Tag: Anger

Practically James – Practically Speaking

Practically James – Practically Speaking

Encouragment
Ever say something and immediately wish you could retract it?  I can think of several times. In fact, the longer I think about it the more examples come to mind and the more I’m embarrassed. The insensitive comment. That joke which inadvertently offended. The rash promise. The harsh line that didn’t need to be said. The times of silence when words could bring healing comfort. We’ve all been there which makes our next lesson from the Letter of James all the more real and relevant. By way of reminder, we’re using James’ introduction as our outline. “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully d
What Should I Wear?

What Should I Wear?

Encouragment
I don’t stress out too much about clothes.  There’s very little fashion sense in these bones. When my daughter was in High School, she pointed out that my brown belt didn’t go with my black shoes as I was leaving for work. I shrugged my shoulders and walked out into the world anyway. What a fashion rebel I am. I think that my utter lack of fashion sense can be attributed to growing up rural. The sheep and pigs never turned up their noses if my belt and shoes didn’t match. Do they even make a belt that matches the color of farm boots? Now, I do know that clothes are a huge deal for some folks. I understand that there is appropriate attire for varying situations. You would never feed sheep in a tuxedo, besides there’s no place the hang the Leatherman multi-tool. I also know that the Bi
When Justice Seems Like a Moving Target

When Justice Seems Like a Moving Target

Encouragment
When we see a social injustice, we tend to look for a remedy. We seek answers from our political leaders and institutions, from leaders of movements and causes, from religious leaders, from the voices of the media, and perhaps from the court system.  We may try to curry favor with the powerful to induce change. Or maybe march the streets to shine a spotlight on the injustice. We demand to be heard by “the establishment,” from those folks that seem to have the power to do something. The “cause celeb” seems to change as often as the Soup of the Day at the bistro down the street. This is not to say that these causes fail to have a nugget of truth, but truth is often enveloped in angry and harmful rhetoric that does more to empower the leaders of the cause (and its opposition) than it does to
New Salt

New Salt

Encouragment
Just when you think you’ve got it covered you learn something new. For instance, I can’t tell you how many sermons and teachings I’ve heard about being the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13). I’ve even given a few myself. A few Sunday’s ago I learned something about salt that opened up a new way of thinking about how I interact with the world around me. To give credit where credit is due, my thanks goes to Kyle Benefield for bringing out this truth.   We know the verses which use salt as a metaphor. Jesus taught, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.” (Matthew 5:13, NLT)  And,  “Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it sal
The Believer’s New Clothes

The Believer’s New Clothes

Encouragment
Hans Christian Anderson once published a story called The Emperor’s New Clothes.  Most of us are well familiar with the tale. A proud king is convinced to hire a pair of weavers to make him a new suit. They claim they can weave a material that will be invisible to those unworthy of their posts or “hopelessly stupid”.  There is no such suit, of course, the weavers being con men and swindlers. Even though the suit is a hoax, no one wants to be seen as unworthy or stupid so they go along. The climax of the story is a grand parade as the King, clothed in his invisible suit, walks among his people.  Everyone goes along with the charade, after all who wants to look stupid.  That is until one little boy cries out, “But he hasn’t got anything on.” The crowd takes up the refrain, the truth can fina
More: Reconciliation and Forgiveness

More: Reconciliation and Forgiveness

Encouragment
Murder is final. Unlike other crimes there is no possibility of restitution or restoration. Recently a young man walked into a church in Charleston South Carolina. A Bible Study was in progress. He listened for some time before taking out a pistol and killing nine of the people who were there. Long before he pulled the trigger his heart was seeded with hate. Like Cain who killed Abel, he had a choice. He could have walked back out of that Bible Study. He could have seen the inherent value in each living soul. He could have found forgiveness for the sin buried in his heart. But he didn’t. And we all agree that what he did was wrong, a sin against God and man of the highest order. For those of us who love and follow Christ, Jesus declares a more stringent standard. “You have heard tha
Where Does It Hurt?

Where Does It Hurt?

Encouragment, Forgiveness
If you've spent any time around young children you've seen “the moment.” Something happens, a young child perhaps just beginning to walk or maybe a few years older and able to race around the yard, trips on a toy or falls off of a swing. There is this moment when they look to see how Mom or Dad are reacting to their tumble. It's almost like they’re asking “am I hurt or am I ok?” They can be perfectly fine but if someone reacts with concern they cry or if someone (seeing that they are not really hurt) reacts with laughter or celebration they smile and go about their business. They haven’t yet learned to interpret pain. Pain is a part of our everyday lives. It's like the red warning light on our dashboard telling us that something is wrong although we may not understand what that somethin
Angel’s Breath

Angel’s Breath

Christmas, Short Stories
Angel’s Breath Dale Heinold - Christmas 2014 “The Christmas Pageant will begin in five minutes,” a nurse announces through the PA system. My daughter, Angel, has been typecast, beautifully and rightly so, as one of the Christmas angels. “Alright, let’s see, wings?” “Check,” she replies. “Golden thing that kind of sort of looks like a robe?” “Check“ “Halo on straight?” “Check, um I think?” “What are your lines?” “Daddy, I’ve been saying them all morning,” she pleads. “Come on, one more time.” “O that’s terrible,” she moans. “Your forgot your lines? That’s ok the first one is…” “No the TV,” she says as she grabs the remote to turn up the volume. On the screen is a video of a manger scene without a Baby Jesus. The scrolling banner under the reporter proclai
I Don’t Know

I Don’t Know

Encouragment, Stuck
I don’t know what your day has been like.  What stresses arose. The rejections you faced. The anger that rose like a tsunami in your life. Or worse, the complacency and apathy of being treated as if you were invisible. I don’t know the trouble, the pain, the illness that colored every waking moment. I didn’t see the worry and anxiety that assaulted you at every turn or the bear trap of circumstance that gripped your heart. I wasn’t there when the baby cried or the check bounced or when the car wouldn’t start. I don’t know, I didn’t see, I wasn’t there as you faced these things today but I know who was. My prayer this morning was very simple - Lord, what do your people need to hear? The answer back was just as simple and straightforward  - “Tell them that I love them.” God loves you. No
Big Questions, Important Answers: Why Are You Angry?

Big Questions, Important Answers: Why Are You Angry?

Big Questions, Series
For a moment think about volcanos.  Some throw lava high into the air in a pyroclastic display that rivals the best fireworks. Others spew enormous amounts of ash, covering a vast area in a snow like a blanket that can blot out the sun. Sometimes the pressures are so great that they blow out the mountainside.  A few simply, quietly, release rivers of lava that bury anything standing in their way.  A few volcanos have lain dormant for years and violently erupted without warning.  Okay, now think about anger.  Some folks release anger through a fireworks-like display of motion and words.  Some folks want to blanket other in their anger and are not happy unless everyone around them is affected.  A few allow the pressures to destroy themselves and those close by. Many passively release a flow