Its a Scandal

It’s a scandal ( A repeat by request too)
By Herbert Mtowo
Have you ever realized that our lives are flooded with images of harmony: That is good friends do not quarrel. Lovers live happily forever after, mature adults do not become angry. I am sure you both identify with these scenarios, in your everyday life and experiences like I do.
These unrealistic romantic fantasies, forcefully marketed in parts our cultures and society, to try and promote the ideal affection without conflict. Yet we still have daily experiences of our own stumbling efforts to love well and our efforts are often accompanied by tension and distress. Believe you me with all these projections in our lives, we have good news to hate conflict—when nations are in conflict, they disrupt lives and lives are lost. Violent quarrels break up marriages, and relationships, many arguments end friendships. So many of these risks and end results have taught many of us to by all means avoid conflict at any price wish we could all understand that our effort to ignore conflict usually doesn’t work at all. Due to avoidance, comes mounting tensions that endanger our relationships/marriages and erodes our love.
I want you to know that conflict, as threatening as it seems and feels is very normal in very close relationships, be they marriage, friendships and work environments. Be reminded that when people come together at a level that touches their very significant values and needs, conflicts are bound to be part of the package, they are inevitable. The truth of the matter is, conflict is not all that bad, as portrayed and projected into our minds. The effects of conflict in a marriage or relationship are not necessarily destructive. Many Psychologists and marriage counselors will agree with me that, conflict can be a sign of health in a relationship/marriage. So don’t break up because of conflicts, its part of the process of becoming one and it’s healthy, or it may also symptom of distress. Conflict between people or lovers can also be an indication that they are engaging one another; something is going on there that is important to both of them. We need though to harness the energy of our conflict that it doesn’t it doesn’t work against us. A relationship, friendship or marriage which there is nothing important enough to fight for or about is more likely to die than one in which arguments sometimes occur. Hope we all know that indifference is a much greater enemy of intimacy than conflict.
Conflict is ordinary and inevitable. In any relationship that brings people together close: friends, teams, marriage, mark my words conflict is sure to arise. Even more if the people involved are both have strong personalities. It only becomes destructive and costly when we fail to face it virtuously. Jesus experienced it with the disciples too. For us to be virtuous in handling conflict more optimistically and to manage its sometimes frightening force, we need to do two things or take these steps.
First and foremost we need to realize that conflict is an honorable adult embrace, that’s one of the ways we hold each other. Willingness to confront the growing tension between us is a face of fidelity, a way of keeping our promises instead of fleeing them. Secondly, we heal our vision of conflict by seeing more clearly the underlying dynamics involved. It is a response to discrepancy. Though flight is also a wise way to respond to conflict, but it should never be a lifestyle. This valentine period, remember that conflict is critical part of life, an honorable dynamic of change and growth. It’s a scandal to think of conflict as evil.
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Its a Scandal

It’s a scandal ( A repeat by request too)
By Herbert Mtowo
Have you ever realized that our lives are flooded with images of harmony: That is good friends do not quarrel. Lovers live happily forever after, mature adults do not become angry. I am sure you both identify with these scenarios, in your everyday life and experiences like I do.
These unrealistic romantic fantasies, forcefully marketed in parts our cultures and society, to try and promote the ideal affection without conflict. Yet we still have daily experiences of our own stumbling efforts to love well and our efforts are often accompanied by tension and distress. Believe you me with all these projections in our lives, we have good news to hate conflict—when nations are in conflict, they disrupt lives and lives are lost. Violent quarrels break up marriages, and relationships, many arguments end friendships. So many of these risks and end results have taught many of us to by all means avoid conflict at any price wish we could all understand that our effort to ignore conflict usually doesn’t work at all. Due to avoidance, comes mounting tensions that endanger our relationships/marriages and erodes our love.
I want you to know that conflict, as threatening as it seems and feels is very normal in very close relationships, be they marriage, friendships and work environments. Be reminded that when people come together at a level that touches their very significant values and needs, conflicts are bound to be part of the package, they are inevitable. The truth of the matter is, conflict is not all that bad, as portrayed and projected into our minds. The effects of conflict in a marriage or relationship are not necessarily destructive. Many Psychologists and marriage counselors will agree with me that, conflict can be a sign of health in a relationship/marriage. So don’t break up because of conflicts, its part of the process of becoming one and it’s healthy, or it may also symptom of distress. Conflict between people or lovers can also be an indication that they are engaging one another; something is going on there that is important to both of them. We need though to harness the energy of our conflict that it doesn’t it doesn’t work against us. A relationship, friendship or marriage which there is nothing important enough to fight for or about is more likely to die than one in which arguments sometimes occur. Hope we all know that indifference is a much greater enemy of intimacy than conflict.
Conflict is ordinary and inevitable. In any relationship that brings people together close: friends, teams, marriage, mark my words conflict is sure to arise. Even more if the people involved are both have strong personalities. It only becomes destructive and costly when we fail to face it virtuously. Jesus experienced it with the disciples too. For us to be virtuous in handling conflict more optimistically and to manage its sometimes frightening force, we need to do two things or take these steps.
First and foremost we need to realize that conflict is an honorable adult embrace, that’s one of the ways we hold each other. Willingness to confront the growing tension between us is a face of fidelity, a way of keeping our promises instead of fleeing them. Secondly, we heal our vision of conflict by seeing more clearly the underlying dynamics involved. It is a response to discrepancy. Though flight is also a wise way to respond to conflict, but it should never be a lifestyle. This valentine period, remember that conflict is critical part of life, an honorable dynamic of change and growth. It’s a scandal to think of conflict as evil.

It takes the heart to truelly Love

· By Herbert

· It takes the Heart to Truly Love! ( A repeat by request)
Colossians 3:23
How often do you do or say something that you do not truly mean with your heart? The heart is all that matters when it comes to relationships. If you love from the heart, I pray to God that, He gives you someone who also truly loves from the heart. Perhaps you told your husband or wife that you loved them, but you really did not mean it. You just said it to make them happy. Well this is a good start. It is better than not saying anything at all. But wouldn’t it be so much better if you could say it and really mean it? The word heart used in the verse above is the same Greek word used for soul. So that means you must involve mind, emotions and will all together to do something from your heart.

This means that when you do something by an act of your will, you should be able to have the right thoughts in your mind, and the right feelings and desires in your emotions. When you make love are you thinking about how much you love this man or woman that you are joining with in body? Or are you trying to think of some other person whom you would rather be making love to?
Are you just doing this because it feels good, or are you doing it as an expression of all the love that is inside of you? This is what it means to do something from your heart. And it could just involve a change in attitude. How do you change your attitude? By simply choosing what you will keep in your mind. And how do you change your feelings? By keeping the right things in your mind. When you express your love to each other, do you let the fantasies come into your mind like you do when you think about romance? Do you think about how wonderful your spouse is, and how you cannot wait to be with them?

Or do you complain because he came home too early from work and messed up your plans? Did she mess up your plans by insisting that you fix that broken door NOW? You did what you spouse wanted you to do. But did you do it from your heart? Think about it the next time you do or say something to the person you chose to spend your life with. Are you doing this from the heart or not? If you have a problem doing this, then why not take Paul’s advice, and do it as though you are doing it for the Lord? Perhaps this will release the faith, hope and love that you need to truly do everything in your marriage as from your heart.
Ignite the love
Human nature is strange! Something that means the world to you at the beginning will suddenly no longer mean the same to you after a while.
Let me give you an example. Supposing you have earnestly desired to buy a Cadillac for years! You’ve thought about it and dreamed about it, and suddenly the time comes for you to get your hands on one. You’re so excited! You think it is the best thing that has ever happened to you! You feel big and important and just want to drive around in it at every possible moment! But things begin to change. After a few month, suddenly the novelty and the feeling of being so special, begins to wear off. It is no longer so important to you, and you begin to take it for granted. When you need to go somewhere you just get in the Cadillac and drive. Hey, it’s your car. It’s what you drive. It’s nothing special! Now you are probably aiming for something better again. Why am I talking about driving elite cars on this marriage article? Because just like you can earnestly desire a car, a house or an overseas trip, the chances are you felt the same way about meeting and marrying your husband or wife. You really desired him or her badly, and you felt unfulfilled until you met each other. When you finally met and began to date, life became wonderful! You felt like you were walking around in heaven! Your heart’s desire was fulfilled. You were in love, and you felt like you could never live your life in any other way! But then what happens? Reality hits in! Pressures of life come upon both of you, maybe some kids arrive on the scene, and things are not quite the way they were before. You don’t feel the same excitement you did before, when your spouse phoned or arrived back from work or a business trip. You become busy with your life and go on your way, and while most of the time you are happy enough, often that spark has gone!

Get back the love spark.
It’s really not difficult to do. I want to propose a little test to you, which will very likely amaze you as you look at the results! You need to do it:
Especially if you are unhappy in your marriage and are struggling through it
If you are relatively happy, but there is no real excitement, and you are taking your spouse for granted
In other words:
Everybody Needs To Do This Test!
How do you do it? It’s simple:
Each of you must take a piece of paper and a pen. Now, sit down and begin to write down everything that you love about your spouse! When you first met him or her, what was it that made you get butterflies in your stomach when you just saw him or her? List everything that you can think of – what you loved in the past and what you love now. When you dated, did she always wear that beautiful perfume that made her smell so gorgeous and feminine? After you met him, did you love the way he always encouraged you after a bad day’s work? Did you love the way she smiled at you when you were feeling stressed, and made the sun shine in your life? Did you love the way he was such a gentleman and made you feel so special when you went on a date? Once you have written everything down, then hand the sheet of paper to your spouse and let them read how you see them. You may be amazed to find little things and habits about you that you didn’t know were appealing to your spouse!
The point of this exercise?
Firstly, you will remind yourself of all of those special things in your spouse that you have probably forgotten about or taken for granted. You will begin to stir up exciting and positive emotions about your spouse once again. You will begin to see them in a different way, and will see what a special person the Lord has given to you! The exercise can also lead you to begin communicating more! You may find yourself really opening up to your spouse and pouring out more that is in your heart that you feel about him or her. Just remember one thing: Keep it positive! You are not having a slinging match and telling all the negative things about your spouse. No, rather you are investing in the positive side of your marriage/relationship instead.

Top of Form

It takes the heart to truelly Love

· By Herbert

· It takes the Heart to Truly Love! ( A repeat by request)
Colossians 3:23
How often do you do or say something that you do not truly mean with your heart? The heart is all that matters when it comes to relationships. If you love from the heart, I pray to God that, He gives you someone who also truly loves from the heart. Perhaps you told your husband or wife that you loved them, but you really did not mean it. You just said it to make them happy. Well this is a good start. It is better than not saying anything at all. But wouldn’t it be so much better if you could say it and really mean it? The word heart used in the verse above is the same Greek word used for soul. So that means you must involve mind, emotions and will all together to do something from your heart.

This means that when you do something by an act of your will, you should be able to have the right thoughts in your mind, and the right feelings and desires in your emotions. When you make love are you thinking about how much you love this man or woman that you are joining with in body? Or are you trying to think of some other person whom you would rather be making love to?
Are you just doing this because it feels good, or are you doing it as an expression of all the love that is inside of you? This is what it means to do something from your heart. And it could just involve a change in attitude. How do you change your attitude? By simply choosing what you will keep in your mind. And how do you change your feelings? By keeping the right things in your mind. When you express your love to each other, do you let the fantasies come into your mind like you do when you think about romance? Do you think about how wonderful your spouse is, and how you cannot wait to be with them?

Or do you complain because he came home too early from work and messed up your plans? Did she mess up your plans by insisting that you fix that broken door NOW? You did what you spouse wanted you to do. But did you do it from your heart? Think about it the next time you do or say something to the person you chose to spend your life with. Are you doing this from the heart or not? If you have a problem doing this, then why not take Paul’s advice, and do it as though you are doing it for the Lord? Perhaps this will release the faith, hope and love that you need to truly do everything in your marriage as from your heart.
Ignite the love
Human nature is strange! Something that means the world to you at the beginning will suddenly no longer mean the same to you after a while.
Let me give you an example. Supposing you have earnestly desired to buy a Cadillac for years! You’ve thought about it and dreamed about it, and suddenly the time comes for you to get your hands on one. You’re so excited! You think it is the best thing that has ever happened to you! You feel big and important and just want to drive around in it at every possible moment! But things begin to change. After a few month, suddenly the novelty and the feeling of being so special, begins to wear off. It is no longer so important to you, and you begin to take it for granted. When you need to go somewhere you just get in the Cadillac and drive. Hey, it’s your car. It’s what you drive. It’s nothing special! Now you are probably aiming for something better again. Why am I talking about driving elite cars on this marriage article? Because just like you can earnestly desire a car, a house or an overseas trip, the chances are you felt the same way about meeting and marrying your husband or wife. You really desired him or her badly, and you felt unfulfilled until you met each other. When you finally met and began to date, life became wonderful! You felt like you were walking around in heaven! Your heart’s desire was fulfilled. You were in love, and you felt like you could never live your life in any other way! But then what happens? Reality hits in! Pressures of life come upon both of you, maybe some kids arrive on the scene, and things are not quite the way they were before. You don’t feel the same excitement you did before, when your spouse phoned or arrived back from work or a business trip. You become busy with your life and go on your way, and while most of the time you are happy enough, often that spark has gone!

Get back the love spark.
It’s really not difficult to do. I want to propose a little test to you, which will very likely amaze you as you look at the results! You need to do it:
Especially if you are unhappy in your marriage and are struggling through it
If you are relatively happy, but there is no real excitement, and you are taking your spouse for granted
In other words:
Everybody Needs To Do This Test!
How do you do it? It’s simple:
Each of you must take a piece of paper and a pen. Now, sit down and begin to write down everything that you love about your spouse! When you first met him or her, what was it that made you get butterflies in your stomach when you just saw him or her? List everything that you can think of – what you loved in the past and what you love now. When you dated, did she always wear that beautiful perfume that made her smell so gorgeous and feminine? After you met him, did you love the way he always encouraged you after a bad day’s work? Did you love the way she smiled at you when you were feeling stressed, and made the sun shine in your life? Did you love the way he was such a gentleman and made you feel so special when you went on a date? Once you have written everything down, then hand the sheet of paper to your spouse and let them read how you see them. You may be amazed to find little things and habits about you that you didn’t know were appealing to your spouse!
The point of this exercise?
Firstly, you will remind yourself of all of those special things in your spouse that you have probably forgotten about or taken for granted. You will begin to stir up exciting and positive emotions about your spouse once again. You will begin to see them in a different way, and will see what a special person the Lord has given to you! The exercise can also lead you to begin communicating more! You may find yourself really opening up to your spouse and pouring out more that is in your heart that you feel about him or her. Just remember one thing: Keep it positive! You are not having a slinging match and telling all the negative things about your spouse. No, rather you are investing in the positive side of your marriage/relationship instead.

Top of Form

How valuable is your woman?

You My Love 1 Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall you say to David, The king desires not any dowry, but a hundred foreskin of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king’s enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. 26 And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law: and the days were not expired. 27 Therefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave the full number of them to the king, that he might be the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. Do you remember how important your spouse/wife was to you when you first fell in love with her and desired to marry her? Some men still have to pay the price of asking the father of the bride for permission to marry the daughter, ilobola which is an honorable experience in my culture. Whatever the price put on the woman, she is worthy much more than silver and gold. But is it really a price? Most men would risk their lives to win and gain the one that they love. It’s no really price cause I am yet find a woman worthy the value of any price tag put on them, they are much more valuable than what society thinks. Think back on what it was like before you were married, and how you longed to be with your love. What price you have paid then? She was the most valuable thing in the world to you, not because of the price tag put on her. He was the most precious thing you could think of. But each day as you rise up and start the day, do you still feel the same? Each day, as you go through the problems of life and face difficulties, do you still think this? Or do you simply take for granted that you have someone who spends their life with you? What if your spouse were made a better offer than what you are? What if another woman offers herself to your husband in your place? What if another man were to offer himself to your wife in your place? What would you do? Would you consider your spouse valuable enough to fight for, and give up all for? Would you be ready to pay any price to keep them? And then as you look at yourself, would you consider yourself valuable enough to your spouse that you would never need to be afraid of this? Are you sure that you are of such value that no other person could ever compete with you? Every day marriages come to an end because someone stopped realizing how valuable their spouse was. Marriages end because a husband or wife are no longer valuable to their partner. Perhaps if you were to think back on the price you would have gladly paid, or did pay to get your husband or wife, you will realize how precious they are to you. And then perhaps you will find yourself once again ready to risk your life for the one you love. Could you take in your hands the biggest price you could pay, and hold it out to him or her, saying, “For you my love. You are worth every bit of it.”

Marriage Rocking

Marriage Rocking

Marriages start out on an exciting note, full of happy expectation. Yet some of those marriages end up on the trash heap. At some point from the engagement to the divorce something went wrong. Whatever the challenges are that lead to a failed marriage other marriages weather the storm and come through stronger.

So, along the way from the proposal to the decree nisi there is some telling moment or development that tips the scales from success to sabotage; from freedom to failure; and from celebration to shame. So, we’re looking for the Moment of Truth in Marriage, where that tipping point is encountered.

Tipping Point

The Moment of Truth is that point in the couple’s journey where they make a decision, balk at a hurdle, draw a line or otherwise change the course of their relationship. What started as delight became bogged down with disappointment. Strife replaced celebration and the couple began to move toward the death of their marriage.

Now, the tipping point is not the same for each couple. Some couples know that it is all over by the end of the honeymoon. Other couples work together for thirty-five years before ending their marriage. For some there is a major shock, such as unfaithfulness, that bombards the relationship. For others some subtle, slow process sets in that eats away at the union.

This makes it hard to come up with a simplistic “tipping point” definition.

Attitude Not Action

The tipping point, or Moment of Truth, when a relationship takes a turn toward its own destruction cannot be built on an action. Marriages have proven to be incredibly resilient. Marriages have survived and even flourished after such tragedies and traumas as abuse, violence, adultery, death of a child, financial ruin, war, betrayal, attempted suicide, mental breakdown, and more.

The tipping point, then, is not an action. Instead it is an attitude. The attitude may spring to life in response to an action, but it is wrong to blame the action. Others have endured the same treatment, circumstances, disappointment, stress and so on, without destroying their marriage. So it must be firmly stated that the problem is NOT the action.

However, when a wrong attitude comes into the picture it can be poisonous, impossible to endure and persistent to the point of total destruction. The tipping point is the point at which a wrong attitude takes root, setting the course toward ultimate ruin.

Biblical Warning

Since the Bible is supremely relevant and current, we should expect it to speak clearly to this issue, and it does. There is a serious warning given in the New Testament which is probably directly linked to the Moment of Truth, or Tipping Point in marriage.

The Biblical warning is that people MUST give grace to one another. Specifically they are to give each other the “grace of God”. That means that they are to forgive each other, accept each other and be considerate of each other, in the same way that God is gracious to all of humanity. God gives sunshine and rain to both the good people and evil people. God is gracious, even to people who are campaigning to prove that God does not exist.

Humans, then, are to be ever willing to tolerate and be gracious to each other, just as God is.

But the warning goes further than that. The Biblical warning is that if a person fails to provide God’s grace to others the only alternative is that the evil attitude of bitterness will spring up in their life and lead to all kinds of problems.

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” Hebrews 12:14,15

Let me paraphrase that text for you this way: “Be at peace with everyone. And keep yourself holy. If you are not holy you will never see God. Be diligent to keep on giving God’s grace to people. If you don’t a root of bitterness will spring up within you and agitate you. A root of bitterness will make trouble for many people around you.”

Key Moment

The key moment in your marriage is not how or where you propose. It’s not how long your engagement is. It is not the wedding day, or the wedding night. It’s not the honeymoon. It’s not your first year, or your first home. It’s not based on how soon the kids come along, or how many you have or don’t have. It’s not about how much money you have or whether one, both or none of you work.

The key moment in any marriage is that moment when one or other of the couple decides to stop giving grace to the other. When one person makes the internal decision, “I’ve had enough of that”, “I’m not taking any more of this”, “I won’t forgive them this time”, or something like that, they have tipped the marriage into the path toward destruction.

It is possible for a couple to come close to that point several times, and still survive. If the person tips back, changing their mind and forgiving, extending grace, accepting the one they had decided to reject, then they can undo the damage that has been done. But when they come to that point and decide to stick on that track, that’s when the end has been determined.

The Grace of God

The most valuable ingredient you can bring into any relationship, then, is the grace of God. A couple which has determined to always forgive and extend grace to each other will be able to ride over the ups and downs of their relationship.

Remember that bitterness only springs up when someone has determined to stop giving God’s grace. As long as the graces of forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, sacrificial commitment and such like are poured into a marriage that marriage can weather any storm or strain.

When the attitude turns from one that gives grace to one that digs in with hardness of heart, bitterness takes root and poisons the mind, attitudes, decisions and relationships.

Remember, the problem is not the actions experienced, but the attitudes taken up in response to those things.

Moments of Grace

Protect your marriage with moments of grace. Tip your marriage toward success and indestructibility. Determine, with God’s help, to give grace to each other. Determine to continue extending grace, God’s grace, no matter what.

Instead of having Moments of Truth and Tipping Points that turn your marriage into dust, have Moments of Grace and multiple Turning Points which turn your marriage back to God’s grace and God’s miraculous provision for your happiness and

Yesterday is Gone

Yesterday is Gone

The Beatles made a huge hit singing “Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away”. And others waxed poetic about how “Yesterday’s gone” and how they remember “Yesterday when I was young” and so on.

Yesterday’s Hold

The reason “yesterday” has such a hold on people’s lives is that we all carry the past into the present and beyond that into the future. Yesterday is the time we sowed certain things into our lives and today we reap the harvest. So yesterday is a powerful component of ‘today’ and it will still be making its presence felt when we get to tomorrow?

The Catholic Church teaches people to go to confession to deal with the sins of yesterday. Someone sneered at the habit of some who sin during the week and look for forgiveness in the confessional on the weekend. They said it was like sowing wild oats all week and then praying for a crop failure.

The Hindu faith respects the baggage of yesterday as karma, which we carry not only through this life, but into future lives which Hindus believe they will face. Gautama Buddha, who rejected the Hindu teaching of reincarnation, went so far as to say that we cannot remove our Karma even in a thousand lifetimes.

Yesterday’s Debris

Here are just a few of the things we bring with from yesterday, even though yesterday is gone.

We bring our disappointments from yesterday. We face disappointments with others, such as our parents and family. But we also face disappointments with ourselves.

We bring our broken relationships from yesterday. Once we have offended someone else or they have offended us that damage remains, often throughout life. Family reunions and community life become tinged with the hurt and offence that we feel toward others and they feel toward us.

We bring our compromises from yesterday. Once we have compromised our values and character that becomes a weak spot for us from that time on.

We bring our slaveries from yesterday. When we give in to sin, such as anger, pride, jealousy or lust, that thing enslaves us and it controls us throughout our lives.

Today’s Harvest

It is also true, as the Bible teaches that our actions and choices involve us sowing seeds in our lives. A seed not only remains, but it germinates and produces a whole crop. So when we sow something into our life, we are setting up a harvest in the future.

Today’s harvest is filled with the fruit of the things we planted yesterday. If we planted selfishness, pride, anger, greed, violence, self-pity, wilfulness, addiction, lies or other evil things, we will have an evil harvest today.

If we planted forgiveness, faith, love, trust, humility and the fear of God then we will have a much better harvest today than others might have.

Yesterday is not ‘Gone’

While the songs might say, “yesterdays gone” it isn’t true. Yesterday has passed, but it has not ‘gone’. Yesterday lives with you today.

Just as yesterday’s piano lessons undergird today’s musicianship and yesterday’s studies undergird today’s understanding, yesterday’s moral choices undergird today’s character.

Transforming Yesterday

“You can’t go back in time” is one way to look at it. “What’s done is done!” might be your way of dismissing the past. But there are powerful ways of unlocking the past and transforming yesterday. Let me briefly outline two of them.

Confession of Sin is a powerful way to unlock and transform yesterday. When you repent of the choices you made in the past God is able to set you free from the debris and consequences of those choices in the present. You can actually get a crop failure, even though you sowed lots of wild oats.

God can go back in time. While you are stuck in the time-space continuum, God exists outside of time. So He is able to go back to your past and make Himself present, bringing healing to things that are part of your yesterday that has ‘gone’ from you.

A Testimony

A friend of mine named Malcolm visited a lady who had chronic problems. When he prayed for her she had a vision of a baby crying in a cot. She realised that she was seeing herself as a tiny baby. She sensed the extreme distress of the baby and it connected with the pain that kept surfacing in her life.

A spirit of intercession came on Mal and he began to weep for her. As he did she saw in her vision that the door to the baby’s room opened and Jesus walked in. Jesus lifted the baby into His arms and as He did the woman felt all her pain and torment drain from her life.

It was as if Jesus was able to go back in time to the entry point of the woman’s troubles and resolve them, even though that was now many years past.

Saying Good-bye to Yesterday

If yesterday has brought its bad baggage with it into your today then is encouraged to say “Good-bye” to that stuff. You can remove it forever by confession and by asking the Lord to unlock and heal your past.

I want you to live in the freedom with which Christ has made you free. I want you to be able to say, in all reality, that Yesterday is Gone! Keep all that is good from yesterday and unlock and remove all that is bad. Once you’ve said “Good-bye” to yesterday’s rubbish you will have an even better future to look forward to.

Affection Impacts Children

Affection Impacts Children

I heard the other day from a young woman who was thrilled to report on the affection shared by her mum and dad. Her delight reminded me how much lovely positive impact comes on children when their parents show affection to each other.

I recall in my own childhood the delight I felt when my dad teased my mum. He would come up behind her while she was doing the dishes or busy at the kitchen bench and he would begin to tickle her or kiss her neck. She would tell him to go away and leave her alone, since she had work to do, but he would persist. A mock fight would result, with them both laughing as he persisted in showing affection to her. My brothers and I would rush into the room, laughing and delighting to see this sport between our parents.

I had not thought about those happy memories for a long time, until I heard the recent report. The young lady who greeted me with her happy news told me with obvious joy in her voice, that her parents had recently enjoyed a mini-date. They had been left with time to kill while running an errand and so they had gone for a walk holding hands.

It’s a simple enough thing for them to do and could easily be passed as of no real significance. The daughter’s delight signalled the true significance of the event. The parents’ affection represented a refreshing of their relationship. The simple action of strolling hand in hand attested to renewed happiness in their being together and a refreshing of their fellowship one with the other.

I know that in some homes parents go out of their way to hide any affection between themselves. They may think affection is inappropriate. Take it from me that wholesome happy affection being displayed between the parents is nourishing to the soul of the children. Affection impacts children in a wonderfully positive way.

Sensuality is not for public display, nor is argument and pain. But wholesome affection, where husband and wife affirm their devotion to each other, feeds the soul of the family and genders security within the children.

Bless your children today – give your spouse a hug when and where the children can see and be encouraged, by the bonding it creates in their lives and in your family.

Affection Impacts Children

Affection Impacts Children

I heard the other day from a young woman who was thrilled to report on the affection shared by her mum and dad. Her delight reminded me how much lovely positive impact comes on children when their parents show affection to each other.

I recall in my own childhood the delight I felt when my dad teased my mum. He would come up behind her while she was doing the dishes or busy at the kitchen bench and he would begin to tickle her or kiss her neck. She would tell him to go away and leave her alone, since she had work to do, but he would persist. A mock fight would result, with them both laughing as he persisted in showing affection to her. My brothers and I would rush into the room, laughing and delighting to see this sport between our parents.

I had not thought about those happy memories for a long time, until I heard the recent report. The young lady who greeted me with her happy news told me with obvious joy in her voice, that her parents had recently enjoyed a mini-date. They had been left with time to kill while running an errand and so they had gone for a walk holding hands.

It’s a simple enough thing for them to do and could easily be passed as of no real significance. The daughter’s delight signalled the true significance of the event. The parents’ affection represented a refreshing of their relationship. The simple action of strolling hand in hand attested to renewed happiness in their being together and a refreshing of their fellowship one with the other.

I know that in some homes parents go out of their way to hide any affection between themselves. They may think affection is inappropriate. Take it from me that wholesome happy affection being displayed between the parents is nourishing to the soul of the children. Affection impacts children in a wonderfully positive way.

Sensuality is not for public display, nor is argument and pain. But wholesome affection, where husband and wife affirm their devotion to each other, feeds the soul of the family and genders security within the children.

Bless your children today – give your spouse a hug when and where the children can see and be encouraged, by the bonding it creates in their lives and in your family.

Your Secret Signals as a parent

Your secret signals as a parent.
By Chris Field
Whether you like it or not you are sending negative signals to your children. And most likely they are Secret Signals – not because others don’t know what you are doing, but because YOU don’t know what signals you are sending out. When I teach on Communication Skills I point out that everyone is “broadcasting” all the time. As parents we are broadcasting signals to our children that we are not aware of. That’s why I call them your “Secret Signals”.
So I’m here to rattle your cage about the Parenting Messages you are sending to your kids. It’s about time you became aware of what you are saying to them, even though you don’t know you are saying it to them!
Know Thyself
The ancient adage “Know Thyself” challenges us to move away from self-absorption, to self-awareness. Being aware of ourselves is not the same as being ‘self-conscious. We can have feelings of self consciousness which make us uncomfortably sensitive to what others might think about us, but still actually be quite unaware of significant things about who and what we are.
To know ourselves we need to be attentive, observant and reflective. We need to tune in to our own broadcasts and check what secret signals we are sending to others. We need to get past our self-justification, rationalization and intention, and see how our messages impact the hearer, despite what we might intend as a sender.
Taking responsibility for our communications means we take responsibility for what the hearer receives, not just for what we broadcast. To take responsibility we need to become much more aware of what is going on and who and what we are. We must recognize our secret signals.
Tune In To the Family
I have heard many accounts of people who failed to tune in to others. They keep insisting that things be perceived their way, without taking the time to understand what others perceive, need or struggle with.
On a camping holiday, many years ago, I led my infant son out of our tent into the darkness, on our way to the shower block. We both had torches and the ground was gutted by recent storms. I told my tiny son, “Shine your torch where you are going.” Within a few steps he fell over and I scolded him for not being careful. Again I told him “Shine your torch where you are going”.
A few paces later the lad stumbled again, crying from hurting himself. I was impatient and exasperated. I scolded him firmly. “I told you to shine your torch where you are going!” With tears he replied, “I did! I was pointing it at the shower block.”
My boy was doing exactly as I instructed, but not as I intended. I had not tuned in to his interpretation, so I had not helped him walk safely. I felt ashamed of myself, especially since I teach Communication Skills and had failed to communicate effectively with my son.
Parenting Messages
Parents send value statements to their children all the time. When a parent continually becomes distressed about the smallest things, that sends a message. When a parent is always exasperated with their spouse that sends a message. When a parent doesn’t care what their children do, that sends a message.
These messages from the parents can often be quite different to what the parents think they are teaching their children. They are secret signals, which may contradict the intended messages sent at other times.
When a parent tells their children to have faith in God, but ignores God except on Sundays, the children learn that religion is a game of pretend.
When a parent insists that money should be spent wisely, but continues to blow cash on impulse purchases, the children learn to be careless in their spending.
Copying Mr. Grumpy
Your attitude says much more than you might think. If you are given to anger, grumpy responses, impatience, hasty reactions, or the like, you may be sending unwanted signals to your children.
A serious problem in the home is that our wrong behavior is learned by our children.
King Solomon warns us to avoid bad company, because we learn to act like those bad examples. We are told to keep clear of those who have an anger problem or we will learn to be angry and that will bring damage to our whole life.
“Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man you shall not go: Lest you learn his ways, and get a snare to your soul.” Proverbs 22:24,25
If you are impatient, grumpy, disparaging, cynical, aggressive, intolerant, touchy, selfish, irresponsible, or any such thing, your children will copy you, to their own hurt. This is most tragic in the situations where the parents are simply not aware of what they are doing and modeling for their children.
Let me reiterate that you need to be aware of what you are broadcasting as an example to your family.
Normalizing
There is a very powerful process which parents set up in their home that impacts their children, for good or bad. I promote this process as a way to powerfully impact your children for good. Sadly, it is mostly used, unconsciously, as a means of teaching children bad behavior.
I call this process “Normalizing” because it makes certain things “normal” for he child.
What ever the parents do in the home becomes “normal” for a child. If a husband beats his wife then wife-beating becomes ‘normal’ to some degree in the family. If a parent lies, steals and cheats, they make that behavior normal. If they get drunk, show anger, falsely accuse others, or engage in any other wrong behavior it becomes normal to some degree in the home.
People who regularly eat spicy food think it is normal, while other families find it very strange. People who go on exotic holidays several times each year think it is normal to do so. People who go through divorce and family break-up tend to think it is not such a strange experience.
Parents who pray with their children and engage them in real worship make those things normal. Parents who share their faith make that normal. Parents who show compassion to unlovely people, give sacrificially, go on mission trips, take active roles in church or lead home study groups make those things normal to their children.
So, your regular “broadcasts” to your children make whatever you broadcast ‘normal’ to your family.
My Family Broadcasts
When my older sons reached adult years they got around to letting me know some of the secret signals I consistently broadcast to them. I was not happy to hear their report.
It seems I consistently told them two things I did not realize. I told them these things by my reactions. My responses to them over the years confirmed to them that one of my strong parenting messages was, “Don’t disturb me!”
Oh dear! That was just so true! Whenever I settled down to anything, I wanted the luxury of being able to give it my attention. Even if I was simply sipping a cup of tea and looking out the window, I wanted to be able to do it with peace and quiet. Sadly I unwittingly told my children they were not always welcome in my personal space.
The other message I did a good job projecting to my family was, “Don’t cost me any money!” If one of the boys damaged something I would be quick to say with exasperation, “Now I have to go and buy a new one!” I was always reluctant to spend unless it was a purchase I took interest in. I unconsciously saw all other purchases as an imposition and inconvenience. I wanted to spend as an act of delight, not as a chore.
Your Epitaph
I don’t want to be remembered as the man who said, “Don’t disturb me and don’t cost me any money!” So, what do you want to be remembered for?
What would your children say was your regular Parenting Message to them? Would it be flattering to you?
Would they say, “She’s always in a bad mood”? Do they hear from you, “I’m busy!”? Or do you send off the signal, “I have more interesting things to do than pay attention to you”? Is your message, “I can’t cope!”? Or is it, “I don’t like you”? Maybe your signal says, “It’s all about me! Not you!”
If your Parenting Message was defined, would it look good as an epitaph on your tombstone? What do you expect your family to be getting as a signal from you? Is that really the signal they are getting? Is there a secret signal you are sending, but have not realized?
New Program
Tune in to your own broadcasts. Decode the secret signals you are sending. If they are not what you want then be ready to change.
It may be important for you to start broadcasting a brand new program to your family. You may need to take your existing program off the air immediately. Stop broadcasting negative, selfish, unholy messages to your family. Start broadcasting love, peace, faithfulness, patience, compassion, care, interest, holiness, faith in God and other positive messages through your home.
However, you need a new Program Manager in order to do that. Your own intentions won’t be enough. Romans 8:13 points out that the way to get rid of our bad human stuff is “through the Spirit”, not through human effort.
So, take time today to prayerfully ask God to tune you in, show you the errors of your secret signals, set you free from weaknesses and lead you into God’s highway of holiness. Then the Holy Spirit can become the program manager who implements the new programming you broadcast to your family