Do you always seat yourself at the back where you won't be noticed? How come you've allowed yourself to become "silenced," truly believing your blood might run cold if you had to speak publicly or in a group?
Actually this is exactly the place where the enemy wants you, in a place of marginalisation. He knows very well that God has placed within you a uniqueness that the world is lacking and needing...your uniqueness and not least your unique voice.
Our world has become a noisy one which intimidates and marginalises those who are not part of the "echo chamber" voices.
Many say they were quietened from an early age due to abusive experiences and have learned to survive rather than thrive.
That was not my experience, but even so, something about my personality allowed me to receive a spirit of intimidation in certain arenas.
As a child I almost had a precocious vocabulary, fluently reading out loud from the age of 4 books that were way beyond me. Don't know where it...
I attended a pre-wedding shower party once where the bride-to-be was asked about the one characteristic that attracted her attention to the man she was now about to marry . Without hesitation she replied that it had to be his integrity.
She had been in a position to observe him from a distance as it were and take note of the wholeness he displayed in most circumstances. That doesn't mean that a person of integrity gets it right all the time, or is indifferent to other's opinions, but generally speaking they carry a consistent and intentional completeness that integrates their actions to their values and principles.
That person is whole, that person is who he is, at least most of the time. And when we see someone like this we know and can be inspired along the path of "wholeness" with them to a true understanding of real integrity .
The Perfect One of Integrity was of course the Lion of Judah! He KNEW who He was!
In Mark 6:3 it says many were astonished...
It takes two to tango to give diversity and life.There is something about learning to actively share and cooperate with another, (or others) to produce a wider and deeper perception of a "project." New ideas and new angles will always enrich and invigorate thinking, planning and structuring.
Just recently God gently reminded me that I was to "stream ahead but to carry others with me: I was not to be a one-man-show." That was interesting, for it made me aware that I was once again, going it alone, but so needing the "dance" of others alongside if there was to be a well-rounded and successful result.
We all need the different flavours, tastes and colours of diversity! They give life to an enterprise. We need each other to broaden outlooks and gently question the "preconceived truths" or "basic philosophical biases" that we all carry at times. If unity and diversity consolidate in a positive way, we could end up mining gold, instead of coal.
It is some years...
Ninety percent of people in the world are convinced they can’t do great things so they aim for mediocre.”
Belongingness is a word apparently!
It means to become or be an accepted part of a particular society or group and we all have a deep-lying necessity to be connected to one or many people in that way. It usually incorporates an understanding of common beliefs, values and assumptions, behaviours and environment, but not necessarily all of these. Our perceptive is guided by and coloured by our place of belonging.
When my husband and I finally responded to God’s intention for our lives (to leave Norway and move to my birth country of New Zealand) neither of us really understood what this would entail. We took a long time to be obedient, and were pretty ambivalent about the entire prospect.
And here I am now, over 13 years later, suddenly becoming teary-eyed hearing the national song of Norway, and similarly reacting to a rendition of the New Zealand...
Others cannot define who you are. And your past is absolutely not your identity! Neither are your mistakes! Don't let anyone define you by a mistake you made. Of course, like the rest of us, you have made mistakes. And let's face it, I've made an uncountable number of them!
Just recently I truly believed I had gone and done it!...I mean, really. Not so much a matter of making a mistake, but believing that others would see it as that. Somehow, I felt very vulnerable. I don't really know why I suddenly became so concerned about others' reactions when it had been a well-considered, intentional, if somewhat controversial action, that I believed I was to make and which normally wouldn't affect me like that.
It turned out that my concerns were quite unnecessary and there was no direct outcome from the "event." But.. what was really interesting at the time was my inner uneasiness, and, not least, the discovering of my desire to hide! Not wanting to be seen by anyone.
You know how...
The many facets and divergent cultures we have in the world today are so interesting! As a previous Refugee Consultant in Norway, I, along with the rest of the team, became pretty accustomed to the contrasting systems and cultures of the people we met daily .
Last night I had a long conversation with a New Zealand Māori man and we began discussing the cultural aspect of the name or title (Koro) given by the elders to certain people of stature and standing in the nation.
The word Koro can mean grandfather, but in Māoridom there is another layer to that term and it points to a person of respect, one who has gained wisdom and authority over the years. This may involve sitting at the feet of the Māori teachers or elders from childhood to become finally acknowledged as one worthy of esteem and that particular title.
Cultural identity says we are included in, or belong to a certain group in society. Mr. Google says it is part of "a person's self-conception and...
Why do the accusations of the enemy remain valid, and oftentimes take our loved ones out? I seriously question this: why should someone who is totally committed, and who sincerely believes in the healing stripes of Jesus Christ, the blood and the Cross, still experience unremitting pain and illness or even premature life-threatening disease?
Often the following Bible verse is quoted during a time of grieving or suffering : "And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him (Rom.8:28 NIV)...
Of course this is true, ...but somehow... Just sometimes I wonder if this is thrown about rather insensitively ...
It has been excruciatingly painful for us to be involved in the final days of an extremely talented young musician, lover of Jesus, treasured son and amazing friend for many. A kind of helplessness took over as we saw his body literally wither and perish right in front of us.
Some time has gone by since, but I still believe that God's...
For decades now the use of finger painting and the like has been a well-known form of therapy for young traumatised war-zone children. Young boys and girls were encouraged to draw, paint, explain and talk through their experiences, putting words and pictures to their traumas in varying degrees.
Projects like that have been considered successful in Norway. In our community however, we discovered it was not quite the same working with adult groups of refugees in that way. It was a challenge to even attempt any "distraction" for our elderly Bosnian adults who had experienced torture, prison camps and more. They had fled their beloved Bosnia which was in the grip of a horrific ethnic cleansing raging throughout the previous Yugoslavian region.Their desire to learn the Norwegian language was almost non-existent, integration into the society was slow and they seemed to carry a hopelessness on their shoulders.
As time went by I decided to join together with a newly educated art therapist,...
As I have continued in my quest to know who I am, and not least Whose I am, I'm aware there are still many layers awaiting attention! Having said that though, I think I sense an acceleration along this identity path through an unlocking of creativity.
The Creative One is, I believe, always on the move. He constantly creates new galaxies way out there in the Universe, maybe just for fun. His very creativity here on earth is enough to place Him apart as the One who is absolutely incomparable, and incomprehensible.
His creation is above all things.... but even so... there is a line in Genesis (1:27 NKJV.) which reminds us:
“So God created man in His own image: in the image of God He created them: male and female He made them.”
In His image he created us and in consequence we are like diamonds reflecting different facets of Him, the Lord God Almighty! We are therefore also creative beings. None of us is without a gift of...
Fear and trust don't align too well. Likewise fear and love are the antithesis of each other. We know this, but all the same we seem to have a difficult time trying to remember it when everything goes dead wrong. Even though we might say we believe that God is a good God, who provides and protects, our trust in Him can be severely tested.
We knew we were called by Him to leave Norway and move to New Zealand. We knew also that He would provide when we lost everything: our status, friends, connections, family, but when we suddenly had nothing in the refrigerator and no imminent prospects of work or for that matter any other form of financial stability the foundations of our very lives shook precariously. It was like we resembled the natural tremors of the earthquake-prone area we had moved to in the Shaky Isles of New Zealand. There's no doubt our trust and faith at that time was questionable to put it mildly.
Unknown neighbours left a pumpkin at our doorway, money came in...