Daily Archives: May 16, 2016

Ego and the Story of Who We Are

Happy Living!

egoWe often interact with others through old, unconsciously held, and limiting beliefs that generate shame. As we have seen, each starting gate position has a distinct type of core belief that drives their particular dance around the triangle. These core beliefs combine into unconscious stories. We believe these descriptions of ourselves and others without ever questioning them. Left to run unabated in the mind, they generate all sorts of painful feelings, including worthlessness, inadequacy, and defectiveness. We reinforce and perpetuate these beliefs by moving around the triangle.

The ego is that part of us that manufactures and believes these limiting stories. The ego is totally identified with the stories it tells and wants to keep us identified with them as well. The ego uses the triangle to strengthen these painfully, limited identities of who we are.

When I think of our relationship with ego, I am reminded of the…

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Disillusioned and Dying of Thirst

Unfathomable Grace

Many of us have experienced buyer’s remorse. We have felt a legitimate internal longing; there was something within us that needed resolution. We were dissatisfied and discontent. We then had something pitched to us — material or immaterial — that promised satisfaction, and after consideration we took the bait. We made the investment and for a brief time we were happy and satisfied; all seemed to be well. However, after the temptation, purchase and immediate rush of satisfaction, we found ourselves struggling even more with listlessness, loneliness, boredom, depression, or self-loathing. This was a crazy cycle, and after hundreds of times around the block, we found life almost not worth living. Thoughts of leaving this place more steadily entered our minds. We were miserable individuals, disillusioned and dying of thirst.

Friends, there has been an endless list of suiters promising satisfaction and contentment to us, and they have all promised much more than they could deliver. Here are some examples that…

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The Sisterhood: The Real Heroes? Bobbie, No! Just No!

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Source: Bobbie Houston. Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/p/BFWxEeboYz6/  Published 14/05/2016. (Accessed 14/05/2016.)

Hate to disappoint you, Bobbie but the hero of the bible is Christ and Christ alone.

Are we wrong when we say that Hillsong/Sisterhood followers represent themselves as the center of the (biblical) universe and that all of its redemptive history revolves around them? #selfabsorbedmuch?

Isaiah 48:11 “For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another.”

The scriptures say,

“Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house…

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Singapore warns Japan over Australian conman’s protege

We can safely say that C3 Church leadership (in Sydney, Australia) are incredibly unhappy with the way that Phil Pringle is still misleading his church into believing that Kong Hee is facing unfair persecution by Singaporean authorities. His deliberate silence on Kong Hee is obvious as he attempts to make sure that no one asks about it so he can “progress” his church.

Still Australian media turn a blind eye to Phil Pringle’s involvement in the Singapore scandal.

Recently, a Singaporean diplomat labeled Pringle’s protege as a “disgraceful compatriot” to warn their Japanese friends of Kong’s “criminal offence” of his “misuse of church funds.” His final warning?

“Do not be deceived.”

It’s funny how Jesus says “Do not be deceived” by false prophets in these last days.

By speaking out, Kausikan is demonstrating  love and compassion toward Japan. This man does not want his Japanese friends to be manipulated  by Kong Hee, a fraudulent man who uses Christianity for his…

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Brian & Hillsong > Bible

THE WORD OF FAITH HERETICAL DILEMMA

We’ve often wondered how Word of Faith heretics read their bibles. The Old Testament has books like Ecclesiastes and Lamentations that are often hard to read because of their tone. These books are God breathed and as believers we know “Thy word is true” (Psalm 119:160). So how does a Word of Faith heretic like Brian Houston approach these weighty, sobering books?

06_Code-Indigo_WOF The Word of Faith cults teach we are to align inner and external worlds to our lips and then to speak the things of our heart, mind and spirit into existence.

Remember – a Word of Faith heretic teaches that the power of the tongue speaks life or death. This means they rather speak life and motivation into their members to see them prosper and flourish. They convince themselves that God speaks loving, life-filled motivating words to get us through the day.

So it is hard to find…

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Why Must The Christian Do Good Works? (Ursinus)

The Reformed Reader

Since I’ve been studying and writing on the law, justification, and sanctification, I wanted to use Zacharius Ursinus’ Commentary on the Heidelberg Catechism to explain how Reformed theology talks about good works in the Christian life.  On this topic, Ursinus has a helpful exposition of Q/A 86 of the Heidelberg Catechism.  The question is this: “Since we are delivered from our misery, merely out of grace through Christ, without any merit of ours, why must we still do good works?”In other words, it is certainly true that by faith alone in Christ alone, by God’s grace alone, we’re delivered from our sin and misery.  It’s certainly true that God accepts and adopts us because of what Jesus has done in our place.  But why must we still do good works?  Here are Ursinus’ answers, based on Scripture.

1) “Because good works are…

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My Problem with Hillsong

The Domain for Truth

Does Christ, the humble and unashamed preacher, matter?

The danger of the hip and cool prosperity movement–one of them is Hillsong and its pastor Carl Lentz, who attracts many celebrities from Justin Bieber, Bono, Vanessa Hudgens, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Durant, Ja Rule; to name but a few. He has been called the “Apostle of Cool” and the “Jesus Christ’s Superstar.”

If this is the new generation of superficial preachers who water down the Gospel in order to make it palatable to man and to be viewed by man as hip and cool–then we as a generation are to be most pitted. We need men who truly love souls; men who preach with moral imperatives, not, “I don’t knows” when it comes down to topics of morality; especially urgent and controversial ones. For example, in an interview with Katie Couric, Lentz was asked to address the topic of gay marriage. Instead…

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39 reasons a Hillary Clinton presidency would be a catastrophe for America.

Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Hillary-2

It is now increasingly clear that Hillary Clinton will win the Democrat nomination for President. In my view, her election will be a disaster for the American family, American workers, Americans serving in the military, and for American national security.

As commanded in the Scriptures, I will pray for her, as for all leaders. But I cannot vote for her. Here are 39 specific reasons — specific things she has said, positions she has taken, lies she has told, and values she has espoused, all that I disagree with. (True, there are so many more reasons why she would be a disastrous president, but I think this list will suffice for now.)

Readers of this blog will remember that earlier this year, during the GOP primaries, I wrote two columns about Mr. Trump. The first was titled, “32 reasons a Trump presidency would be a catastrophe for America.” The second was titled, “Seven more reasons a Trump presidency…

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What Jesus Says About Our Failures – Unlocking the Bible

Perhaps the greatest discouragement in my Christian life is my own weakness before God. It’s at the beginning of a well-worn path to doubt. How could the Holy Spirit possibly be working in me if I’m still struggling with this?

For me this comes up frequently in my struggle to share the gospel well with others. I retreat into a comfortable and “nice” conversation instead of doing the hard work of listening, asking questions, and learning how the person I’m spending time with needs the gospel today. I let fear of causing offense or of having inadequate words rule my conversation.

Recognizing this, I can spiral into a consuming fear that I’m not actually following Christ at all, that I’ve been fooling myself this whole time. After all, if I really loved Jesus and really believed he was the way, I would be filled with enthusiasm to share him with everyone I encounter.

Variations on this spiral might include:

  • If I had real faith, I would trust God instead of being so anxious.
  • If I had real faith, I wouldn’t get so angry with my family/coworkers/church.
  • If I had real faith, I would be content instead of struggling with greed and lust.
  • If I had real faith, I would give more generously instead of holding on so tightly to my stuff.

. . . and on and on. There’s an element of truth in these lines, in that our failures do indicate weak faith. They indicate we have more faith in our own way than in God’s way. The trouble lies in focusing exclusively on our weakness. This self-centered gaze takes us straight down the path to discouragement, doubt, and fear. But Jesus beckons us to an alternate route.

Jesus, Unshaken by Failure

Jesus calls his followers to handle their lack of faith by fixing their eyes on him. I saw this in a new way when reading through John last month, focusing on the conversations Jesus has. John 13-16 shares the conversation between Jesus and his disciples in the hours before his death, and in these chapters we see that Jesus is not shaken by their lack of faith. He doesn’t ignore it either; he actually points it out several times, as he did throughout in his ministry. But he constantly turns their attention back to himself, calling them to believe in him, offering promise after promise to be with them and help them glorify God.

In 13:37-14:1, he predicts Peter will deny him that night, but then assures the disciples that he will bring them to be with him and the Father:

Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow you right now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny me three times.

“Do not let your heart by troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places … I go to prepare a place for you.”

Shortly after, Philip asks that Jesus show them the Father. Jesus points out their lack of faith in his unity with the Father, but then promises to act when they pray, send them the Holy Spirit, and return for them.  

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in me? … Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son …

I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, that he may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see him or know him, but you know him because he abides with you and will be in you.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (14:10-18)

In chapter 16, the disciples think they finally see Jesus’ relationship with the Father and believe in him fully. Jesus again reveals that their faith is so weak that they will soon abandon him, but calls them to find peace in him.

Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, an hour is coming, and has already come, for you to be scattered, each to his own home, and to leave me alone; and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.  These things I have spoken to you, so that in me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (16:31-33)

It’s a rhythm of their weakness, his strength; their doubt, his faithfulness; their fear, his assurance. When their lack of faith comes out, he says look at me, believe in me.

Three Ways to Respond to Failure

Knowing this should change the way we respond to our own failures. It will take our whole Christian lives to grow in this dependence and trust, but here are three immediate ways we can apply this in our thinking about weakness and bringing it before the Lord:

1. Look to Jesus as you see your sin and doubt.

God calls us to mourn our sin, but always to turn to him in our mourning. Rather than seeing sin and weakness as dooming, see them as opportunities to take hold of Christ’s strength and depend on him. Jesus does not call his followers to be discouraged in their sin, but to believe in him.

2. Look to Jesus as you confess your sin and doubt.

Hours before Jesus went to the cross, the failures of his disciples were obvious before him, yet he still went. He already knows our failure, and he’s already taken away our guilt. Scripture says we have confidence in appealing to his grace, so we can confess freely and without fear of rejection. Don’t shrink away from confession, but accept his offer of grace.

3. Look to Jesus as you fight sin and doubt.

Jesus speaks to the disciples of his own conquering power and of the Spirit’s help. We can ask for his help, and trust that he is working on our behalf. Though our fight against sin can seem unending and overwhelming, Jesus is not concerned, because he knows his own power is so much greater than our sin. He has overcome sin’s condemnation and has resourced us with the Spirit. He is working for us and with us as we fight, so that we are equipped to continue as we call out to him in the battle.

May you be encouraged today as you force your gaze away from despair and onto Jesus, who is infinitely stronger than our weakness and failures.

Can you think of other ways to respond to failure?

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