for the use of our mouths yet, words have started wars, destroyed marriages, abused children and ended careers.

people-talkingThe power that all of these have should make us wary of them and take the time needed to properly prepare for their use.  Each one can be very destructive or incredibly helpful.  Doors keep out the cold and unwanted strangers. We need doors. Guns have fed families and protected countries.  Cars take us where we need to go, sometimes at lifesaving speeds. And words can express the deepest issues of a heart and begin the solution to a critical life problem.

Each has potential to be of great good or great harm.  If we learn how to use them for good then we become a part of the solution and not the problem.  In the Kingdom of God the Father is always looking for people who can be a part of the solution and not the problem.

2 Timothy 2:20-21

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Band-Aids for Bullet Holes

heart with bandaidIt can cover the wound and leave the victim thinking they are okay especially if well-meaning people comment on the capacity of the Band-Aid to hide the wound.  “You must be better now, right?” “Don’t worry you will get over it” or “it happens to all of us you’ll learn to cope.”  As ridiculous as this sounds, we do the same thing to (for) people on a regular basis when they have received a wound to the heart.  Our positive words don’t make up for or erase the wound and its potential consequences.

Because it isn’t a healed wound, with only a scar to tell the story, it impacts how we deal with life.  It hurts so we do what we can to feel better or compensate for the fact that our heart is slowly bleeding out our life’s energy and spirit.

It’s called “self-medicating”, “a coping mechanism”, or “baggage” but whatever you call it, it alters your future and puts you off the path your life could have taken.  Life is challenging and perpetual bleeding drains one of the capacities to meet those challenges.

Addictions, alternative lifestyles, hoarders, isolationists, and serial killers all have past wounds to thank for their current behavior.  Is it an excuse for their behavior?  No, it is an explanation for their behavior and helps one get to the point where you can find the wounds and help them deal with it.

One of the challenges with wounds is that the wounded person has to want to have the wound cleaned out, kept clean and receive help if needed. You can’t force a cure for a heart wound like you can with a physical wound.  Unfortunately people can become comfortable with their way of coping with it and never accept the help they need or take the actions they need to for healing.

There are new examples every day of people who have been wounded and, once it has festered sufficiently, take out their rage, pain, and vengeance on an innocent public.  We need to understand the real issues of a wounded heart and how to facilitate the healing and strength that can come after a wound.  If we don’t, our future will have a growing experience in the rage, pain, and vengeance of a people wounded and not treated.

From the school shootings that make the headlines, to the generational sex offenders, to the wife beaters who first watched their mom being beaten, these are wounds that are showing themselves in the actions of the injured but not treated person; someone who got a Band-Aid for a bullet hole.

I ran across an article, years ago in a nature book Marvels & Mysteries of Our Animal World, about the tiger from page 119, “Those who know tigers best, shikaris like Rao Naidu, Vidya Shukla and Bobby Kooka, believe that the magnificent cat wants to ignore man—is, in fact, afraid of him.  A well-known taxidermist of Mysore who collects the skulls of man-eaters told me that, without exception, all of his man-eaters had been wounded, or were crippled or badly incapacitated by old age; of his 50-odd skulls, 40 carried severe bullet wounds.  He believes that most man-eaters are man-made.”

Here was the interesting part “previous head wound”.  They don’t start out that way but due to wounds from the past end up that way.  See any parallel?

Let’s get serious about dealing with the wounds we receive in life. Equipping people to deal with the wounds of life can be complicated until we realize that what we already know about the physical wounds of life also applies to the heart of individuals.

There are some Physical Principles we all know that apply here:Image
1.  Clean it out
2.  Keep it clean
3.  If it is bigger than what you can do by yourself, get some help.

We all have scars.  They are stories we can usually talk about and often laugh at now because they are healed wounds. In each setting someone took the time to walk through the three stages that enable the healing and the ultimate scar.

Without treatment a festering wound can lead to some serious problems.  Our emotional heart is no different.  If it is wounded we need to go through the same process or we end up with the same festering and altered life styles.

1.  Clean it Out 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

2.  Keep it Clean Matthew 5:43-47 brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?” “You have heard that it was said, `Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others?  Do not even pagans do that?”

3.  Bigger than what you can do, get some help.  Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

PROBLEM #1 Resistance

I remember how hard it was to get our kids to pull out the slivers they picked up on a periodic basis.  We had a tree fort in the back and other wooden things that were the source.  They would try and hide it from us because they didn’t want to have to deal with the pain that removing the sliver often brought.

They fought it every time until I told them the story of the three- fingered man I met one night after church.  As I shook his hand I was fully aware that he was missing three fingers.  He was embarrassed when I asked him how it happened because it wasn’t a very manly story.  His fingers were lost to a small sliver that he didn’t take care of in time and as a result he lost the fingers to save his hand.

Telling that story to my kids produced the desired results.  Not only did they seek treatment for a sliver but they were afraid it was “too late,” even though it had only been moments since they got the sliver in the first place.  I wanted them to get good at asking for help so I would always agree with them that it was really close to being too late.  The resistance problem was taken care of for that situation but we all seem to resist the idea that we need help.

I have watched people get injured in a sport setting or work place and when asked how they were, their first response is “I’m okay” even though a foot maybe pointing in the wrong direction or there is a growing pool of blood.  Only time and reality forces them to say “maybe I’m not okay”.

One of the reasons we resist is because we know it can hurt to clean it out.  To forgive and let go of an event or issue means we have to revisit it, think about it, talk about it, deal with it.  Our self-medicating seems to take care of it at least for a while and we become content with the “new normal.”

Keeping it clean is also work.  Once we are wounded the memory of the individual or event can reopen the wound and bring us right back to our original condition.  Praying a blessing on the person who wounded us isn’t our first response but it is one that will keep the wound clean long enough to heal. Because they had wounded us they became an enemy and even though a lot of time may have passed since the event they can still be very influential in the outcome of our life if we have an active wound.

If it is bigger than what you can do by yourself, get some help.  Asking for help is a sign of wisdom but we too often see it as a sign of weakness.  The scripture clearly says here that we are to “bear one another’s burdens”.   Unfortunately we have taken other scriptures out of context and assumed that our failure to fulfill them was because of our spiritual failure.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength”.  The context for this verse is Paul talking about being able to live with plenty or with nothing.  We have used it to presume we are unstoppable and see asking for help as the opposite of what it is; weakness not wisdom.

PROBLEM #2 Sources=Response=They all feel the same!

A second challenge is that all the wounds feel the same!  But not all wounds come from the same source and we need to respond differently to each of them in order to go from a wound to a scar and a story. We already talked about the general idea of wounds but now we need to get more specific as to the source.

Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.  12 Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

Wounds can have an unlimited number of sources. We have addressed a number of them here but you can’t list all the possible ways each of us as individuals can be wounded.  From these examples I hope we can find an application to our specific wounds.

listNasty Proverbs 26:10 “Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or any passer by.”  

There have always been nasty people out there.  A few thousand years ago they hid out in the woods and shot at people as they passed by.  Today they may not use arrows but the wounds can be just as devastating.

You may be able to avoid them.  If you have a choice that can be an option, if you can’t avoid them it may be an issue that requires legal attention.  Abusers, the physically violent, and illegal behavior needs to be brought to the attention of those in authority;  911 can be a real option depending on the type of wound they are inflicting.

Negligence Psalms 38:5 “My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.”

I have more than one scar on my body that I put there myself.  A tool, a sharp object, or a lack of attention on my part has led to many of the scars I have.  You need to learn from the situation and not blame others.  Working with teens and service projects I have to begin the tool training part by helping them remember that “it is never the tool’s fault” when they are injured by their own negligence.

Sometimes it was our words that started the other person’s words back to us that hurt.  Sometimes it was our own lack of preparation that created the situation that caused the wound, sometimes we just have to take responsibility for our actions and learn from it.  Blaming others will only perpetuate the problem and see us wounded again in the future.

Normal Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Any time two or more people are together for a long enough time period there will be friction.  It is normal and inevitable and doesn’t have anything to do with them liking or not liking you.  All people are different and will in time set a few sparks flying as iron sharpens iron.

Needed Proverbs 27:6 “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”

Learn don’t blame.  If you have a friend who cares enough to correct you then you are in a good place. As unpleasant as their words can be this wound will prevent further bigger wounds in your future.  My cancer surgery was a needed wound that has added years to my life.  We need to look at those kinds of wounds and be thankful.

Nurture Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  

We always expect, more from those who should love us.  It can be parents, spouses, children, or bosses.  If they are in a position to nurture us we are disappointed and can be deeply hurt when they don’t.  If it is in our power we need to minimize these occurrences and apologize when we do it to others.

If we are the one wounded, break out the first aid kit and deal with the wound.  Our personal strength is only as strong as the people in our lives.  Keep those relationships alive and vital.

Nature Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”

I was involved in reconstruction work following the Katrina and Rita storms of 2005.  The devastation was immense and entire towns were eliminated from the map.  As we rebuilt I periodically heard “God” blamed for the destruction.

Nature (his creation) can’t be blamed when we have been warned of the “natural disasters” that predictably come our way.  When you have a large salt water body and periodic tidal surges a flat landscape will flood.  Louisiana could not be any flatter than it is along the coast just east of Texas.  He warned us these kinds of things would happen, do we want to risk so much despite the warnings?

Not Listed You guessed it there are too many sources to list.

Hebrews 12:11 “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”

The problem is they all feel the same regardless of the source!  Learn to distinguish the source and then learn to respond in a way that enhances your future.  Wounds only rob you of your future if they aren’t dealt with.

TRAINED BY IT
Hebrews 12:12-13 “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees.  “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.”

If you don’t change your behavior and the circumstances around you can’t expect a different future.

1.  First Aid Kit
Learning to respond and apply the kit will allow you to grow in wayImages you couldn’t in the past.  It also begins to train you to look ahead and not get wounded when you don’t have to.  Often we just haven’t learned what to do and the time you have taken to read this can be the beginning of living life a new way.
2.  Respond accordingly
  a.    Avoid
I grew up in a very small town and was subject to a lot of bullying.  One of my tormentors knew the route I had to take weekly and would throw rocks at me as I passed by his home.  I walked a different way because I could.  Sometimes we won’t change because we don’t think we should have too, they should change.  But you can’t make that happen and you can avoid some situations and people.
      

        b.    Change your Behavior

Proverbs 10:19 “Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues.”

I know more than one person who assumes that if they keep talking they will solve the problem or get their way.  For them only a change in behavior will reduce the number of wounds they receive in a lifetime.

          c.    Expectations Adjustment
We often expect more of people than they can deliver.  When we do that we get hurt when we don’t have to.  Adjust your expectations so that they can live up to them and if you get more you are pleasantly surprised.

          d.    Is it Guidance?
More than once I have had crazy ideas and the plan had to come crashing down around me before I saw the truth:  I was my crazy idea.  The wound was guidance.   Consider this as a possible source but not always the source.

My first out of country mission trip was the mission trip from Hell.  The wounds kept me bleeding for months.  Had I not dealt with it the hundred plus trips that I have done since would never have happened.  The future trips were also shaped by the experience from the first one, because they weren’t active wounds; but healed scars.

3.  Apply it Now
Take some time and just walk through the list again.  The first time may have been for the educational value, this time it is for your health.

Nasty Proverbs 26:10 “Like an archer who wounds at random is he who hires a fool or any passer by.”  
Negligence Psalms 38:5 “My wounds fester and are loathsome because of my sinful folly.”
Normal Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Needed Proverbs 27:6  “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”
Nurture Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”  
Nature Luke 21:11 11 “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.”
Not Listed

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Garbage?

Garbage?
There are certain words that we use that are words of ignorance.  Often cussing or swear words are put into that category but so are some common use words that effect and impact us because they are words of ignorance.
There are probably many but there is one in particular I want to address, garbage.  It is French in origin and has a number of jobs and reputations that go with the word; none of them are complimentary.
In common usage all those uncomplimentary terms come into full impact when someone is called garbage.  Because the word represents so many negative concepts it can be a devastating label for someone to receive. Words of ignorance like that need to be corrected and eliminated from our use and concepts.
Why “garbage” is a word of ignorance. What we commonly refer to as “garbage” is all re-useable somewhere in some way.  Having filled a few garbage cans in my life and walked past thousands more it is true that everything we toss could be reused somewhere for something.  The expression, “one man’s garbage is another man’s gold,” is too true.
We lack the recognition and time to see the somewhere and someway and connect the two.  In reality they should be called ignorance or lazy cans instead.  It may be our own problem or a combination of societal problems and our self’s that fill “garbage cans” regularly.  Changing our societal views on garbage will take some time and there are movements (i.e., environmental) that are taking that task on.
A greater area of need, and one that doesn’t always have a champion, are the people who get a garbage label.  Someone was ignorant when the label was given and it still takes the ability to recognize the value and time to help that person find their somewhere and some way for life.
Jesus had a knack for that and people knew it and it bothered them
Matthew 9:10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and “sinners” came and ate with him and his disciples. [11] When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and `sinners’?”  [12] On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. [13] But go and learn what this means: `I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
He recognized them for what they really were, lost, and in need of a savior and he took the time to let them know that someone had labeled them incorrectly and that what they had become could be cured.  It bothers people when they don’t want to recognize or take the time and they just want the easy route of dealing with people; toss them aside into the garbage can of life.
Then they can get on to things that they think are more important.  That kind of lifestyle misses all the real treasures in life and leaves people with a lot of trinkets at the end of this journey with nothing of real value.  Jesus challenged that trivial pursuit that so many were immersed in.
His disciples were challenged as they made the shift in the way they thought and spent their lives.
Matthew 19:13 Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. [14] Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” [15] When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
They were going somewhere to do something and the kids were only getting in the way.  Jesus had to show them the real priority; children.
Mark 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. [36] Simon and his companions went to look for him, [37] and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” [38] Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else–to the nearby villages–so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
If you are going to be important you need to build your following, but Jesus had people with names and labels he needed to go see and free.
Matthew 9:9 As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.  Matthew 10:2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; [3] Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; [4] Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
A Jewish tax collector was about as low as you could get, you were cultural garbage on par with the prostitutes.  When Matthew wrote his Gospel account he used the label one more time to remind others of what Jesus had done and who he had done it for.
The challenge then rolls over for us as modern day disciples, followers of Christ.  Who has our culture tossed into the garbage heap?  We still toss kids there (child porn, foster care, prostitution) but a tax man can be a respectable profession.  Often addicts, criminals, and dead beats make it to our lists.
We don’t recognize what we see nor have or want to take the time as Jesus did to help find their cure.  Other things have gotten in the way; other priorities have been exchanged for the ones that Jesus had to keep putting in front of the people of his day.  Alas it is the same today.
Matthew 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. [35] One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: [36] “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”  [37] Jesus replied: “`Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ [38] This is the first and greatest commandment. [39] And the second is like it: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’ [40] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Anything else is suspect.
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