MOVIE: The Secret – What makes it such a powerful – or dangerous movie?

The truth it illustrates gives the movie its power. The misapplication makes it dangerous.

A few years back a movie became highly popular that spoke of a ”secret”. The assumption was that if you knew the secret, you’d be rich and have no lack of anything. “New Age” people touted the movie like a Bible. Christians (without watching the movie) declared that it was demonic and to be avoided.

After spending my entire life in church and hearing such things, but never checking things out for myself (as Christians are to do because we will stand accountable to God for what we have believed and acted upon.) I decided to see for myself.

The Shaping of a Shepherd

As a child, the young shepherd is given simple duties of caring for his Father’s sheep. 

In the small things, the child quickly learns the differences in personalities of the sheep and learns from experience which sheep to keep a wide berth on, and which ones he can approach. 

Becoming a wise shepherd takes time, cannot be rushed and is not learned from a book, but through experience.

A true ShepherdA person cannot just walk into the position of a shepherd without having lived with sheep.  Nor can the wisdom and knowledge of a shepherd be imparted to a paid employee who does not care for the sheep the way a shepherd cares.  Only a shepherd who has been trained from birth to care for the sheep will ever give his life for the sheep and care for them the way the Master cares for them.

Why People Fail at Living Their Dreams

Years ago, when I was employed as a church secretary, and before I became co-pastor, I had the brilliant idea of adding a special feature to our church directory. Mind you, I had ulterior motives because I needed to solve a recurring problem. Hardly a day went by that someone didn’t call our offices and ask if I knew of a Christian service provider for one thing or another. Everything from babysitters to car mechanics, to doctors and tutors, was needed. Surely there was someone in the church that knew how to fulfill their needs!

Oh Those Holiday Emotions!

The joy and excitement of holidays!

Laughter, joy, beautiful memories and words of love, wisdom and grace … but what if your experience is more of a season filled with complaining, bitterness, anger, frustration and hurt? 

imageThis post first appeared on 12/15/2015)
Painful events have a way of stacking on top of each other squashing out the ‘wonder-years’, and the warm fuzzy feelings along with them. Throughout the years, events and emotions are sprinkled in our lives that can bring a great deal of joy and wonder … as well as pain and sorrow. The holidays have an almost magical way of bringing every one of them to surface! The music … the smells of delicious food … blinking lights and festivities at every turn ignite feelings of warmth and love, or grief, sorrow and anger. No doubt about it – emotions are all over the place during the holiday seasons!
 
Does the thought of seeing relatives over the holidays set your teeth on edge or fill your heart full of dread? Unresolved issues, assumptions about others, and unresolved childhood memories and beliefs easily undermine many family gatherings. Have you asked yourself “Where are the magic moments of love filled with precious memories and loving words?” First of all … they aren’t magic … they are a choice to be given, and to be received.  
 
Resist the toxic “white elephant” party that is played at too many households; where the pale pachyderm sits in the center of the room, watching … glaring … waiting … and silent. 
 
Give Thanks! Emotions are a sign of life! They are also signals to pay attention to the condition of your heart and our mind.
 
To fix anything, it first has to be noticed. Your thoughts are conscious, unconscious, intentional, and automatic. Reactions to emotions become habitual and unquestioned when not noticed. So, the first step is to ask yourself a few questions when you experience an emotional flush. Here’s a few questions to get you started:
 
  1. Was it anger, shame, frustration or embarrassment that just rose up and made your face flush red?

Letter to a Young Woman About …

What Drives Us in Love and in Life

Have you ever wondered why it seems like women fall too often for the assumption that they need a man to be complete?

(No, this isn’t some feminist rant). Time and time again, I’ve seen single women who are attempting to pursue careers that yearn to be married, and then give up the very career that they were pursuing so that they can raise a family.

Yes, I realize that first paragraph is explosive, and invites all kinds of comments about feminism, sexuality, independence, etc. But for the sake of this post, I’m going to share with you an email that wrote to a young woman who asked me for a few thoughts on this matter. Her frustration over knowing what career to choose, while she wrestled with hoping that she would fall in love and get married, was conflicting with so many things in her life, that she wasn’t quite sure which choices to make, and the last thing she wanted, was to be double minded.

He Said, She Said, They Said – How to Judge Things Clearly

Every judge in the land has a heavy responsibility to hear out all parties in their court and then make a decision based upon evidence provided.

They are trained and skilled listeners who know the law of their jurisdiction and have vital skills in discernment and decision making.

Every police officer has the same challenge when gathering information from witnesses regarding a certain event. Many witnesses mean more stories to plow through.

You and I both know that the job of being the pastor or a leader within a church sounds noble, but it quickly becomes a nightmare when emotions flare and the ‘children’ bicker in the Church Family.