Musing from 2nd day at #AACC National Conference: A matter of refocusing perspectives

Today at the AACC National Conference was a day that broadened perspectives. The workshops attended today were more focused on facilitating change toward particular problem areas.   Skills and knowledge were built upon. Yet, there a was a theme to the day for me.  It started from the first speaker of the day and moved on to the last.  The theme of the day was reviewing perspective.  The perspectives view are about our perspective with God, others, and self.

The thoughts on my perspective with God was a reminder of standing on the rock of God’s truth.  Abiding in His word. It is His word that contains the truth that sets us free.  His word is the foundation upon which we are to act.  It is knowing and acting on His word that gives us the only true and secure base.  Anything else will falter.  No matter what each of us is going through, God and His word are always secure.  So a question for each of us, is how is our attachment to God.  Or as Dr. Tim Clinton would put it, how is our “God Attachment.”  There is not one of us that is does not need to examine our perspective toward God. How is our vision and how can we grow deeper in the limits to our perspective of God. 

As to perspectives of others, the thought in my mind is about we need to at time refocus how we perceive those in our lives both in terms of our family, our community, and those brought to our lives. There are people like myself whose vocation is to help those hurting and needing help.  The starting point is to continually evaluate my own perceptions of those who come to me for help. It is easy to develop perspectives on clients that create negative mindsets. There are particular diagnoses that bring negative reactions and actual resistance to providing sound counsel.  So there has to be a perspective that no client is hopeless and all are capable of help and change.  Now there are ways to restrict clients to assure working with a particular class the generates a sense of productive help. It does take work and changing perspectives and finding solutions to help facilitate change.  And the goal is to facilitate change, which an also be related to helping people see things in their life differently. Finding different options other than doing things they have always done. This can involve building skills and helping them make changes to their perspectives.  In essence, changing perspectives is all about helping them find their way. What is there view of what life stressors and how to get them to view broader in ways not examined.  It is broadening and focusing perspectives ultimately that help generate change, as a person is ready.

Lastly, the thoughts went to focusing on my perspectives of myself.  What are the lies I hold to?  What are the distortions of God I hold?  How is my perspective limited? What do I oppose? What do I fear? Where is my faith? Is my perspective on this world or on eternal matters?  This challenging of the perspective of self comes during an interesting time. The Jewish calender has already started a several day celebration of Sukkot, “The Feast of the Lord.”  It is a day focusing on the ultimate victory and a move from the temporary to the permanent.  Is my walking in this temporary tabernacle one that is continuing on the path set before me or is the things that draw my attention and attract me to places dark. 

So today was about building up skill in part, but it really was a day of perception checks.  Where is the focus.  Tomorrow is the last day of the conference.  The progression as a flow to it so it will be interesting to see where my thoughts go tomorrow.  Yesterday it was about reviewing foundations and ultimately going deeper. Today it is about refocusing perspectives, tomorrow has yet to play out.  Praise God for the works he is doing, not just in the life of this man, but all who are here.

The best way to end this article is a quote from Dr. Ken Nichols of www.aliveministries.net “God’s word influences my perspective.  My perspective influences how I respond. My response influences the outcome of the situation. 100% of the time.”

Musings on Seasons

Life consists of a varied series of seasons. We know the obvious seasons of spring, summer, winter, and fall that are part of the regular ebb and flow of life. Yet, the seasons of life are more than the orderly flow of time. Even the flow of the seasons is variable. The Bible even indicates that in life there are many seasons in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 (ESV):


For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Many things come, go and are part of life. Often the things we enjoy and get pleasure from last too short. The things that hurt and are painful last too long. The lengths of season are variable and impacted by our perceptions of the season. Sometimes a treasured relationship ends abruptly; conflicts last too long. In the end, our time in life is but an instance. As James 4:14 (KJV) states: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

Yet, many focus on capitalizing and focusing on pursuit the seasons of pleasure. We all like pleasure, yet when we encounter it, we do not savor it but rather often seek to engorge on the pleasure. For many, life is just moving from one momentary pleasure to the next. Yet, those seasons of pleasure fade, times of pain and sorrow always come. For many, life is about minimizing the suffering and maximizing the pleasure. There is another way. A way that looks beyond the constant shifting of seasons, there is something solid that stands up to the shifts. While seasons come and go, the Kingdom of God always stands. The rock of the Gospel is everlasting and un-shifting. It is not a momentary pleasure that last but awhile. It is the source of wholeness and completeness. For only in establishing right relationship with the Creator, which only happens not by self-effort but by, the redemption offered in the death and resurrection of Jesus. It all really comes down to where the focus of your life is. The continual pursuit of self and the temporary seasons of pleasure, or surrender to the King of Kings and accepting the gift of redemption allowing reconciliation and citizenship in the Kingdom of God.

    

Prayer requests and Answers: Our God reigns: Janie Blake Cancer free!

God is good all the time!

God is good all the time!

Well just got report back from Janie and my Dad that Janie is cancer free.  This is evidence that God is indeed in control and His purposes and will, will stand.  I believe God used the physical tools such as chemotherapy and the supernatural to heal Janie from Cancer.  This also shows that God is not yet finished with how He intends to use Janie in the lives of others.  God made Janie promises and He delivered. 

Now there may be some out there who will readily dismiss any supernatural working in this matter, but I know this not to be the case. Is there “evidence” of supernatural healing versus the tools of modern medicine, not directly. It is all a matter of perspective.  I do not believe Janie would be Cancer free without divine intervention.  The simple fact is that Janie is now cancer free and pray for God to set the path for what remains ahead for my dad and step-mom.   

In terms of ongoing prayers for members of my family here are the following concerns:

My mother, Kris Blake:  She is facing visual decay with rod dysphasia vision problem that restricts her ability to see in the dark.  Pray for God to guide her on the path.  I pray that she may see in ways that she has not seen before. That whether or not the visual decay is reversed, that she may see with clarity and be able to speak forth and share all that she sees. 

My wife: Liz Blake:  She is on the course of going through some emotional healing.  Pray for her deep heart wounds to be healed.  Pray that she makes it through her journey with a greater focus on God and greater intimacy with God as Father so that she may truely know him.  May this process draw God’s song from within, out toward others.  As the internal is healed and revealed may the changes be evident physically.

For my brother and his family: Rob, Mary, and Anant Blake:  Pray that they are given strength to endure the trials. Pray that God’s love pours out from their midst and serves as a healing balm.  May the tears of suffering sooth the recesses of pain and may the sorrow lead to joy.  May they be able to show God’s love to young Anant and may he be a vessel spreading God’s love and cheer so that all may love to God and declare that He is good. May Anant’s very presence draw people to the love and joy of the Lord.

For Nancy Kimmey:  Mary Blake’s mother who is struggling with matastesized breast cancer logged in her bones.  Pray that the love of God enfold her broken heart.  May she be given moments of clarity admist the pain and fog that she may see and taste that God is good.  May she see that God has always been faithful. Holding her heart in His hands.  He has seen her great sorrow and brokenness and His love for her is unfaded. May even the light of a child give her strength and comfort and may she find that her true rest is in Jesus.

Pray for my uncle Fred Friswold:  He recently had a relapse of testicular cancer.  He has a heart that is failing.  I pray that he receives a touch of God’s love.  In the journey ahead may he see God’s love and truth. May he see the permance of God’s salvation in contrast to  the temporary satifactions of this life.  May he draw close to God truely, and may any barriers to the Gospel of peace in his lift quickly fade and may God’s peace rule his heart.

For my mother-in-law:  Sonia Bezerra Almedia that God may see her through the minor health issues that seek to drag her down. May she always have strength to serve God and serve him with love. May His love, grace, and truth continue to flow from her. May she be an ongoing vessel sharing the bread of life and living water with those around her, wherever she goes. May her heart wounds be filled with God’s love and truth.

For my brother-in-law Lon Davisson Almeida: May God use him to draw others to the Gospel. May the church he has been called to lead Fellowship Macieo be a place of truth, grace, and peace.  May God’s love sign forth. May any barriers of the Gospel be torn down and may God’s work be accomplished. May he and his family be protected from the wiles of the enemy. Keep him and his family on the true path and may they not stray to the left or right. 

For the rest of extended family who have employment, family, and various other concerns.  May they be drawn to seek after the one true God in the midst of any storm.  If their eyes are blind to the Gospel of God’s true peace may their eyes be opened.  May God move in their lives through the storms that come and may they see God in the midst. 

Finally pray for me:  Pray for this blog, that I can communicate in a clear manner that shines the light of truth and ultimately draws others in to a sound, deep relationship with Jesus the Messiah.  May God’s will be done on the path set before me and may God’s directions be ever clear.

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Sadly the cancer returned and she did 12/29/2010. Yet, God is still worthy of praise.  What was but a moment is now eternal.  Healing in this life always temporary, God’s setting all things right is still to come.  Praise God for His answer and for How he works all things out according to His purpose and His glory.