Archive for May, 2018

Intercessory Prayer

Friday, May 18th, 2018

When you want to give the audience an emotion — whether in acting or in singing or in writing — you have to be on the other side of the emotion. In talking with one of you, I likened it to intercessory prayer. When you are praying for someone, beware. Do not manipulate. Do not try to control. Do not try to order the universe. You simply move through into that person and then offer whoever it is to God. But, again, you go through and out and on other side of emotion. If you are manipulative with your character — one you’re playing, one you’re writing about, or one you’re praying about — then it doesn’t work.

— Madeleine L’Engle, Madeleine L’Engle, Herself, compiled by Carole F. Chase, p. 222

[Photo: Rhein River, Germany, from Burg Rheinstein, July 1997]

The Message of Pain

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

When clients are referred to me because they’ve gotten stuck in the thorny aftermath of intimate betrayal, they are invariably preoccupied with why their partners did it to them — or worse, what they might have done to make their partners betray them. That breaks my heart. Not only does focus on the betrayer’s motivations distract from healing but speculation about a partner’s motives is utterly fruitless. We can never know why someone betrays an intimate bond.

For example, suppose you decide, as most of my clients do at some point, that your partner lied, cheated, or abused you because she was depressed, anxious, deluded, or stressed out, or because she drank too much, exercised too little, or experienced any of a multitude of possible contributing factors. The fact is, most people with those experiences do not betray their loved ones. At best, speculation about your partner’s motives may yield possible preconditions for the betrayal, but you’ll never accurately identify why your partner chose to betray you.

Rather than speculating about what might have caused your partner to inflict this pain, it is far more to your benefit to concentrate your attention on the internal message of the pain, which is to heal, repair, and improve.

— Steven Stosny, Living and Loving After Betrayal, p. 24

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]

Loving Life

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

Very few of us love life enough… Most of us allow small things to get in the way of our enjoyment of life, and we get into the habit of not seeing all the wonderful things that are in our lives. I see this bad habit start at a very early age. When I see a young child who is not getting their own way, I will sometimes see them suck in the love-of-life energy. It doesn’t normally last long with a young child, though, and within a few minutes I will see this energy burst forth again.

As an adult, if we are not used to letting this energy burst forth, it may take us a little longer to remember how to do it. The more conscious you become of loving life, the more you build up this energy, which helps you physically and mentally.

It is important to bring love of life to the work you are doing, whatever it is. You don’t have to love the job — it may be far short of what you aspire to — but when you approach it with love of life, you will be able to enjoy it, do a good job, and make the best of any opportunities it brings.

— Lorna Byrne, Love from Heaven, p. 110-111

[Photo: Keukenhof, Holland, April 17, 2004]

Finding Happiness

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Today, let go of your thoughts about what brings you happiness. It is time to resign as your own teacher. Ask Heaven to show you specifically what would make you happy and to give you the strength to enjoy it.

— Chuck Spezzano, If It Hurts, It Isn’t Love, p. 316

[Photo: Burnside Farms, Virginia, May 8, 2018]

God’s Covenant Plan

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

The point about the Messiah’s death [in Romans 3], then, is that it demonstrates in action the faithfulness of God to his covenant plan — the plan to rescue the world through Israel, to renew the whole world by giving Abraham a vast, uncountable sin-forgiven family. It was not a matter of Jesus’s persuading God to do something he might not otherwise have done. The Messiah’s death accomplishes what God himself planned to do and said he would do. Somehow, the Messiah’s faithful death constitutes the fulfillment of the Israel-shaped plan. Or, to put it another way (since Paul, like all the early Christians, had thought everyhing through again in the light of the resurrection), when God called Abraham, he had the Messiah’s cross in mind all along.

— N. T. Wright, The Day the Revolution Began, p. 320-321

[Photo: Altenbaumburg, Germany, Mother’s Day 1999]

Path to Greatness

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

We can measure the quality of our lives by the relationships of mutual inspiration we’ve cultivated. These are the relationships that allow us to trust life. They are the very foundation of joy. Without such inspiration, any love will wither. And without these relationships, we too will wither, reverting to smaller, more defensive and wounded versions of ourselves. Humans are a lot like rubber bands: we shrink to a small, comfortable size unless we’re held to greater expansion by forces outside our ourselves. Relationships of inspiration expand us to a size we could never achieve alone.

These relationships are not only the path to love; they are the path to our own greatness. Through them we can find a way past the fears and wounds that dwarf us. Popular psychology tells us that we can only love others if we love ourselves first. But the real truth is often the other way around: until we feel seen and loved in the places we’re most vulnerable (usually the places of our deepest gifts), few of us will ever be able to fully love ourselves. That’s the great boon of relationships of inspiration. We experience our loved one seeing into our very core — and valuing what he sees. In the wake of this experience comes a sense of bravery, an innate desire to share our gifts — not out of obligation but from a sense of joyful overflow. And that makes us into just the kind of person we are looking for — one who inspires others simply by being who she is.

— Ken Page, Deeper Dating, p. 90-91

[Photo: Rhein River, Germany, as seen from Burg Rheinstein, July 1997]

Forgiveness Is a Choice.

Friday, May 11th, 2018

I begin where I always begin discussions of forgiveness: with my assertion that forgiveness is a choice. Neither you nor I have to forgive anyone who has hurt us. On the other hand, we can forgive all who have done us harm. The decision is ours to make. Forgiveness does not happen by accident. We have to make a decision to forgive. We will not forgive just because we think we should. Forgiveness cannot be forced. I have no intention to demand that you forgive, but I will show you how and then the choice is yours. To help you choose, let me show you why I believe forgiveness is in your best interest. This choice exists whether or not someone asks for forgiveness. Each of us can learn to land the planes endlessly circling on our radar screen. When we choose forgiveness we release our past to heal our present.

— Dr. Fred Luskin, Forgive for Good, p. 63

[Photo: Burg Rheinstein, Germany, July 1997]

The Larger Hope from Scripture

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

A crowd of witnesses, from almost every quarter to which the gospel had reached, assure us of their belief that Christ liberated from Hades every soul, without exception. And we have heard teachings that openly assert, or, by fair inference, involve the larger hope, from both East and West, from Gaul as well as from Alexandria; from Rome; from Milan; from Arabia; from Palestine; from Antioch; from Cappadocia; from Cilicia; from Constantinople; from the distant Euphrates. And this teaching, be it noted, is strongest where the language of the New Testament was a living tongue, i.e., in the great Greek Fathers: it is strongest in the church’s greatest era, and declines as knowledge and purity decline. On the other hand, endless penalty is most strongly taught precisely in those quarters where the New Testament was less read in the original, and also in the most corrupt ages of the church.

Note carefully — the point is significant — that this universalism was essentially and first of all based on Scripture; on those promises of a “restitution of all things,” taught by “all God’s holy prophets,” repeated so often by the psalmists; and echoed clearly and distinctly in the New Testament.

— Thomas Allin, Christ Triumphant, p. 165-166

[Photo: Skerries beach, Ireland, July 2001]

Overcoming with Deeper Values

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

The Adult brain is able to overcome intimate relationship dynamics by illuminating and adjusting for blind spots in our own behavior and using our partners’ reactions to us as rear- and side-view mirrors. The Adult brain is able to recognize dynamics and bring them into the open, where they shrink in relation to deeper values of compassion, kindness, and connection.

— Steven Stosny, Empowered Love, p. 80

[Photo: South Riding, Virginia, May 9, 2018]

Verse of the Day – A Prayer for my Friends

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light.

— Colossians 1:9-12

[Photo: Burnside Farms, May 8, 2018]