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daily word - loving or controlling?

Dale Cresap's picture

Do you know people with control issues? Would you describe them as loving? Certain qualities are opposites, and you may think of love and hate, but you could as easily say love and fear or love and control issues, because love sets free. What is your image of me? Do you see me as controlling? You have a doctrinal position that portrays me as pure love. Do you also have a functional image of me as controlling? Do you see the inconsistency? Which of these images is a stronger influence on your thinking and behavioral choices? Would those be different if you knew I was not controlling?

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daily word - suffering

Dale Cresap's picture

Have you suffered? This is not an experience that people apply for, but it comes none the less. Who can avoid it in the course of a lifetime? Some people make the avoidance of suffering a primary goal and some succeed more or less. Have you known such people? What are their characteristics? Do you find them to be shallow, full of themselves, and narcissistic? What about those who face their suffering and accept the effects of it? What do you see in them? Patience, wisdom, maturity, and a broken spirit and a contrite heart?

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daily word - professed or lived?

Dale Cresap's picture

You have a profession of faith. Do you also live a life of faith? These things can and should go together. Are they the same thing? The ideals of the Christian faith are very high. Who can live up to them? And so there is grace to cover the difference between what you profess and what you live, and you know that you are not saved by your own works. You can know this and still resist the temptation to think of your faith as an abstraction. Which one do you think is real? Is there more substance in the faith your profess or the faith you live?

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daily word - seek and find

Dale Cresap's picture

Have you ever looked for something and found it? Have you ever looked for something and not found it? Most people have had both experiences. Part of the nature of the search is that while you are doing it you don’t know how it will turn out. Are there exceptions to this? Can you imagine a search with a  guaranteed successful outcome? You have my promise that if you seek you will find, so this applies to the Kingdom of God. How can I make such a strong claim? Seeking the Kingdom of God is not a search for a passive inanimate lost object. If you seek the truth, the truth will find you.

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daily word - mirrors

Dale Cresap's picture

My word refers to seeing in a glass darkly before seeing face to face. Mirrors at the time this was written were of limited quality, but now you have high quality mirrors that provide bright accurate reflections. Do you see a spiritual aspect to mirrors? They reveal you as you are, but provide no judgment or commentary. But if you are serious about growth you can use the images they provide to judge yourself. Can the same concept be extended to people? Do you know people who provide a dark reflection back to you distorted by their own biases, deficiencies, and other issues?

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daily word - solidarity

Dale Cresap's picture

Can you make a case from the Bible for solidarity within your own community? Can you make a case for solidarity with all humanity? Which do you think has stronger evidence? For you can claim the bond of common belief in your own group. Are you your brother’s keeper? Yes. Bear one another’s burdens. Love one another. In as much as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me. Love your neighbor as yourself. And who is my neighbor? The one who showed him kindness.

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daily word - future plans?

Dale Cresap's picture

Do you like to be able to plan confidently for a certain future? This is an illusion that you can live by in times of stability and affluence. You are fortunate if such times are the rule rather than the exception for you, but this has not been the case for the span of human history, and events can remind you that you can’t count on this going forward. You can mark your calendar with your intentions, but you should do so in humility, knowing that all your plans are tentative.

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daily word - doctrine and values

Dale Cresap's picture

Do you have values? Do you believe in doctrine? Do you think they are the same thing? You can think of your doctrine as elements of the faith, such as my identity and events in my life. Values are less specific. They would include a commitment to honesty and freedom of conscience, free speech and equal protection under the law for all, a respect for the life and human dignity of every person regardless of any circumstances of their condition or belief. So do you see the difference between these things?

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daily word - liminal space

Dale Cresap's picture

Have you ever been in liminal space? Do you know what it is? Certain situations in life are ripe for learning and growth. People desire these things but they don’t often seek them out because the same situations are characterized by instability, uncertainty, and discomfort. How much growth has occurred in your life during times of predictable stability and comfort? Do you intentionally seek times of instability because of their growth potential? Few people do, but they will come whether you seek them or not.

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daily word - power of attorney

Dale Cresap's picture

In the Old Testament, the priesthood was a conferred office. This is still true in some denominations today, but not in others. Within those churches, those holding the office have recognized authority and responsibilities. Outside of those churches, the accepted position is that all believers hold the priesthood. What have I given you the authority to do in my name? Heal the sick? Declare the good news of the Kingdom to the poor and the lost and the blind? An easier question is what have I denied you the power to do in my name. Nothing. I have given you a durable power of attorney.

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