How To Emotionally Detach Yourself From The Person You Love

http://thoughtcatalog.com/koty-neelis/2015/01/how-to-emotionally-detach-yourself-from-the-person-you-love/

It will start one day just like any other. Something will be said, a disagreement will be had. It won’t be anything that alarming. Nothing you haven’t argued about before. Your mind will trace back to the last time you two fought about this. That gut instinct will hit you subtly. Something isn’t right.
Then it will be a lie told over breakfast. A disingenuous laugh at dinner. The realization you’ve stopped paying attention halfway through conversations. It will be forgetting to stock their favorite cereal, forgetting to ask them how their day was – weaving yourself in and out of their life just enough to keep your presence there but with enough distance they begin to feel that cool air between you.

They’ll ask you if everything’s alright. You’ve been distant. You haven’t been yourself. Is everything okay between us? You’ll pull them close and reassure them with lines you say but aren’t sure you mean. It will feel like an out of body experience almost. You can see yourself telling them you know, you’re right. I don’t feel like myself these days but it will be okay. we’re fine. everything’s fine. I love you. and you’ll feel detached, not present, like someone else is using your body to say these things.

Then you tell yourself you’re being ridiculous. You want this, you want them. You’re just going through a hard time right now. It’s a hard time of year. The weather sucks. Everything’s gray. You didn’t get your raise. You’ll put the blame on everything else, anything else but them or you. You don’t want to admit it could be one of you, the two of you together. No, because together the two of you are perfect. You can work through anything. And isn’t that what you do for the person you love – the wonderful person who looked at you one day and found something appealing about all of those flaws and experiences and human flesh that make you who you are?

Don’t you owe it to them to try again, harder, with more vigor? Maybe this time things will be different, you’ll be different. Then you’ll realize you’re just fooling yourself because things are different now. Much different. You’re no longer the same two people you were when you met. You’ve stopped feeling that fervid hunger for them when they’re absent, stopped reaching for them in your sleep.

So you’ll end it because you know it’s for the best, it’s the right thing to do. You’ll separate your things into his and her boxes and silently wonder how you’re ever going to feel whole again. You’ll convince yourself you two will stay friends while secretly knowing you’re simply lying to yourself to pass the time.

You’ll occupy yourself with friends, with junk food, with vices and bad habits and dating profiles that mean nothing. It will take one month, six months, a year before you find the strength to move on, to love again. But that’s what you have to remember – you will love again.

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Categories: Thought Provoking Tags:

How To Talk To Infertile Couples

http://www.brandonandkatie.com/2013/12/26/how-to-talk-to-infertile-couples/

Thank you Brandon and Katie for this piece. My wife and I know these two personally and are going through the exact same situation.

In 2008 Katie and I decided we wanted to have children. Five and a half years later, we still don’t have them.

We don’t speak very much about our fertility problems publicly, but it’s certainly not a topic we’re shy about. The occasions we do share in public about our month-to-month heartbreak is when we feel our story can be of help to others. Our experiences have taught us lessons, and we understand our journey isn’t entirely unique. If sharing these trials with someone else can positively impact others who are in a similar position, we choose to share.

One of the reasons we’re not more open about our problems is because most people simply don’t know how to react to them. Over the years, Katie and I have heard many things from many people who were just trying to be helpful or encouraging, but because they couldn’t actually relate to our situation, they struggled to find the right words.

There are certain things we hear from people over and over again when they find out we are having trouble getting pregnant. Though we understand that these things are said out of love, most of them are actually very difficult to take in. We wish we could call attention to the sharp pang we feel when we hear those words, but sharing them in the moment is certainly not the right time.

After giving it a lot of thought, I decided to share some advice we’ve collected over the years about how to talk to those who are struggling with infertility. We’re sharing these things not to condemn or make anyone feel bad; we simply want to educate. It is our prayer that you can use this information to gain some insight into the hearts of the childless and help you have the most positive conversations that you can with them.

#1 – Don’t say, “It’s all in God’s timing.”

This is probably the number one thing we hear from people, which makes it one of the more difficult. As Christians, we most certainly believe that everything happens according to God’s timing. However, we also believe that everything happens according to His will, and knowing that there is nothing in the Bible which promises that every couple will have children makes this piece of advice a struggle to hear.

People often like to follow up the “It’s all in God’s timing” thought with a reminder of how long Abraham and Sarah had to wait before they had Isaac. Unfortunately, for us anyway, Abraham and Sarah isn’t a pick-me-up because Abraham and Sarah were promised a child by God. Brandon and Katie were not. Our faith has walked a long and lonely road on this journey through infertility, wrestling with the fact that it is quite possibly not God’s plan for us to have children. “It’s all in God’s timing” is really just a reminder that it might not be on His schedule at all.

#2 – Don’t say, “Big things happen when I pray.”

We hear this one more often than I would have ever expected. These are the Christians who have seen God answer their prayers in amazing ways, and so they are very confident in their prayer life. Obviously, this is a good thing. However, a big part of the infertility journey is struggling with wondering why God doesn’t listen to our prayers. The I-believe-help-my-unbelief prayer of Mark 9:24 couldn’t describe it better.

Though the confidence of “Big things happen when I pray” is supposed to be an encouragement, it actually just reinforces the doubts we have deep inside. When someone says, “God answers my prayers” what we hear is, “He doesn’t answer yours.” If the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective, maybe God’s punishing me for something. Even though we know in our minds it doesn’t work this way, our hearts beg to differ. Month after month we beg God for a baby, and month after month there isn’t one.

Over the years, we’ve had people guarantee we would be pregnant within a certain time period because they were the ones praying about it. We’ve had someone take our order for a boy or a girl because that’s how attentively God listens to their prayers. We’ve had people tell us that because we’ve now prayed in a new and specific way God will answer our prayers.

Thankfully, prayer isn’t math, and the Bible is full of requests which God denied. Oddly enough, it’s understanding this idea which gives us some sort of strange comfort. If God could say no to His own son’s request to not be murdered on the cross, surely I can learn to hear no as well.

#3 – Don’t say, “It’ll happen.”

Those who choose not to take the religious route and simply share their good feelings are even more perplexing. Contrary to popular belief, making babies isn’t inevitable. It’s not like losing baby teeth or going through puberty or dying or paying taxes. Some people will add, “I’ve got a good feeling about it” which is also a very confusing line of logic. One nonreligious woman told me recently, “I’ve got a good feeling about it, and when I have a good feeling about something, big things happen.”

“It’ll happen” feels like one of the most empty forms of encouragement because the only question going through our minds is, “Says who?”

#4 – Don’t Give Unsolicited Advice or Testimonies

Everybody knows somebody who tried to get pregnant for years and years and finally made it happen after they made one simple change. At the beginning, advice like this from credible sources was appreciated. It seemed obvious that something wasn’t right, so we were willing to try anything. Speaking from our experience, however, the longer a couple has been trying to conceive the less they want to hear more advice.

This one is particularly hard for some people to understand because they think, Surely they’d want to try everything to make it happen, right? The thing is, in our hearts, we have tried everything — the teas, the diets, the supplements, the schedules, the positions…the list goes on and on. We do still seek advice, but we really try to limit our sources of information. The endless stories about what others did to finally conceive are tiring and, more often than not, discouraging.

I’d also like to include here that ever-quoted piece of advice, “It won’t happen until you stop trying.” Maybe that’s true, but the advice just isn’t helpful. And while we’re on the subject, don’t think about the color red.

#5 – Don’t Confuse The Fear Of Infertility With Infertility Itself

I remember an interesting moment that happened after Katie and I had been trying for several years. We were visiting with a newlywed couple who was feeling discouraged and wanted to talk to us because we knew how it felt to go through the troubles of infertility. When I talked with the husband, he shared with eyes full of despair how they had been trying to get pregnant for a grand total of eight months.

Just to make this clear, it’s considered perfectly normal if it takes a couple a full year to get pregnant. Questions of infertility are usually only addressed after this mile marker, and it’s not uncommon for it to naturally take longer than that anyway. If you haven’t been trying for more than a year and you haven’t been to the doctor to actually diagnose the problem, don’t get ahead of yourself. Not only are you worrying yourself unnecessarily, it’s really hard for us to talk about it with you with a straight face and without a broken heart. Most of the time we look at these couples and think, “They’ll be pregnant soon,” and most of the time they are. The couple trying for eight months got pregnant very soon after that conversation, and they’re getting ready to have their second in January.

Confusing the fear of infertility with actually being infertile reminds me of another time I was talking with a 17-year-old who was so depressed because he was sure he would never get married. He of course is married now.

Don’t be in a hurry to join the infertility club.

#6 – Don’t Try To Relate If You Already Have Kids

When a mother of a child (or several children, for that matter) tells us they can relate because they so badly want another child, we can feel those words deep in our stomachs.

I share this one cautiously because I don’t want to imply that we don’t want to hear about your struggles as well. From what we understand, the pain of infertility after you have already successfully conceived is a terribly hurtful and confusing time. As your friends, it’s not that we don’t want you to share these struggles with us, it’s just that the presentation is so important if you want us to hear you correctly. It hurts when someone tries to artificially relate in an effort to give us some comfort. It can come off quite cold, and all we hear is “Oh you can’t have kids? I know how you feel because we can’t have two.”

However, when friends are sharing their own personal struggles and are asking us for our advice or wanting to learn about what things we’ve tried, we are identifying our common ground without pretending we’re going through the same thing. We can be there for each other. I think an established relationship is a prerequisite for this kind of sharing to happen positively.

# 7 – Don’t Say, “We didn’t know how to tell you.”

It’s hard to explain to people how we can be both happy and sad at the news of someone else’s pregnancy, but it’s true. It’s seems impossible to convince our friends that it’s actually more hurtful knowing they wanted to keep the news from us rather than tell us. They’re not sure how we’ll take it, they say. We end up having to reassure them that we are truly excited, and that a baby is good news. It’s a speech we’ve given many times now.

Imagine your friend wins the lottery. You’re happy for them, but just a little sad at the same time because it didn’t happen to you. Now imagine that friend after friend after friend is winning the lottery. Are you still happy for them? Of course you are. It’s just that every win is also a reminder that you yourself haven’t won. It’s happy and sad at the same time, but you’d certainly rather know when awesome things happen to your friends than to stay in the dark.

Please don’t keep your pregnancies a secret from your infertile friends. Just know that the initial look on our face isn’t because we’re not happy for you, it’s because we’re sad for us.

#8 – Don’t Be Shocked When We Share Details

We don’t mind if you ask us about what we’re doing to try and overcome our infertility issues, but just prepare yourself for honest answers. Through this journey many areas of our private lives have been so exposed and invaded that talking about it is the easy part. We almost don’t recognize the personal questions anymore. In fact, sharing about these things is often very good for us. It can be a good release. However, we know that many people (especially men) aren’t used to talking about ovulation and body temperatures and semen samples and the unexpected emotional toll that go along with timed intercourse and pregnancy tests, and how unbelievable cold the beauty of reproduction becomes in a doctor’s office.

Not long ago I was talking with someone about our infertility and apparently shared a little bit more about our experiences than he was expecting. He apologized for bringing it all up, whereas I was glad he did. I sensed that maybe he wasn’t ready for all that information and emotion I just laid on him.

We’re not shy about our problems. If you’re curious, just ask. If we’re not in the mood to talk about it, we’ll kindly say as much. But if you ask, be ready to listen.

#9 – Do Express Your Feelings

What can people do to comfort their friends who can’t get pregnant? To borrow from some other very good advice: We don’t know want you to fix it, we just need you to listen. Express your feelings, share your sorrow. Tell us you’re praying for us. Ask questions. We’re not looking for artificial empathy, just genuine sympathy.

My favorite friends to hear from are those who have gone through similar struggles, but it’s not for the reason you might think. It’s not because they know how we feel, it’s because they know what to say. Infertile and previously infertile couples know how to talk to us. As I reflect on the list above, I realize that those who have known the heartbreak of infertility follow these guidelines instinctively. They simply know that “I’m so sorry” means so much more than “Do you want to know what finally worked for us?”

Just a few days ago I got an email from a friend who also struggled with infertility for many years, but who is now the proud of father of three wonderful children. If you want to know how to share your love with those who can’t get pregnant, read what he wrote carefully. He wrote,

I am sorry you and Katie are struggling with getting pregnant. I know what you are going through but I don’t know how you feel. I have been thinking about that saying, “I know how you feel.” People have similar struggles and successes, but we do not all react the same or feel the same. We tend to assume that everyone feels the same way we do. I can tell you to hang in there, or it will get better or, maybe this is not what God wants. Doesn’t do much good. I can tell you that we have a God who cares and a High Priest who understands (Hebrews 4:14-16).

Everything he wrote was everything I needed to hear and was nothing I didn’t.

In Closing

I want to emphasize that the things I’ve shared aren’t going to be true across the board for every couple struggling to get pregnant. However, I do believe that what I’ve laid out here are good guidelines that will truly help as you learn to develop the skill of talking with those who can’t do what God created humans to do.

I know some might be quick to come to the defense of those I’ve referred to, reminding me they only meant well and that maybe we’re over thinking all of this. As I said in the beginning and will say again here, we know people mean well. We know that everything people say comes from a desire to help and to comfort. The reason for this article, however, comes from my sincerest desire to help others know how to help better. Patting a wound and saying, “Everything’s going to be okay” might be true, but it certainly doesn’t feel good.

I pray that this information will be helpful to you as you interact with friends struggling to get pregnant. I ask that you be patient and gracious with us as we continue to navigate these emotional waters, and forgive us when we might overreact to seemingly innocent statements or are having a bad couple of days because we’ve found out that, once again, we’re not pregnant.

Thank you so much for allowing me the time to share our hearts with you today.

Jesus wants you to judge

Taken from
http://www.radicallychristian.com/ Author Wes McAdams

I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the Ten Commandments. My favorites is the one that says “Thou shalt not judge.”

Oh, that one isn’t in there, you say?

Sorry, it’s easy to forget nowadays, especially in this country where many Christians carry on as though the entire Bible could be summed up by the phrase, “it’s all good, bro.”

In actual fact, there are a lot of urgent truths and important moral lessons in the Bible. Interestingly, almost all of them have fallen out of favor in modern American society. Here are just a few verses that aren’t particularly trendy or popular nowadays:

(WARNING: Politically incorrect truths ahead)

“Whoever harms one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him if a millstone where tied around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the ocean.”

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.”

“But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, unless the marriage is unlawful, causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

“For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.” We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat.”

Strange as it may seem, enlightened, progressive Christians rarely attempt to wrestle Ephesians 5 or 2 Thessalonians 3 into a conversation. Yet, while the bulk of the Bible has ended up on our civilization’s cutting room floor, the warnings about “judging” are quoted and repeated incessantly, by Christians and non-Christians alike.

Apparently, the rest of the Book is outdated, outmoded, antiquated and fabricated, but the verses about judging — that stuff is gold, man.

Here’s a fun experiment: post something on your Facebook condemning any sin — not sinner, but sin. Maybe write a few paragraphs about why we shouldn’t kill babies, or why marriage is sacred. Write something defending truth. Write something combating popular cultural lies about morality. Write something where you call out an act — not a person — an act, and then sit back and wait for the responses. Statistically speaking, it will take only 4.7 seconds before a self identified Christian rushes in to insist that you must never speak out against any evil, ever, for any reason, lest you be guilty of “judging.”

And then the “no judging” chorus will begin:

“We’re not allowed to judge.”

“Christians shouldn’t judge.”

“Jesus said to never judge.”

“You’re not a real Christian because you are judging.”

“You’re judging so I’m going to judge you and tell you that you’re a piece of garbage because you judge so much!”

“Judger! You’re a big fat judge-face, all you do is judge all day like a judging judge McJudgePants!”

And so on.

Now, here’s the thing: they’re right — well, almost. Unfortunately, they left out an important word. It’s not that we shouldn’t judge at all — it’s that we shouldn’t judge WRONGLY. The idea that we shouldn’t judge at all is 1) absurd, 2) impossible, 3) very much at odds with every moral edict in all of Scripture. It’s also hypocritical, because telling someone not to judge is, in and of itself, a judgement. Any time you start a sentence with “you shouldn’t,” whatever comes next will constitute a judgement of some kind. Saying, “you shouldn’t judge,” is like saying, “there are no absolutes.”

Translation: you shouldn’t judge… except when judging people for judging. There are no absolutes… except the absolute that there aren’t any absolutes.

Yet, have you ever noticed that these “Don’t Judge” folks are nowhere to be found when the conversation turns to the Westboro Baptists, or domestic abusers, or the Nazis, or Republicans? I guarantee I could write a post condemning gay marriage opponents as bigots and homophobes and not a one of these pragmatists would swoop in to tell me not to “judge.”

Behind the Bible, my second favorite book is the dictionary. Let’s consult it, shall we?

Judge: To form an opinion of; decide upon; settle; to infer, think, hold as an opinion.

When you tell someone not to judge, you’re telling them to stop deciding things, to stop forming opinions, to stop thinking, and to stop inferring. Brilliant bit of philosophy, Plato. “Stop thinking and deciding!” Do you really think Jesus meant THAT when he told us not to judge? Well, I guess you can’t think about it one way or another if you’re adhering to this whole “never judge” schtick.

I know we live in a sound bite culture. Everything has to be condensed down to 14 syllables or less, and every concept must be communicated in under 12 seconds. Entire elections are decided this way. And while this strategy doesn’t work well in the democratic system, it’s an absolute catastrophic heretical disaster if you try to utilize it in the realm of theology. Yes, Jesus said “Judge not,” but you have to read the rest of that passage, and then the rest of the Book to put those two words into context. Once you’ve done that, you’ll understand that what He meant is precisely the opposite of how it is translated by modern cowards who are looking for any excuse to shrink away from the task of standing up against our culture and its many lies.

We must judge. We must exercise judgement. We must be discerning and decisive. We must expose evil and identify sin. Only we must do it righteously and truly. Judge, but judge rightly. That’s the point. We are to judge the sin, not the sinner. People seem to love the latter part of that phrase, and then selectively forget the first portion.

We can not condemn a man to hell. We can not see inside his soul. This is an important point, but it doesn’t mean we can’t speak harshly about the atrocities of a particular individual. If a guy commits adultery, I’ll call him an adulterer. That’s not an insult or an evaluation of his soul; it’s a true and accurate judgement based on the fruits he has produced. If a guy steals, he is a thief. If he murders, he is a murderer. If he commits tyrannies, he is a tyrant.

Jesus stopped a bloodthirsty mob from stoning a woman to death for adultery. Famously, he said “let he without sin cast the first stone.” This profound Biblical event has since been contorted to mean that nobody can condemn any (popular) sin, or speak out against any (popular) evil, because nobody is perfect.

Nonsense.

Jesus wasn’t telling the crowd to chill out and be cool with infidelity; he was telling them that they don’t have the authority to pass final judgement on another human being for their moral shortcomings. In the immediate sense, he was also stopping them from brutally killing a woman. This can not be construed into him strolling in with a shrug and saying, “Hey, live and let live, dudes.” In fact, after he forgave the woman’s sin, he commanded her to “sin no more.”

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. That doesn’t mean that we must be without sin before we can call a sin a sin. Just because we make a judgment does not mean we are throwing rocks at a helpless woman. Sometimes, it means we are shedding light into a terrifying darkness.

Remember, this is the same Jesus who told us to separate the wheat from the chaff and the sheep from the wolves; the Jesus who called his opponents “snakes” and “vipers”; the Jesus who made a whip and violently drove the money changers out of the temple; the Jesus who said he came to bring a sword and drive a wedge between families.

He was loving and peaceful, but He was also manly, strong, courageous, outspoken, decisive, and commanding. He wasn’t a hippy. He was, and is, a King and a Warrior. Our culture has an agenda, and the agenda has nothing to do with following Christ or His precepts. Flimsy modern weaklings have taken the “don’t judge” concept out of context — twisted it, perverted it, and used it as an excuse to sit silently while all manner of unspeakable evils happen in their midst.

They’ve tried to turn Christianity into a religion of apathy and permissiveness. I certainly make judgments about their slander of my faith. I judge it to be sacrilegious, evil, and despicable.

And I judge it rightly.

So, don’t judge? Wrong. Judge. We must judge. The Bible exists, in large part, to shape our judgement and to tell us how to judge. We must teach our kids to have good and moral judgement. We must equip them with the spiritual tools to exercise it publicly, without fear. We must show them how to be discerning, critical thinkers.

You can not raise your children without judgement; you can’t function as a civilized human being without judgement; and you certainly can’t be an obedient Christian without judgment.

I am a sinful person. If you would ever consider accepting and celebrating my sins for the sake of being “non-judgmental,” please do me a favor and stop doing me that favor. I don’t want to be made comfortable and confident in my wrongdoing.

I’d rather have you hurt my feelings as you help me get to Heaven, than protect my feelings as you usher me right along to Hell.

A Message to Christians Who Don’t “Go to Church” Anymore

12/19/2013 1 comment

Taken from
http://www.radicallychristian.com/ Author Wes McAdams

First, there are all kinds of reasons Christians don’t attend worship. One reason is, they can’t. There are Christians who, although they want nothing more than to be in worship services with their Christian family, their health prevents them from doing so. My heart goes out to these folks. This article is not for them; it is for those who choose not to be in worship.

Lazy Christian

Whether you’ve stopped attending because of your work situation, a family situation, discouragement, conflict with church members, or any other reason, the following are some things I really want you to consider:

1. You Can Help Us

Some people feel like churches are full of hypocrites. Well, I wouldn’t say we’re all hypocrites, but we’re definitely imperfect. In fact, we’re down right messed up sometimes! We are often inconsistent, insensitive, and incompetent.

But here is something you may not have considered: because we are so messed up, you can help us. You can help encourage us to be better. You can help us see the shortcomings to which we’ve become blind. You can help by not giving up on us; just as God hasn’t given up on you.

You see, if you’re a Christian, then we are all a part of the same body. If you’re not with us – helping us – then there is a vital piece of our body missing. Speaking about the church (the body of Christ), Paul wrote, “When each part is working properly, [it] makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love” (Ephesians 4:16). Did you catch that part about, “each part working properly”? If you’re not here, how can you be working properly to help the rest of us be built up?

So, the next time you think about how messed up we are, remember you can help us be better.

2. We Can Help You

It’s also a two-way street. Not only can you help us, but – believe it or not – we can help you, too. You may think, “I can live my Christian life just fine; I don’t need to be an active member of a congregation to be a ‘good Christian.’” If that’s your mentality, you need to understand you’re contradicting God.

God designed Christians to have their spiritual needs met, at least in part, through the church. You can deceive yourself into thinking you don’t need to worship with us, learn with us, serve with us, or fellowship with us, but you’re lying to yourself. You need the church as much as any body part needs the rest of the body to survive.

God’s word says, “God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you’” (1 Corinthians 12:18-21).

This is a hard statement, but you need to understand that when you say to the rest of us, “I have no need of you,” you’re calling the Lord a liar.

3. Your Salvation Depends on It

Think about it, if Jesus is the head and the church is the body (Ephesians 5:23), you cannot walk away from the body of Christ without walking away from Christ. If you want to abide in Christ, you must abide in His church (John 15:1-17). Don’t get me wrong, there’s a LOT more to Christianity than just being faithful in “church attendance” and involvement. But don’t fool yourself into thinking you can be a faithful Christian and give up being a part of the church.

Please read this entire passage and consider all the implications of it:

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:23-27, emphasis mine).

Faithful attendance and involvement are a part of your faithfulness to God.

But it’s not too late. You can come back. The rest of us will still be imperfect and we will still mess up. But I assure you, most of us are really trying. You can help us, we can help you, and our salvation depends on us loving one another, worshiping together, and learning to put one another above ourselves.

So please consider coming back and being an active part of the Lord’s church.

I love you and God loves you

Categories: Thought Provoking Tags:

Eight Principles and The 12 Steps and Their Bibical Comparisons

Eight Principles

1. Realize I’m not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.

Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor. Matthew 5:3

2. Earnestly believe that God exists, that I matter to Him, and that he has the power to help me recover.

Happy are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4

3. Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control.

Happy are the meek. Matthew 5:5

4. Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

Happy are the pure in heart. Matthew 5:8

5. Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

Happy are those whose greatest desire is to do what God requires. Matthew 5:6

6. Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me and make amends for harm I done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

Happy are the merciful. Matthew 5:7 Happy are the peacemakers. Matthew 5:9

7. Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know God and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will.

8. Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good News to others, both by my example and by my words.

Happy are those who are persecuted because they do what God requires. Matthew 5:10

The 12 Steps and Their Bibical Comparisons

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over our addictions and compulsive behavior; that our lives had become unmanageable.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.
ROMANS 7:18 NIV

Step 2: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
For it is God who is at work in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
PHILIPPIANS 2:13 NIV

Step 3: We made a decision to turn our life and our will over to the care of God.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
ROMANS 12:1 NIV

Step 4: We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the LORD.
LAMENTATIONS 3:40 NIV

Step 5: We admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
Therefore, confess your sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed.
JAMES 5:16a NIV

Step 6: We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
JAMES 4:10 NIV

Step 7: We humbly asked Him to remove all our shortcomings.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
1 JOHN 1:9 NIV

Step 8: We made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
LUKE 6:31 NIV

Step 9: We made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; and then come and offer your gift.”
MATTHEW 5:23–24 NIV

Step 10: We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
1 CORINTHIANS 10:12 NIV

Step 11: We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.
COLOSSIANS 3:16a NIV

Step 12: Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs.
Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
GALATIANS 6:1 NIV

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love”

Ben Haggerty, also known by his stage name of Macklemore, has teamed up with producer Ryan Lewis to create a new hit song titled “Same Love.” The official video that accompanies the song has garnered over 67 million views on YouTube, and the song is one of the most popular on the radio. The main point of the song is that homosexuality is the “same” kind of love as heterosexuality, and people need to quit being homophobes and embrace the homosexual lifestyle, because “God loves all his children” (a quote from the song).

At Apologetics Press, we rarely write about one song. Truth be told, there are thousands of songs out there extolling sinful lifestyles such as drunkenness, drug abuse, fornication, and physical abuse, to mention just a few. But this particular song provides an excellent outline of the standard arguments in favor of homosexuality. By analyzing the lyrics of this song, we can see what society is being told about homosexuality, and contrast that with the truth.

We Are Told Homosexuality Is A Natural Trait People Cannot Change

The primary point of the song is that homosexuality is something with which a person comes into the world. The “Hook” of the song that is repeated by singer Mary Lambert, states: “And I can’t change, even if I tried, even if I wanted to.” Haggerty (or Macklemore) says in the song that “the right-wing conserveratives think it’s a decision, and you can be cured with some treatment and religion. Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition, playing God.” This idea, that homosexuality is something that a person cannot change, is probably the most often used argument to support the lifestyle. The problem with the argument is that it is completely false. There is nothing either scientifically or psychologically that proves homosexuality to be a “natural” characteristic that a person cannot change. People can choose to become homosexuals just as sure as they can choose to stop being homosexuals. Several obvious lines of reasoning show this to be the case.

It is Not Genetic

Homesexuality is not genetic. Scientific research has shown this to be the case. There is no “gay” gene. In fact, genetically identical twins often choose different sexual lifestyles. If homosexuality were genetic, identical twins would always have been either both homosexuals or both heterosexuals (see Miller, 2004). Furthermore, if homosexuality were genetic, natural selection would have eliminated it from the human genome, since it is a lifestyle that cannot naturally lead to procreation. [NOTE: We are not endorsing evolution. Rather, natural selection as understood as a mechanism that eliminates harmful genetic traits fits the creation model perfectly.]

Homosexuals Can Change

The song repeats over and over “I can’t change,” but that simply is not what we see in the real world. In order to disprove this statement, all we would need to do is find a person who was a homosexual and changed to a heterosexual lifestyle. In truth, thousands of people have “changed” their sexual lifestyle and left homosexuality, while thousands more have changed theirs and become homosexuals. Many in the homosexual community would say that those who have changed and are no longer homosexuals were never really homosexuals. Instead, they just thought they were, or they just pretended to be. Yet, when you ask former homosexuals about their past lifestyle, they describe their feelings and behaviors in the exact same way as practicing homosexuals. Their genetic make-up did not change. So, what did change? Their mindset and their behaviors. Similarly, if you were to analyze people who were practicing heterosexuals who changed to become homosexuals, you would not find that they somehow acquired a new biological trait. They simply chose to become homosexuals.

Another obvious way to see that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle is to notice that the more a society approves of and condones homosexuality, the more people in that society choose to be homosexuals. Homosexuality is not a new idea. The ancient Greeks, and a host of other societies, regularly practiced it. When it becomes popular, more people join in. That certainly cannot be because the “gene” is spreading because homosexual “couples” cannot procreate.

What Happens When The Argument is Used To Support Other Lifestyles?

Those of us who oppose homosexuality are told that homosexuals cannot change. When we ask for solid evidence to prove this, we are not given any. Instead, we are told that, “We don’t know how it feels,” or “Many homosexuals wish they could change, and have tried, but they can’t.” We are told that if we could just experience the feelings that homosexuals have, we would then know they are authentic and unchangeable. In essence, we are told to take their word for it. The problem arises when we apply that approach to other sexual lifestyles. For instance, is it not the case that a man who is attracted to several women at once could contend that he would like to change, but he cannot, so he should be permitted to marry all of them at once? What about the man who says that he is attracted to ten year old boys? He claims that he has tried to get rid of his attraction, he has fought it, but there is no way to stop. If he finds a consenting child, should his “natural” practice be condoned by our society? Or what about the woman who is sexually attracted to horses and claims that if others “truly understood” her love for them, they would approve of her sexual encounters?

Of course, when comparisons between homosexuality, polygamy, pedophilia, or bestiality are made the homosexual community objects and demands that homosexuality is different from those other lifestyles. But the question remains, how is it different? There is the same genetic evidence for homosexuality as there is for pedophilia: none. The pedophile claims to have been born with his feelings. Many pedophiles claim to express a desire to change, but insist they cannot. In truth, homosexuality is no more or less “natural” or “unchangeable” than bestiality or pedophilia. If the homosexual insists that sexual “love” between consisting adults is different than sexual “love” between a woman and child, or a man and a dog, the pedophile or person who practices bestiality could simply respond that we are “all God’s children,” and to condemn their sexual orientation is bigotry and hate.

A 3,500 Year Old Book

In Haggerty’s song, he says the fact that “God loves all his children is somehow forgotten, but we paraphrase a book written thirty-five hundred years ago.” The implication is that somehow we have misunderstood the Bible. Supposedly, the parts about God loving his children show that any condemnation of homosexuality either must be a misunderstanding on someone’s part, or just part of an old book that should not be governing the lives and consciences of modern men and women. Haggerty’s problem here, as with other pro-homosexual resources, is that “acceptance” and “love” are not the same thing. Does God love all people? Certainly. Does he love people who steal? Yes. Does He love murderers? Yes. Does he love pedophiles? Yes. Does He love those who practice bestiality or necrophilia? Yes. Does He love homosexuals? Absolutely (read John 3:16). But does He accept those sinful lifestyles? No, He does not. In fact, He commands all those who are practicing such sins to repent or they will perish eternally (Luke 13:3; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). God loves His children, but He does not accept sinful lifestyles that humans claim they cannot change, when God knows that they can.

Furthermore, just because the Bible is a 3,500 year old book, that fact does not make it less of a legitimate moral standard than if it were written last year. God’s will for human kind was divinely instituted at the dawn of human history when He created humans and formed one man and one woman to be together in a sexual, marriage union for life. That divine plan was stated at the beginning of time, written down by Moses in about 1,500 B.C. and reiterated by Jesus Christ about 2,000 years ago (see Genesis 1:27, 2:21; Matthew 19:1-9). If there really is a God who Created the world and inspired a book, wouldn’t we expect His will to have been stated clearly for thousands of years? Macklemore’s suggestion that the antiquity of the Bible makes its message outdated cannot be defended. Would he argue that if his song somehow lasts 3,500 years, its message will be outdated due to the time that has elapsed?

Conclusion

Haggerty concludes his song by saying, “Whatever god you believe in, we come from the same one. Strip away the fear, underneath, it’s all the same love.” The fact is, however, it is not “all the same love.” God created humans, and only He knows what sexual lifestyle fits with His design. In the beginning, He created one man to be with one woman for life. Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, stressed that one man with one woman is the only acceptable relationship in which sexual activity is God-ordained and acceptable. That means that pedophilia is not the “same love” as that between one man and one woman. Bestiality is not the “same love” as between one man and one woman. Polygamy is not the “same love” as the love between one man and one woman. And homosexuality is not, and never will be, the same love as the love God designed and approved between one man and one woman.

Categories: Thought Provoking

MBTI test

http://www.preludecharacteranalysis.com/types/istj

ISTJ (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging)

ISTJ (introversion, sensing, thinking, judgment) is a four-letter code representing one of the 16 personality types found on the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator (MBTI). People with an ISTJ personality type tend to be reserved, practical and quiet. They enjoy order and organization in all areas of their lives including their home, work, family and projects. ISTJs value loyalty in themselves and others, and place an emphasis on traditions.

Some of the main characteristics of the ISTJ personality include:

– Focused on details and facts
– Realistic
– Interested in the present more than the future
– Observant, but slightly subjective
– Interested in the internal world
– Logical and practical
– Orderly and organized

Best Career Choices for ISTJs

ISTJs tend to do well in careers that require order, structure and perseverance. Jobs that involve dealing with concrete facts and figures (accounting, library science, computer programming, etc.) are all good options. Jobs that require accuracy, respect for rules and stability often appeal to those with an ISTJ personality.

By understanding your underlying personality, you’ll be better able to select a career path that appeals to your strengths. Some ideal career choices for an ISTJ include:

– Accountant
– Computer Programmer
– Dentist
– Doctor
– Librarian
– Lawyer
– Police Officer or Detective
– Military Leader

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