Cracked 5 … October 20th, 2018


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Real Reasons the Leaves Fall

 

A. Scandal

 

B. Wilted by unappreciation

 

C. Not ashamed to show their limbs

 

D. To get grounded in the Earth

 

E.  It’s Autumn, dummy

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1 Thing You Can Do This Week (To Escape Shame)

1 Thing You Can Do This Week …

(To Escape Shame)

Shame can visit, but it must not spend the night.

Shame is welcome to come and remind us of our weaknesses and lead us to repentance as long as it packs its bags and gets the hell out of our way so we can step out and be born again.

You will never fully comprehend your potential as long as shame is hanging off of you–dragging you back to the past.

The Past Won’t Last

The past offers no nutrition for your present, and limits your prospects for the future.

The one thing you can do to escape shame is:

Talk about it and walk out of it

Anything we’re able to discuss, confess, reveal or admit loses its power to choke off our breath and life.

When we’re silent or we claim that something is too painful to speak, we cripple ourselves and paralyze all of our God-force. You’re never going to be able to walk out of something if you’re crippled.

If you are still telling the story of something that happened to you two years ago, and it brings tears to your eyes, you are in the grip of shame and it will not allow you to be successful.

Literally, the more you talk about it the less you will need to talk. And the less you need to talk, the more you can walk.

If there is shame in your life, grab one, two, three or as many people as you can tolerate, and tell them about it. Tell them until you don’t cry anymore, but instead, gain an introspection and insight that empowers you instead of diminishes you.

Then you can boldly stand and say, “It happened. But I’m happening. Therefore, this will happen.”

 


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Ask Jonathots … August 6th, 2015

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I’m worried about my best friend. We are both sixteen and have played on our school football and basketball teams for years. So this past year my bud has been changing. He’s avoiding me and other friends, too, and says that he’s not going to play next year. I really think something is wrong, but when I ask him about it he just shrugs me off. What should I do? It’s his life, but I want to intervene.

Two words: best friend.

If he considers you to be his best friend, the question you have to ask yourself is, “Why isn’t he sharing with me?”

Don’t ask the question to make yourself feel bad. Understand that if you are his best friend and he’s not sharing with you, there are only two logical reasons:

  1. What’s going on in his life is too embarrassing to share with anyone else.
  2. He doesn’t think anyone would understand–including you.

Then ask one more question.

Which one of these two possibilities can you address?

You cannot eliminate his embarrassment, but you certainly can express to him–through your actions and your own personal confessions–that you can be trusted and that he can share without fear.

When I can’t get friends to open up to me, I take them to the side and admit something personally with them. Just letting them know that I trust them and that I have problems is often the catalyst that will open their hearts to consider unburdening themselves.

As long as people view you as an unknown, they will avoid you.

You can’t take the embarrassment out of an embarrassing situation, but you can confess some of your weaknesses in private with your best friend–letting him know that there’s no shame in a struggle.

The only real darkness in life is to continue to struggle in shame.

 

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G-36: Present … August 8, 2014

 

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bloody babyShame is what stalls us into believing that matters of the heart are not fair, and therefore, we check out of life instead of trying to understand how to overcome the malady.

So it was with the Creator.

He found Himself under the illusion that being one who creates, granting life, was sufficient to motivate the created being into pursuing excellence. It didn’t happen–and when it didn’t, the Creator felt shame, which turned to anger, and with it, a season of destruction.

Realizing that His creation was much more vulnerable than He had originally intended, He decided to learn to be a Father, a provider and then a protector–one who proffered prophecy and advice–and finally, to reflect on the magnitude of Fatherhood and discover purpose.

All of these revelations initiated highs and their lows, but ended with a chasm still affixed between the Creator and the created.

After four hundred years of waiting for the global climate to offer the possibility of total earthly understanding, the Creator made a decision to become one of the created.

  • For after all, in the human realm, how can you be a good father unless you first understand what it was like to be a son or a daughter?
  • How can you have compassion if you’ve never been the object of the discipline, but only the enactor?
  • How can you comprehend the instinct to rebel if you’ve always found yourself in the hierarchy?

The Creator decided to become part of the created.

Without asking for any favor or preference, He entered into the body of a woman as the seed of the promise of a child. He was born of blood and water. For the first time, when He looked to the heavens, He did so as a mere mortal instead of the King of Glory.

He went from being a Father to placing Himself into the role of a Son. He learned firsthand what it was like to be fathered. There were four immediate surprises:

1. Life is emotional, not ethereal.

2. Fear steals love from the heart of the hopeful.

3. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

4. Guilt makes human beings bastards.

Some of the lessons were painful; other discoveries were mind-blowing and earth-shaking.

He found Himself as a created being, sitting on the top of a mountain, talking to His fellow humans one-on-one about how to do it better. 

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G-18: Fellowship or Companionship … April 4, 2014

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Adam it's not enough

It’s not enough

I don’t know how to tell you

You have given me so much

I value your love

I treasure our relationship

I feel you inside me

I am thrilled with my work

I am enthralled by my home

I adore the creatures around me

If perfect is possible, then here it is

At my fingertips

In my pulse

Yet sadly, my friend, it is not enough

I simultaneously feel a vacancy and a sense of shame over the lack

I really tried to make a go of it

I felt as if work, fellowship and purpose should be sufficient to my need

I was wrong

I do not want to lie to you

I do not want to sneak away in a corner and pretend

I yearn for companionship

What is that?

Someone to hold in my arms

To confirm my presence

Someone to share blessing and blame

Someone for me to pleasure, and in turn, draw my pleasure from

Someone who disagrees, but remains

Someone who is like me but in a different sort of way

Someone who is sometimes stronger

Sometimes weaker

Honestly, someone who isn’t you

Someone who is, well … me

I don’t want to complain

But it is not enough

 

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

Tame the Shame… November 7, 2013

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I come to you today as a reluctant writer.

I rarely have apprehension about expressing my feelings, but there are two nagging pieces of silliness that have garnered great acceptance within the American public which I feel compelled to address. As always, I would like to do so by pointing the spotlight at my own inadequacies instead of others.

One of the reasons I hate to be referred to as a “blogger” is that the reputation of such a creature is that of an attack dog rather than a contented puppy. While recently reading an article on the Internet by an individual decrying the action of “shame,” I became conscious that our society is trying to expel all introspection in deference to self-acceptance, which unfortunately, neither helps us find self nor is accepted. Let me explain:

Last night I was trying to make a point. Thinking that my intentions were being repelled by those in the room, I kicked into a gear of vehemence. I felt justified. After all, what I was saying was grounded in truth and relatively important. But my words were crude, my attack vicious and the result was an acquiescence by those who heard me–due to fear of my temperament rather than understanding of the principles.

So when I laid my head down last night to go to sleep, I felt shame.

If I followed the psychology of today, I would reject that sensation as counter-productive to my self-confidence. I would have rationalized my deeds as being correct because they brought about the proclamation of candor. But I would be wrong.

I felt shame. And instead of rejecting that shame, I tamed it–embraced it, if you will.

For I will tell you, my dear friends, there is a difference between shame and ashamed.

  • Shame is thrust upon me because of my conceited, unbowed head, which forbids any notion of lacking on my part.
  • But ashamed is when I take the time to evaluate my own actions and realize that I was “weighed in the balances and found wanting.”

If I have to become angry to relate the beauty of love and truth, I am a bastard in the human family. The end does not justify the means. Hell, the present doesn’t even justify the means.

Without allowing ourselves to be ashamed, we fail to recognize the repentance which is necessary to create the change that we insist is the goal of a progressive society.

So how do I know if I’m experiencing the brunt of shame, or if a necessary amount of “being ashamed” is graciously applied to my life? If I am ashamed:

  1. It’s my idea because I have taken truly holy time to look at my actions instead of justifying them.
  2. If I’m ashamed and it’s to my benefit, it brings about the amazing mixture of good cheer and tears.
  3. I want to do it better next time. If I’m ashamed and it is born of a spiritual instinct, my desire will be to have another opportunity to show more excellent results.
  4. And finally, if I’m ashamed, I won’t be afraid to speak it out and admit it to others–because it was MY idea, and necessary to expel from my body.

Shame is when somebody else forces conclusions on you. In that case, pop culture is right–the scenario is useless.

But ashamed is opening the door to a repentance that allows us to become a person that we don’t mind lying down with and going to sleep.

So that’s Number One–shame.

Tomorrow we will take on bullying.

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Silly Little Rhymes, Searching for a Reason … August 20, 2012

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Love is never easy

But the hate steals all you got

Faith may take some time

But doubt demands your lot

Don’t ignore the small

Or peer up at the tall

From grace you surely may fall

Follow Jesus, read Brother Paul

Don’t decide tomorrow

On what has happened today

Wait for the third one to come

For God to reveal a way

People are the only God

That we may ever see

Treat them quite divine

The results will make you free

I never have to lie

If I remove all the shame

I never have to die

If God forgives my blame

Hardly poetry. Yet … possessing motion.

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