News and Info

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Hurting, Healing and Hope

Hurting, Healing and Hope
Wednesday, February 21, 2018

                It has been said that most people receive more instruction
for driving a car than for becoming a parent.  If you were to think back to when you were young, did your parents always do the right thing from your point of view? When you misbehaved was the punishment you received fair, adequate or over the top?
                We know through child development studies that certain attributes or abilities are reached at certain age levels of maturity as a child grows up. However parents who do not understand normal child development often hurt their children unintentionally. This contributes to unnecessary and undeserved shame in the child.  There are different kinds of shame and as a child grows up, if parents are not willing to teach their children with patience, persistence and instruction, these children will suffer long-term effects of trying to be perfect. Parents who are unavailable to their children, or parents with their own personal problems will lead to their children’s own hurts and poor priorities.
                Problems lie because parents often forget that from the moment their children are born these little ones depend upon their adult parents to discover the world into which they have been born. But the business of providing for the needs of children and the family as a whole sometimes overshadows the nurturing that is required.
                In hurtful families, normal childhood behaviour brings out responses from parents with unrealistic expectations and perfectionistic demands. These hurtful words often have longer lasting effects than the actual action that occurred. What kinds of words do you remember from your childhood? What have you said to your children?  Were your parents available to you? Are you fully available to your children?
                How have you grown from being hurt, to hurting and then not hurting others? Do you need help in this? Start by taking these hurts to God in prayer. Most parents love their children and do the best they know how to do. But sometimes and in some circumstances there is no rationale or understanding of what is best for a child. This is when hurt enters in this relationship.
                But God calls us to know that his love is everlasting and that we are not alone in any situation. We just need to face the hurts, express these hurts to God and we will be heard in a new way.
                God is our heavenly Father our creative Mother and wants the best for us, how might you tell God your hurts of the past, and your hurting today?
Question for Reflection:
Consider your own childhood. How did your parents share and show their love?
If you have children, how do you show your love? Do they know this is love in action?
Prayer: God help us to remember that parents are not perfect and that they like other people do hurt unintentionally. Remind me that as I seek truth about your love for me, that you would enable me to love others as you do- unconditionally. Hear my prayer. O God. Amen.
Resource:  Dr. Sandra D Wilson, Hurt People Hurt People, Discovery House Publishers, 2001. Ch.3

Hurting, Healing and Hope

Hurting, Healing and Hope
Wednesday, February 14, 2018


                Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent and is a
reminder of who we are –dust and to dust we shall return. In this time we are invited to look inwardly and take this time for self-evaluation. It is also a time to focus on one’s faith journey with God and to begin a reflective journey with Jesus in the desert. It is also a time to renew faith as you remember Jesus’ Passion. And to look within to see the hurts of the past caused by others, and to see the hurt around which you have caused others to be.
                As we look at ourselves we might ask, how have we been hurt by others? How do we hurt others? And where is God in all this hurt for He does understand hurt and pain.
                “Scripture declares that the primary wound affecting all of us is spiritual and is self-inflicted. We have all fallen to sin as humans under physical, mental and spiritual aspects. Physically we can be hurt by machine, microbes and other sources. Mentally, we might see our sin in the flaws of human reasoning. Spiritually we have turned away from God and often this leads to being hurt again and again.
                Often when people are hurting they use anger to disguise and deflect their guilt and grief. Anger provides an illusion of personal power that may temporarily block feelings of confusion and helplessness that commonly result from painful personal crises. But just because we understand a behaviour it does not make it acceptable. There is something better and it is wisdom.
Proverbs 14:8   The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to they ways, but the folly of fools is deception.
Deception flows in two directions inward and outward—convincing ourselves and other that we are strong and invincible instead of weak, wounded and easily hurt.
 Psalm 139:23-24   Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in the way everlasting.
The psalmist asks God to search his heart to see if there is any hurtful/ wicked/ offensive way within. (different translations for ‘hurt’) yet all three describe a manner of life that is potentially harmful to self and others. How might you ask God in this?
Question for Reflection:
Have you ever been the target of hurtful words? Have you ever said such words?
What occurred after these situations? Do you thin wounding others comes as a result from being wounded and not ‘owning’ them?
In this Season of Lent—look at the wounds you have, and what you have done to hurt others.
Prayer: God please continue to teach us to value self-awareness and inner honesty as much as your Word reveals that you do. Give us the wisdom to know if today is one of those times when we each need to pay special attention to the wounds we cannot see especially in those that wound people close to us. Amen.

Resource:  Dr. Sandra D Wilson, Hurt People Hurt People, Discovery House Publishers, 2001.         

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Hurting, Healing and Hope

Hurting, Healing and Hope
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

                As we prepare to enter Lent 2018 our focus is on Dr. Sandra
Wilson’s book, “Hurt People Hurt People” which calls us to look at how we are hurt and hurt others even though we proclaim Jesus as Saviour. Christians are often told to have more faith and all will be well.  But no matter the hurt experienced, people are hurt again and again. Yet where do intelligent adults get the idea that any human being ought to be able to take everything without feeling anything? This is not good—but called binding shame. This means that one’s identity is bound by shame, that is one will think that they are worth less than other people. But why do we think we should be perfect? Because others have said this and in doing so, continue to hurt us. Then we are filled with shame.  Shame is the soul-deep belief that something is horribly wrong with me that is not wrong with anyone else in the entire world. Yet we have faith in God and having this faith enables us to try again.
                God looks at the heart of his children and sees us for our real selves even when we don’t even see ourselves for real. God focuses on our unseen, inner lives (hearts) but do we? Often we do not even though we are called to examine ourselves before sharing in the Lord’s Supper. What would you find if you looked inwardly at the condition of your heart with truth? Would you then turn to Jesus in faith and seek forgiveness?
                During Lent we are called to look within ourselves, at our hearts and see what God sees- hurt, pain, or prolonged sins hidden from the past. Yet God is calling us out of the dark caves of our denial of pain and hurt in order that we might risk truth’s light. But are we willing to do this? If we hide from painful truths, we deprive ourselves of discovering that Jesus, the Great Physician is able to heal our unseen wounds.
Question for Reflection:
God cares a lot about our inner selves and our hidden wounds. God calls us to self-awareness so that we can get away from identifying ourselves as hurt people. How do these verses help you do this?
Proverbs 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
Mark 7:21  For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man “unclean”.
I Samuel 16:7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Psalm 51:6 Surely you desire truth in the inner parts, you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.
Prayer: God it is so scary to thinking about leaving familiar places that are filled with hurt. Help me to love truthful self-awareness more than fearful self absorption and to know the difference. Make me willing to commit to you my thoughts feelings and even the scary memories of hurt. Amen.

Resource:  Dr. Sandra D Wilson, Hurt People Hurt People, Discovery House Publishers, 2001.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

You are in me, and I am in you—May they also be in us

Living in Community
John 17:20-23- Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer
“You are in me, and I am in you—May they also be in us”
Belong, Believe, Become

                People today are looking for community- a place where
they can be themselves and yet grow in trust for others as everyone continues in everyday life challenges. This is because we are physically detached from each other. We change places of residence frequently. Most people do not know their neighbours and many experience loneliness and isolation. People of all ages are in need of each other and yet are unsure of how to do this.
                Evangelism is often associated with negative images of people asking for money and not sure for what. Yet evangelism is not this- it is a team effort of sharing faith with others. It is the intersection of friendship, relationship and “a come as you are’ learning environment where all can learn together
                We live in a post Christian society which no longer operates from an underlying assumption that Christianity is the basis for living. The ordinary citizen no longer knows or understands basic biblical concepts and stories, nor does the typical person necessarily think that Christian values have a special validity. But if we believe that Jesus calls us to be as one in unity of faith, we are to reach out and talk to others- to share our story and to hear the stories of others. This is where the intersection begins and friendship and relationship with each other results.
                What are people looking for? People are looking for others who will love them and also help others in need. This is the message of Jesus. We need only to talk with each other and make a difference.
                Jesus said, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Questions:
What do you think about the focus of churches now being: belong believe become? Do you think that this makes going to church more relevant?
When you think of evangelism what do you think of? It is really just talking about Jesus—your story being shared with another and recognizing that your story is unique to others. Does this definition help?

PRAYER
Holy God, if I may speak to another person today about your wonderful love, and they hear this message I pray that I too will grow stronger in faith. Help me to reach out to others in your name. Amen.


REFLECTIONS Jan 10,17,24, 31 based upon Jack Kuhatschek “Evangelism: Reaching Out Through Relationships.” ODB Ministries 2017