Archive for the ‘Abuse’ Category

Concerned About What Others Think?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

I think I’ve messed up a personal principle, which prompts today’s word-of-the-week…

OTHERS

Perhaps this is just for me, but I have a sense it might touch a few of you as well.

I’ve been overly concerned lately with what others think.

I value feedback and the counsel of friends. I’d never want to be the guy who doesn’t care about other people. But there’s a point at which that concern tips into worry, and I think I rolled over that line.

“What will people think?” just isn’t a helpful question—unless you want to live in fear.

Better questions:

  • Is this what I believe?
  • Will this be helpful?
  • Can someone learn from this?
  • Will this bring me closer to Jesus?

I’m sure you can think of more questions. What are your thoughts?

Let’s do what matters this week, and stop worrying about what others might think.

 

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Copyright by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Why you’re here

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

We attended a friend’s photography exhibition Friday evening.

Rebecca’s mostlyself-taught—started snapping photos, enjoyed the results, bought better equipment, discovered she has a special eye, and developed her craft. Then she had the guts to share her art with the world. You should check out some of her stuff.

Here’s the thing—building, developing, and sharing are hard. You don’t know how it’s going to turn out, whether people will like it.

It’s much easier to be a critic, to point out the flaws in someone else’s creation. Less work, less risk, less buy-in. Critics tear down and destroy.

Jesus was the artist, the Creator, that guy who made beautiful work where others saw piles of junk. And I think He wants us to be apprentices. He wants to share His secrets, form relationships, and invest in our work.

Art doesn’t have to be photography or painting or music. I worked with teachers, carpenters, and bricklayers who were all artists. I know business leaders who create and serve every day.

What is it that you’re good at, that you love, that serves others? Perhaps that’s what you were made to do. And perhaps whatever you were made to do is your art. And perhaps that’s part of why you’re here, because we need your art.

It’s Monday. What would happen this week if you had the courage to do a whole bunch of your art and share it with the world?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

What’s With All The Lines?

Monday, February 24th, 2014


Everywhere you look, someone’s drawing a line.

The line identifies us. You’re either on my side, or the wrong side.

You see the lines everywhere. I scrolled through my Facebook feed yesterday and realized I skipped a lot of items because they were about drawing lines.

I’m tired of lines.

Drawing lines is beyond discussing ideas or expressing opinions. I appreciate new information and different perspectives. Problems arise when one creates a rule that condemns and demonizes those who disagree.

Line-drawing is especially popular among Christians. We draw lots of lines around theology, liturgy, worship, and lifestyle.

Almost all of our lines are human creations. They’re unnecessary false dichotomies intended to force personal preferences on others.

I hear the objections already. “Wait a minute, Rich. Don’t you believe in truth?”

Of course I believe in truth. I also know legal experts were always trying to trap Jesus and get Him to draw lines and list the rules. And He stubbornly refused.

He did respond once when lawyers brought a woman caught in adultery. He wrote in the dust, and suggested they proceed with their planned execution—with the caveat that the sinless man among them should cast the first stone.

Instead of drawing a line, He asked that, for once, they abide by the lines they’d drawn for others. We know how that turned out.

Do I believe in truth?

Jesus said, “I am the Truth.”

He’s not a collection of ideas, a list of rules, or a bunch of lines. So I don’t believe any of that stuff.

He said, “Love.” That’s not a line, it’s a circle and an invitation to bring everyone inside.

So I’m looking for places where I draw lines. I’m doing my best to see and erase them.

I invite you to join me.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Fear of Offending Others

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

I got a lesson in fearless this week.

A Facebook friend wrote some courageous thoughts about how the world appears from her perspective. Latter she said she probably lost a few friends because she was so brutally honest and vulnerable.

I reassured her. Real friends don’t walk away because you’re honest. Anyone who deserts you in those circumstances wasn’t really a friend, right? And then I realized how easy, hollow, and empty those words sounded to me.

Why?

If I’m honest, I’m often afraid to say exactly what I think here. I soften the words, talk around the difficult issues, and avoid stating what might be controversial opinions.

I can offer all sorts of excuses. I don’t want to be divisive or become a stumbling block. Those are legitimate concerns, but they’re not the real reasons.

I’m afraid—of offending you, of what you’ll think. I’m afraid of losing you if I say the wrong thing.

I’m not proud of that. God didn’t create us to live in fear. A blog about following Jesus ought to be a place of vulnerability and trust.

But there’s my friend’s harsh experience. And if you don’t believe Christians will attack someone for putting a controversial idea out there, take a look at some of the comments on this post by Don Miller.

I say good for Don and good for my friend. I admire that kind of fearless. I believe Jesus wants us to demonstrate that kind of fearless.

I’m not there yet.

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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of: Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Awareness

Monday, January 27th, 2014

A busy weekend prompts today’s word-of-the-week…

AWARENESS

not knowOur church spent the weekend doing a number of activities designed to create awareness about the issue of human trafficking. A few thousand people left with a lot of information. Someone asked whether all that knowledge makes any difference.

I suppose you could argue that the information doesn’t do much good unless someone does something with it, but I look at it differently.

Awareness alone may not change anything, but without awareness nothing will change.

One day last week some radio sports talk guys were joking about the “partying” that accompanies Super Bowl trips. The guy humor included not-so-subtle references to “gentlemen’s clubs” and “professional women,” code for strip joints and prostitutes.

I’m sure they don’t know about the huge spike in trafficked girls fueled by the demand around the Super Bowl. They’re dads. They have daughters. I’ll bet they’d be appalled. But they can’t act on what they don’t know.

I sent them a respectful email with some information and links. I don’t know if they read every message, but if enough listeners send enough information, at least they’ll be aware.

It’s a start.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
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Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

How to Bring Sweetness and Healing to Your Home

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Proverbs 16:24: “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”

Did you grow up in a home where a parent or both parents screamed, cursed, and insulted each other?

If you did, with time you probably became a victim of their verbal and emotional abuse too.

Now you are an adult, and your home can be different. You can provide peace and love for your family. You can help your children grow up with self-confidence and self-respect.

Start with pleasant words. No matter what you need to say, say it in a gentle manner.

Set boundaries in your home about communication and lead by example. If you don’t want your children to scream, don’t scream at them or your spouse if you are married. Insist that your spouse and extended family not scream in your home either.

If you don’t want your children to curse and call each other names, don’t curse or call them or your spouse names. Insist that your spouse and relatives also refrain from doing so.

Your goal is pleasant words that are “sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
Dear God, help me speak pleasant words and apologize when I don’t. Amen.

Application:  What will you do this week to bring sweetness to the soul and healing to the bones of your family?

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Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of

Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Has This Type of Talk Broken Your Heart?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Psalm 55:21: “His speech is smooth as butter, yet war was in his heart; his words are more soothing than oil, yet they are drawn swords.”

A batterer, an angry person, an unfaithful spouse, or some selfish person may have been a part of your life or may still be part of your life.

As you look back at your childhood, your nightmare marriage or divorce, or your adult years, you can’t believe the lies you accepted as truth.

You struggle to forgive yourself for trusting a person who didn’t earn your trust. You look in horror at the damage to your children and to yourself.

You remember those months of dating when everything seemed fine. Yes, “His speech [was] smooth as butter” and “his words [were] more soothing than oil.”

However, your home became a war zone, and you felt the drawn swords of his words and actions pierce your heart.

How do you recover?

Start with the most difficult step and that is to forgive the person for your own physical, emotional, and spiritual health. In Ephesians 4:32, the Bible says, “Forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.” That forgiveness will be between you and God and doesn’t necessarily mean reconciliation.

God also said in Romans 12:19, “It is mine to avenge. I will repay.” For your own good, trust God to keep his word, and don’t try to take God’s place.

Dear God, help me forgive the person who hurt me or my family. Amen.

Application:  What will you do this week to show that you trust God to keep his word?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Uncomfortable Situation? “Stop! Look! Listen!”

Monday, November 25th, 2013

I know that when I am faced with an uncomfortable situation that my first instinct is to RUN! and run as fast as I can to get away from things.

Lately, God has been teaching me to STOP!

When I was little, before crossing a street, I was always told to “Stop! Look! Listen!”

Am I being confronted by an abusive person? Is worry tormenting me so I cannot rest? Are my emotions being triggered by an event of some sort? Are temptations growing out of control like a run away freight train?

Stop, look and listen…..

I need to stop and don’t run.

I need to look to see what is really going on and what God is doing in my life.

I need to listen to my Savior so I can get the wisdom and guidance I need.

Today, are you running away? or are you choosing to Stop, Look and Listen.

 

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~ * ~
Copyright 1992-2013 by S. O. Brennan.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
S.O. Brennan is the Director of
Christians in Recovery and the author of the
Christians in Recovery Workbook & Meeting Guide and the
Christians in Recovery Devotional Journal

Is there a distinction between who’s invited and who’s welcome?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

I was privileged to hear Bob Goff speak last Thursday, then Becky and I spent a couple of hours with him and about twenty people at breakfast the next morning. Over the next few days I’ll share some of the nuggets swirling in my brain.

Bob asked a great question at breakfast: We say everyone’s invited, but is everyone welcome?

I know exactly what he means. I’ve seen the irritated glances when I show up somewhere with a wheelchair. It’s an inconvenience. They have to move chairs, my service dog takes up extra space. I need a little extra help or some accommodation.

Of course I’m invited. But for some folks, it would be more convenient if I didn’t come.

I know how the homeless guy feels. The sign says “Y’ALL COME,” but it’s pretty clear you’re making people uncomfortable. Invited, but not really welcome.

In many places the “unwritten rules” might as well be proclaimed in flashing neon. If you don’t share particular political opinions or doctrinal conclusions, or you’re gay, or you ask the wrong questions, often there’s a pretty obvious don’t-ask-don’t-tell environment.

Maybe your kids are autistic and sometimes act out, or you have a developmental disability. Well, we’ll set up a separate program for you—even if that’s more for our convenience than anything else.

If Jesus is known for one thing, it’s that he hung out with folks who made others uncomfortable. He didn’t see them as projects. They weren’t problems to be solved or defective parts to be fixed. He welcomed them as friends.

Is there a distinction between who’s invited and who’s welcome?

Monday might be a good day to ask why.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Have You Seen Many Troubles?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Psalm 71:20: “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again.”

That verse brings comfort to know God will restore our lives again. Perhaps you have lost a job or a home because of the economy. God will restore your life again.

Maybe you’ve suffered physical or sexual abuse as a child. God will restore your life again.

Through death or divorce, you may have lost a spouse. God will restore your life again.

Stress or worry may have brought you health problems. God will restore your life again.

No matter what the trial is, God says he will restore our lives again. The second part of verse 20 says, “From the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.”

Through grief or trauma, we may have sunk into the depths of the earth emotionally.

Verse 21 says, “You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.” What a joy to read all these verses. God loves us.

Dear God, I’ve seen many bitter troubles in my life. Please help me. Amen.

Application: When will you trust God to restore your life again, increase your honor, and comfort you again?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com