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People are scared. 

People need love.

People want to share.

People are hurting.

There is not enough love, hope, or compassion.

You gotta find opportunities in EVERY day to share love, hope, grace, and compassion. It’s not always easy. 

Go to where people are hurting.

If I had a congregation, I would make sure one of our outreach ministries would be nights @ the emergency room. People hurt bad there and are receptive to help, hope, and love. 

Have a great weekend. Enjoy yourself. Do something fun. We have forever together.

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Please pray for the Chapmans. They are going through a very difficult season of life and need your prayer, God’s comfort, and a peace that passes any understanding. There are no words for the emotions. There is no way to even fathom the pain. Lift them up today, even if you do not know them…

When Zophar gets his turn, he does not even waste time tearing into Job. A few minutes prior, Zophar was crying and ripping his clothes for mercy to come on his friend Job, and now he has his religious feathers tweaked and just opens up on Job. After verbally undressing Job, he goes on to say that if as Christians we “live right” we can expect a life that will allow us to “…sit back, and take it easy.” That is kind of the problem. For to long we have been sitting back and taking it easy and we have not taken the time to help the wounded, the hurting, and the lost. Understand, I have made some of the biggest mistakes in my life over the course of the past 10 years. BIG ONES. Thank God for repentance, but few people stand with you when you are “dirty”. It is interesting that the friends of Job turn into the attackers of Job. Now Job really didn’t do anything wrong, but what started out as a visit out of love turned into an attack. Where is the follow up? The love of Christ on this poor guy. 

Job has had enough…”Its easy for the well-to-do to point their fingers in blame, for the well fixed to pour scorn on the strugglers.” What happened to, how an we help you Job, how can we help you recover, get better? Job is wise, he knows where the true wisdom and power reside…in God. Since he does know this, he just goes straight to God. As Job pleads his case to God, he admits that this situation will work out because how it works out is his salvation. Salvation is the win…Im glad i have embraced the win…

I have never been so captivated by the Old Testament in my life. Im breaking these blogs into conversations so I don’t post a mega-post. Today Bildad takes his first pass at Job. It is interesting to see how bitter Job is, and how upset he is at God. I have always been taught that Job stayed cool with God through the entire process. While he did not turn his back, he did question, and have problems with this process. 

Bildad continued to rail on Job that if he had sinned it was time to repent and come clean. Sin was not the issue in Job’s life. Bildad made comments like “…he’ll set everything right again, reestablish your fortunes.” showing his perception of God. “Even though you’re not much right now, you’ll end up better than ever.” Promises of he will be better but even in his down time, Job was the same guy. He was still JOB and God was using this stuff with a plan. Later, Bildad was talking about how the “godless” or sinners would be “gone” and the sooner the better so that the good people could replace them….How many times have we heard this? God did create the “bad people” and it is our job to love them, develop them, and help them become the good people, not just have God zap them out of the way.

Job responded transparently. He tells of how he can not catch is breath and that his heart piles bitterness on bitterness…yet he is still a hero in the faith. Because he continued the process. He walked it out. He did not give up. He threw himself at Gods mercy and even in his questioning held to the fact that there was a God that for some reason still needed to be involved in his life.

and the story continues…

I am reading the Wisdom Books of the old testament right now. I am SO intrigued by Job and his position. Today it struck me that Job was a man of wisdom. He was the guy everyone would come to for advice, to be encouraged, to seek wisdom. Job was wealthy and all that but beyond that, he was a thinker. Job could create strategy. Based on the abilities he had, and the fact so many people came to him to learn or have him help solve problems, you can see how Job would be a creative thinker. 

Then BAM…out of nowhere he is brought to his knees. It is interesting that of all the people who could have come to see Job, 3 of Job’s friends took the time to travel and speak to him. I am working my way through and studying their conversations. All of the men hurt for Job when they saw his condition. They became bothered by what they saw. Then Eliphaz speaks out and basically tells Job to repent for his sin and move forward with life. A lot of what Eliphaz says is amazing. “I’d throw myself on the mercy of God. After all, he’s famous fo great and unexpected acts; there’s no end to his surprises….He raises up the down and out and gives firm footing to those sinking in grief.” This is the stuff that great preaches dream of finding in the scriptures to encourage and exhort those needing help.

But Job had not sinned. Job had not brought this on himself. Eliphaz had not asked the right questions or taken the time to survey the situation. This was not a matter of right and wrong. Job’s reply indicates how far off Eliphaz was and how bad he missed the mark. Job was suffering yet still he held true to what he knew. Another interesting thing was that Job did not just sit back and except his situation. He argued with God. He screamed out. He was not afraid of a conflict. At the same time, he never turned his back on God. He was willing to wrestle but not willing to let go.

JOB: “I’m laying it all out on the table. my complaining to high heaven is bitter, but honest.” More to come….

VERY rarely do I cut and paste a blog. PLEASE go over and read my friend Ben Arments blog and subscribe. This post this morning touched me so deeply:

The Tragedies that Propel you to Greatness

By Ben Arment

Let me ask you a question. Would you rather be well-adjusted and marginally successful… or emotionally wounded and highly successful? I’ve noticed a strong correlation between successful leaders and dark pasts.Some of the most successful men and women have experienced traumatic childhoods that propel them to become high-achievers. The early loss of a mother, the neglect of a father, abandonment, abuse…Just listened to Steve Jobs describe how his single mother gave him up for adoption to another couple that she made promise would put him through college. Imagine the pain. He ended up dropping out of school and the rest is history…I’ve heard similar stories about successful pastors and church planters. What often drives them to greatness is the motivation of escaping or redeeming their dark past. Righteous or not, it stirs up a great force within them that seeks wholeness, satisfaction.more later….

Relationships are a funny thing. The rules for relationships seem to be very muddy. What some consider the code of conduct others consider rude. It is interesting how unique and difficult these roads can become for people. The easy answer is to “live above relationships” which means you isolate yourself and the ones you love from anything deep or meaningful. Rather than sharing and caring you coexist. Relationships always bread hurt and dissapointment, but the really good ones strive in those times and grow into life long treasures. If you want to enjoy the best of relationships, dig in, go deep, embrace the pain, and let yourself slip into deep levels of caring…you WILL get hurt, but you will also end up with some GREAT people who you know you can trust and share life with…in time. 

My first real job in the music business was as a temporary employee at Word Distribution. Word was going through a very rough time and needed help answering phones. My first job was answering the phone when someone had been on hold for 90 plus minutes and asking them if I could have their name and number so we could return the call. Very sexy I know. There is a ton of blogs about leadership and solutions that could come out of that adventure but we will save those for another day. During my 15 months at Word I got a chance to meet a lot of good and interesting people. When the news broke about me returning to the music business, several of these people contacted me to congratulate me and tell me they missed me. When I was a temp there was a VP named Dean who was really good at his job. I was just a temp, I had no clue he even really would ever remember me. The day the email went out Dean tracked me down and told me how excited he was that we would work on the same team now…he is our man at Provident and we will be working VERY closely together. Dean gets relationships. The little temp guy was now the director of marketing and the guy he could have easily forgotten he remembered and not only remembered but reached out to on that day. Very cool.

Relationships always come back around, that is why you should be careful how you leave them. I am struggling with this right now as we speak. I have some relationships that are driving me crazy. When you lose “things in common” with people or change teams, it becomes easy to be sidestepped, devalued, or seemingly forgotten. It is also easy to do this to people. Do your best to maintain relationships, because they always come back around. One day the people you and I have pushed aside may just become the people who can help you, promote you, make you better, or at the worst, encourage you in the next chapter of your life.  

Treat people the way you would want to be treated, even if it hurts. 

I can not believe that it is Thanksgiving already. I feel like Easter was yesterday. I am off this week, doing some things around the house to get it ready to be sold (it is on the market so if you know anyone who wants to buy a great house in Port Orange FL for a great price holla). I had a meeting about my business, (which is also for sale), and then just helped Jack around the house and played with the kids. I love days like this. This has been a rough year. I have gone through some things that I am sure are going to help shape my future, but at the same time, stuff I NEVER EVER want to deal with again or would ever wish on anyone else. I really believe that the crap we walk though in life can help us or kill us depending on how we respond. I hear a lot of people saying that 2007 sucked. While it will not go down as the best year of our lives, we can not hate the process. God uses stuff we go through to form us, to mold us, and to help us become better. I am thankful that God has stripped me this year. I am thankful that financially this has been a rough year, it has taught me so much about money. I am thankful for the fact at times I feel God is not even in the same universe as me, it makes me chase him harder. I am glad jackie and i have gone through some crap, it has brought us closer together. I am also glad that 2007 is almost over and that 2008 provides a lot of great new adventures for our lives. So this week, embrace time with your family. Eat the H out of some turkey. Love hard. Embrace the bad and let it build for your future. In life we are never promised that it will be easy, but we are promised that the season will eventually change. Here is to the lessons we have learned, will learn, and the promise of tomorrow. 

Pressure is a funny thing. It has been said, that when pressure is present, peoples TRUE character comes forth. I have experienced this over the course of the past few weeks, but that is a TOTALLY different blog for another time. How are you responding when life gets tight? Do you allow yourself to get mad, upset, distant? A friend of mine went through a very rough time a little while back. Everyone left him high and dry. I have a new empathy for him. Lonely is a hard place, it tests who is really for you. More to come on all this as the thoughts develop in my head. In closing, I will blog again later today about the book. I have left myspace like road kill on a cold morning, Facebook is my new social network. If you want to hit me up on facebook click HERE! We can be friends. TTYL.  

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