Category: Gaslighting

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Jesus talked about the difference between good and bad people with directness and clarity we don’t often hear repeated. He certainly never claimed we could be perfect. He died, willingly, knowing that was the depth of our need for God’s help. But at the same time, Jesus was very clear about standards of behaviour that we could follow, despite our imperfect ethics. He continually reinforced how critical it was for us to follow those standards, for the sake of others.

Deep calls to deep

Deep calls to deep

“Deep calls to deep, in the roar of your waterfalls”

I’ve written earlier about the experience of having significant disagreements with God. I’d like to suggest some of those ongoing disagreements might demonstrate we are listening to his image in us. If we are moved by compassion and concern for others, doesn’t that sound like an expression of the fruit of the Spirit?

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

How can we hear God’s voice more clearly?

How can we hear God’s voice more clearly?

How can we hear God’s voice more clearly when there is so much noise? Even though Elijah was well-practised in listening to God, he had great difficulty hearing God clearly when he was in the midst of trauma.

If even Elijah struggled to hear clearly, we can take comfort when we struggle. Perhaps that’s one of the no doubt many reasons why we have been gifted with his story. I am confident at least that while it was happening God was already conscious of our current situations. Way back then, he knew.

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Good shepherds cherish their sheep

Jesus made it abundantly clear that good shepherds cherish their sheep, while wolves are intent on doing harm. And there is a sense in which we are all called to be shepherds.
We all have a responsibility to care for the humans around us, and those responsibilities are reflected in our daily communication and interactions as well as in larger ways. Even children can learn to be increasingly kind and respectful of others.

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Today we start a series looking at Eli, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

When we read 1 and 2 Samuel, and look for what it has to say to us about abuse, we are flooded with stories and examples. This makes sense because what we now categorise broadly as abuse is a grouping of different harmful or toxic behaviours: different sins.

How can I be a friend to someone in need?

How can I be a friend to someone in need?

How can I be a friend to someone in need? The psalmist wrote:

May he give you the desire of your heart

and make all your plans succeed.

One of the most difficult challenges for a victim of abuse is to be believed. Even by their friends. Abusers play on it and often use tactics to perpetrate further abuse through other people. These third parties are colloquially known as “flying monkeys”, reminiscent of the servants of the Wicked Witch of the West. Some might be only too glad to join in on hurting someone, but many will be innocent and unaware of the way they are being used.

I wait for Yahweh, my whole being waits

I wait for Yahweh, my whole being waits

Out of the depths I cry to you, Yahweh.

It is so easy to rush through a psalm without imagining the tone of voice. Even the phrase, “tearful prayers”, might significantly miss the depth of this person’s distress.

Again, out of the many names for God, the writer of Psalm 130 has chosen the name God suggested to Moses – when Moses was struggling to accept the task of bringing hope to a group of people who had been trapped in slavery. Trapped, for generations. These were people who suffered ongoing systemic, physical, financial, reproductive, and emotional abuse. Probably more.

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