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daily word - broken spirit

Dale Cresap's picture

Do you have a broken spirit and a contrite heart? Do you know people who do? This is something that I find very attractive. Do you know anyone that didn’t acquire it through suffering? There is no other way to get it. The normal human reaction is to seek pleasure and avoid pain, but difficulties come to all unbidden. How do you deal with yours? The normal reaction is to run away, but before you do can you pause and reflect that this too may have a meaning and purpose? If you are open to consider it you will find it, and that makes it easier to bear.

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daily word - longing

Dale Cresap's picture

Have you ever heard of throwing the baby out with the bathwater? This is obviously a bad idea. Have you known people who rejected spirituality as a concept because they were victims of spiritual abuse or religious oppression? Unfortunately these things are real, and are not limited to one denomination or faith tradition. But spirituality is an innate characteristic of the human condition, and you don’t escape from it by walking out of a church. The impulse for transcendence still lives in every human heart. I should know, because I put it there.

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daily word - thoughts

Dale Cresap's picture

Do you identify with your thoughts? Do you think you have any being apart from them? In a world with no basis but rationalism, how can you draw any distinction between your thoughts and your essential being? Yet are all your thoughts true and a perfect expression of your best and highest self? My word tells you to take every thought captive. Have you ever felt the need for this? Yet this concept only makes sense if you can see yourself as having agency apart from your thoughts. Think about what you are thinking about, and release those thoughts that don’t work in your favor.

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daily word - curious?

Dale Cresap's picture

Are you curious? What are you curious about? People with the character trait of curiosity apply it to whatever they encounter. Do you think some things are off limits? For instance, do you think that spiritual matters are already settled, or that you must have certain credentials to pursue spiritual matters? Both of these ideas are wrong. In fact, I delight in your spiritual curiosity. I want you to pursue it. Are you prepared to pursue it anywhere it leads? Trust me to guide you. If you want to know then you can assume that I want you to know. Seek and you shall find.

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daily word - assumed authority

Dale Cresap's picture

Are you in an organization with a leadership hierarchy? You may be in several. This is typically true in the military and in the world of commerce. There are offices and titles and you know who your commanding officer or your boss is. To a larger extent than you might expect the same type of structure is in place in churches. Have you ever been in a situation in which there was no organization, but leadership was necessary? Have you seen someone with no office or designated authority step forward to take charge when the situation called for it? Perhaps you have been this person.

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daily word - somber or joyful?

Dale Cresap's picture

Do you see any connection between spirituality and humor? Do you think there is a negative correlation? In some circles there is an assumption that true spirituality is reflected in a grim and humorless demeanor. Do you know people like this? Do you consider them to be loving? Are you attracted to them or do you avoid them? There is a place for sober solemnity, but you are given more emphatic direction to rejoice.

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daily word - world view

Dale Cresap's picture

What sort of world do you see? Do you see a world fallen and in darkness, under the control of the evil one? Do you see a world of beauty and promise and potential? Somewhere in between? Have you noticed that everyone can justify their position, no matter what it is? Do you see some people working for a better world? Of the world views above, who do you see as willing to put the effort into this task? Isn’t it those with a positive outlook who work to make things better still.

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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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