In – Valid Me. Invalid Me.

In - Valid Me. Invalid Me.

As a person who has experienced mental illness and as someone who is seen by many as unable to provide any kind of valuable input to society, as somebody who is generally seen as more of a burden than a contributor I have often felt like a burden to others. An Invalid, no validity, or worth.

Ever since the age of about seven I was seen by child psychologists.
When the other kids found out, I was teased about it.

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Little by little

little by little

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” Mahatma Gandhi.

 ‘My life is not where I want it to be, I should be …’
‘Should’s’ have a powerful pull over the mind. We have expectations, we have dreams, others have expectations for us, and others have dreams for us.
We look over the fence at others and covet. We long for more.
A desire turns into a need then turns into a demand.
We want to be someone else, any place is better than the existence I now have.
A longing for ‘the better life’, whatever that may look like for you. We might use the phrase ‘A land flowing with milk and honey’ which is how God described the promised land to the Israelites slave bound in Egypt.
Yes, that’s what we want, take me there – milk, honey, peace, joy etc.
Once you’ve got that vision in your mind, enticing as it is, read how God told them he was going to do it.

The Lord your God will clear away these nations before you little by little; you will not be able to make a quick end of them, otherwise the wild animals would become too numerous for you. Deuteronomy 7:22

God was going to bring them into a better future, but it wasn’t going to happen quickly, it was going to be a slow change. One step forward, establish yourself, then another step forward and establish yet again.
Little steps of growing, knowing, and learning.
Changing little by little.
Is that ok for you?
Ever gone to a course and you have come away overwhelmed with information and you only retain maybe one or two things that make a difference. That’s because our mind is similar to what God said in Deuteronomy.

 

Let me rewrite the verse a little.

The Lord your God will change your mind little by little; you will not be able to make giant leaps of learning and change, because your past ‘stinky thinky’ and your old ways of handling life, need to be dealt with thoroughly or they will overwhelm the good change that is happening.

Over the next week spend some time thinking over Deuteronomy 7:22.

Write it on a little card, read it many times over the course of the day, let it work its way through your thinking, and see what thoughts, ideas, and learning emerges.

Then let me know, I would love to hear your feedback.

Barry Pearman

Image by AV4TAr Creative Commons

Allure

Allure – the quality of being powerfully and mysteriously attractive or fascinating.

It’s Autumn, and already I am looking forward to Spring.

I have to go through winter and all the wet and cold, but I know better times are coming when my senses are filled with the fragrance of spring flowers.

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Extreme Makeover to your Living House

Extreme Makeover

Over the last few weeks, I have had time to get to work on some of the home maintenance issues that have needed addressing.

The list was quite long, but slowly and steadily I have worked through them all, item by item. There will always be a list of things to address.

My life is also like this.

Changes to make, challenges to overcome, habits to be either encouraged or to be whittled away.

Wise old C.S. Lewis wrote this

Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house.

At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised.

But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense.

What on earth is He up to?

The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards.

You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. (C.S. Lewis. Mere Christianity)

Jesus loves us too much, to leave us, the way we are. (Like that? Tweet it)

He comes into the messy, rickety old shack of our lives and begins a renovation work.
First step is to have a personal recognition that our lives need a makeover.
We are a mess; we need a thorough understanding of the rot in our lives.
No covering over it.

We have foundational core beliefs in our thinking that will not hold up the palace he wants to construct. They must be addressed before any more construction is done.

The great thing about this carpenter is that he has an eye on the final product.

He knows the mansion he wants to build, he has a plan, he is slow and methodical, he is meticulous in fine craftsmanship, and he has done this work with millions of others.

He has never had a failure.
Paul put it this way.

‘I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion’ Philippians 1:6

Let the renovation work continue as he builds your dream home.

Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: Patrick Henson via Compfight cc

We Learn by What we Ask

Once upon a time, yes its one of those stories, the Ear, the Eye and the Tongue got together for a chat.

The Eye was telling the other two about how it had observed something the day before. It had watched an event intently and saw all that could be seen, even picking out the finest of details. It had made its conclusions and was singularly focused in its view.


The Eye felt it was right, even righteous, in its view.

The Ear had heard something different. It too was present when the Eye had cast its gaze on the topic in hand. The Ear had listened to all the sounds, the voices, the subtle little things being said, but it had drawn quite a different interpretation to what had gone on.


The two of them got together and compared notes. Each going through what they had heard and seen. 

The picture changed for both of them as the jigsaw puzzle of the event fell into place. 

It was quite 2 dimensional though, no depth, no real understanding.

The Tongue was champing at the bit to say something. It was often like this, and so it stepped forward, and took a quiet pose. 

‘I wonder what we would have learnt had I been allowed to speak and ask some questions. Just some simple little questions to clarify our understanding. To explore the depth of the event, and add colour rather than develop a Black and White picture about it all.’

They both fell silent and realised that it was true that “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” (Oscar Wilde).

When we ask clarifying questions, that have both depth and gentle curiosity, there is an engagement of Ear, Eye and Heart.

We learn by what we ask. 

When you have felt truly listened to, how were gentle questions involved?

Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: Monkey Magic via Compfight cc

Tick on a dog

A friend and I were talking the other day about Ticks.
Not the nicest of topics but apparently in Australia they have ticks that can cause paralysis to a dog, and then eventually death.

Reflecting on this I remembered what Dr. Larry Crabb wrote.

‘What is a tick there for, to bless the dog? Or is a tick experiencing its own emptiness and looking for a nourishing host to sink its, whatever it has, into the host’s flesh and suck out of the host what would bring fullness to the tick’? Larry Crabb

I love the Australian T.V. show ‘Kath and Kim’. It’s such a funny show, but there is one line that crops up in every show. It’s when Kath says ‘Look at moiye, look at moiye, Look at moiye’.

Consciously or unconsciously we all say in various ways ‘Look at me’.

Blaise Pascal wrote

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus” 

Contrast our self centered focus of ‘It’s all about me’ to that of Father, Jesus and Spirit where there is an open flowing dance of love for each other.

Each one pouring all they have into the other and vice versa, all the time. A mischievous interplay of self giving and self receiving love. Hmm, can’t wait to be fully part of it!But back to our present reality. What do you think would be the risks and rewards of living a lifestyle like the Family? Giving ourselves freely to our family, friends, and even our enemies.

Barry Pearman
Photo Credit: azarius via Compfight cc