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Tag Archives: Guest Post

Surviving Betrayal

One of the most painful things we encounter in life is betrayal. Occasionally a person we trust does something that feels like betrayal, but they really don’t intended it that way. Less frequently, but more painful, is when we experience a trusted friend’s intentional plan to undermine or betray us. I think it is important for us to differentiate between premeditated betrayal and someone’s poor or selfish decisions which to us feel like an act of betrayal. In both cases trust is broken, which lies at the heart of betrayal. In both cases, the betrayer forfeits trust.

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Overcoming Rejection

There is a lot of thoughtless rejection circulating today. Rejection—even that which is only perceived as rejection—hurts us deeply. As children, we probably all experienced rejection to some degree. It starts early. Remember how you felt if you were the last one chosen to be on the team? Or not being asked to the prom?  

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Facing Criticism

This week I received a newsletter with a section summarizing Philip Warner’s “The Secret Pain of Pastors,” posted by www.churchleaders.com in 2018. The seven “unique” problems pastors face were suggested as: criticism, rejection, betrayal, loneliness, weariness, frustrations, and disappointments.

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Time for a Change

We live at a time in history when change is continual. Perhaps life has always been changing at this pace, but I doubt it. Change has always been happening, but the pace seems to have escalated. Awareness of rapid change occurs because of our access to instant, constant announcements of changes. It seems that before we can even process last week’s changes, we are bombarded with two more weeks of change to process. 

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Encountering Hope in Your Valley of Trouble

I have been reading the book of Hosea, one of God’s Old Testament prophets. It is an interesting read, because the family life of Hosea was a living parable of the people of Israel’s relationship with God.

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When Your Hands Are Tied

There are always events in our lives which are beyond our control. As I write this, we are awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Dorian. There has been a week of anxiety for many people up and down the east coast of the United States. I live on an island, just off the mainland of Virginia. The church property is about 7.5 feet above sea level. Projections of the tidal swell are around 7 feet above sea level. It is a situation in which if the storm continues to move further east into the ocean, we might not get the high tides, and we’ll mainly have rain and wind. But you never know.

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The Christian Opportunist

Today’s column is a “timely” message (pun intended) for each of us. We all feel the pressure of losing time—once lost, it cannot be reclaimed. For some it was a lifetime of the enjoying the present with no thought to the future; for others it is being so future-minded that they squander present opportunities.

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It’s Summertime…Got Fruit?

Last week, while watering the plants in the garden, I took a look at our fig. I found lots of figs, each at different levels of ripeness. I picked two ripe ones and popped one into my mouth. The fruit burst open, sweet and juicy, with its distinctive flavor. I immediately thought of paradise, of the bliss of having such a luscious fruit available to pick and eat right at my home. Then my mind went to Jesus, approximately a week before his crucifixion, as he and the disciples were heading from Bethany to Jerusalem to check out the temple about a week before Passover.

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If Jesus Came to Your House Today

What if you ran into Jesus in town today and he said he wanted to drop by your house for lunch? What would be your first thoughts? That you need to clean your house first? Or what do I have in the fridge that would be a suitable lunch for the Son of God? Probably most of us would prefer to take him to a nice restaurant or schedule lunch for a later date when we could be properly prepared.

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Sharing the Vibe

When people speak of a place giving off a good vibe, what do they mean? According the internet’s Free Dictionary: “A vibe is a distinctive emotional quality or atmosphere that is sensed or experience by someone.” If something gave us a good vibe, it means that something associated with an encounter resonated with us and made us feel somehow connected with the mood, event, or environment. If we don’t pick up good vibes, then we will have a bland reaction, or worse—a negative one. I must clarify that the whole discussion of “vibes” is a very subjective thing, and it’s hard to identify.  

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Some Said it Was Thunder

I am reading an interesting book by Judson Edwards entitled “Quiet Faith: An Introvert’s Guide to Spiritual Survival.” In his book he drew my attention to an interesting event in the life of Jesus that reveals how some people are tuned to God’s voice and recognize God speaking in life’s events. At the same event, there were two other groups which didn’t really understand what was happening.The verses are found in John 12. Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead in chapter 11, then in chapter 12 we discover that some Greeks, who were in Jerusalem for the Passover, came to Phillip seeking Jesus. Upon hearing this, Jesus said that the time had come for him to be glorified. He meant it was time to reveal the presence and manifested goodness of God through himself and his work.

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The Cat in the Shed

Over a month ago, one of the three feral cats that hang around our house went missing, after we heard a vicious midnight fight in the woods. We grieved the loss because “Booties,” with his clean white paws, was the friendliest of the three.  But one morning last week, my wife noticed movement in the window of the shed about 60 feet from the house. She went closer and saw the face of a cat staring out at her through the window, and she could hear faint mewling. Long story short: we rejoiced as eventually Booties crept out to meet us!

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From Broken to Golden

This week I discovered an interesting art form which in Japanese is called “Kintsugi,” which has become a process of repairing broken porcelain with a particular lacquer laced with gold dust, or liquefied gold.

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From Chaos to Collaboration: An Ant’s Story

Have you ever watched ants when they find food? Within a short period of time, one ant becomes an army of ants. They look really erratic—almost frantic and chaotic. They crisscross here and there, going one way and then changing directions. They move very quickly, sometimes doubling back on their path.

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