Posts Tagged ‘Abuse’

The wicked prosper–the righteous have adversity

Monday, February 16th, 2015

“If you see oppression of the poor, and perversion of justice and righteousness throughout the land–do not marvel at the matter.” Ecclesiastes 5:8
In the midst of his soliloquizings and moralizings, King Solomon interjected an occasional counsel or exhortation: “Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, there was wickedness; and that in the place of righteousness, wickedness was there also.” (Ecclesiastes 3:16), and he bids his readers not to be surprised or stumbled thereat.

It was a timely word, for such passages as Job 12:6 and 21:7; Psalm 73:2-12; Jeremiah 12:1 show that the Old Testament saints were deeply exercised over the prosperity of the wicked–and the adversity of the righteous. Solomon, therefore, seeks to remove this stumbling-block and prevent their taking offence at, or murmuring against, God’s divine government.

Fallen human nature being what it is, we should not think it strange that the strong oppress the weak, or that justice should be corrupted by those in high places. Man is made to reap the bitter harvest of his apostasy from God.

Yet, however perplexed we may be over the success which so often rewards the workers of iniquity, let us be assured that nothing escapes the notice of the Most High God, that He “regards” and has wise reasons for permitting the frequent miscarriage of human justice by the magistrates and rulers of earth. There is One infinitely above to whom they must yet render an account, and from whom they will receive “a just recompense of reward.” (Hebrews 2:2)

(Arthur Pink, “No Marvels” 1952)

Is the Past Haunting You?

Monday, January 12th, 2015

When the past comes back to haunt me it can be something from years ago or from just yesterday. Usually the result is confusion in my entire being. But scripture teaches:

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace. 1 Corinthians 14:33

So I have to wonder if it is not Satan who drags some of this stuff up to confuse me, to make all of these emotions boil over and create a mess. Now, I am not saying I have to ignore these feelings and emotions. They should and must be dealt with in a godly and biblical fashion. But I cannot allow them to create confusion and a mess in my life. I have to be aware of these emotions and deal with them, not allow the pot to boil over.

I picture in my mind a big pot of oatmeal boiling away, starting to rise in the pot as it starts to boil over and finally it does boil over and what a mess it makes!!!!!!

I have to see the pot…. realize that it is starting to boil over… and then realize it is too much heat creating the problem… take to pot off of the fire. How to do that? Take all this boiling mess to Christ and not allow Satan to continue turning up the heat on the pot.

For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.

Remember that….

No matter what is going on in my life God can and will bring peace…..
healing…..
serenity….
and he will return the joy to my life.

But I have to turn to Him….
not the pot….
not the heat…..
not the oatmeal…..

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~ * ~
Copyright by S. O. Brennan.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
S.O. Brennan is the Director of
Christians in Recovery and Alcoholics Victorious

No Christmas Family Reunion for Me

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

“I don’t want to go to the Christmas family reunion, Ms. Ortega,” Julia told me in my counseling office. Her hands trembled as she spoke and unbuttoned her sweater.

“What makes you say that?” I asked as I looked into her blue eyes.

“My mom and dad will argue most of the day. My aunt Mary won’t speak to my aunt Dorothy, and each will act as if the other one isn’t there.”

Julia’s facial muscles tightened as she discussed the family dynamics. I waited to hear what else she might say.

“That’s only half of the story.” Julia sat in silence for a minute and stared out the window. “My sister expects everyone to do what she wants, or she will get angry, curse, and cut them out of her life. My uncle Charlie will get drunk and misbehave.”

In my experience as a counselor, I’ve heard similar stories. Perhaps you feel like Julia and don’t want to go to your Christmas family reunion either.

You can write a list of the pros and cons of attending and then decide. You can consider other ways to spend Christmas day.

If your family members want to know why you won’t attend the family reunion, tell them you want a peaceful Christmas or have other plans.

You can invite good friends and neighbors to your home for a peaceful Christmas dinner.

Psalm 34:14b: “Seek peace and pursue it.”

Dear God, I want Christmas to be peaceful not hostile. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to “seek peace and pursue it”?

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Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!Copyright by 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

Does Your Spouse Love You?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

 “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

You probably know a domestic violence victim, or you may be one yourself.

Unfortunately, domestic violence occurs in so called “Christian” homes. Batterers use “submission” as their excuse to abuse their spouses. Domestic violence can be verbal, emotional, physical, or financial.

As today’s Bible verse says, “Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.”

If a man loves his wife as his own body, he has neither reason nor excuse to punch, kick, spit on, curse, threaten, humiliate, or hurt his wife in any way.

A woman, who loves and respects her husband and herself, cannot allow her husband to be abusive. That gives him permission to sin against her and God.

In addition to sinning, the abusive spouse also breaks the law and commits a crime.

If you want a Christian home, you teach your children by your example how to love and respect each other. That way, little boys won’t grow up thinking it’s all right to batter women to get their way. Little girls won’t grow up thinking it’s all right for men to humiliate and hurt them.

Dear God, help me love and respect others and myself. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to be a role model of love and respect?

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 by 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

When You See A Bully In Action

Monday, September 8th, 2014

Last week I asked a tough question.

How we can oppose injustice while demonstrating unconditional grace and forgiveness? I even posed a specific situation and asked what you would do if you observed this event:

Suppose a guy in a wheelchair visited a public spot that, by its nature, was minimally accessible. And imagine that the guy and his companions were subjected to continual rude, insensitive comments from other patrons or staff members who objected to the perceived inconvenience caused by the presence of a wheelchair.

Here’s My Take

As the guy in the wheelchair, I’d roll away if possible. That’s not an endorsement of bullying behavior, it’s a personal choice to say I’m okay with who I am and I don’t want to risk escalating the situation.

As an observer, I’d intervene. Every time (I hope).

I might go to the person in the wheelchair (and his companions) and reassure them that the bullies are wrong. I might help them diffuse or get away from the situation.

I might locate a supervisor and seek help in dealing with the bullies.

I might talk directly to the bullies and ask them to stop their behavior. Ideally I’d have a discussion, bring them together with the person in the wheelchair, and facilitate understanding.

I might, as a last resort, call law enforcement.

I’d choose based on the apparent level of potential conflict and the perceived opportunity for discussion and reconciliation.

I would do my best not to be divisive or to shame anyone—including the bullies.

This is a difficult situation, but “difficult” isn’t an excuse for inaction. I hope I wouldn’t turn away from someone being bullied. I hope you wouldn’t, either.

A child who’s been bullied or abused becomes easy prey for a sex trafficker. Nobody else cares, so when a pimp says nice things and offers protection, she believes his lies.

An adult who’s been bullied or abused loses self-esteem. Why not give in to the perceived comfort of alcohol, drugs, pornography, or other addictive behaviors when no one believes in you?

We’re called to respond—always—with love and grace. But we’re also called to stand up for the oppressed.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6)

“Love and grace” must never be an excuse for failing to confront injustice courageously with wisdom and discernment.

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

What Would You Do?

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

What_Would_You_Do_logoQUESTION: How much grace?

ANSWER: Grace is boundless and unmerited.

QUESTION: Who do you forgive?

ANSWER: Everyone.

Yeah, I know it’s not that simple—except, it really is. Not easy, for sure, but those are the principles to which we’re called.

So now I have a real-world question for you to ponder.

How do we act out those principles in the face of injustice?

Injustice doesn’t have to be human trafficking or murder. Let’s boil it down to something we all encounter. How do we act out grace and forgiveness when we encounter someone being bullied?

When I was a kid, the standard advice was Punch a bully in the nose. Now we hear Stand Your Ground.

What Would You Do?

The following situation isn’t truly hypothetical. It’s a sanitized compilation of some actual situations I’ve faced.

Suppose a guy in a wheelchair visited a public spot that, by its nature, was minimally accessible. And imagine that the guy and his companions were subjected to continual rude, insensitive comments from other patrons or staff members who objected to the perceived inconvenience caused by the presence of a wheelchair.

As a companion, What Would You Do?

As an observer, What Would You Do?

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Dixon
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

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.

 

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
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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

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.

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

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
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Not a member of CIR yet? Join us Today!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