Tag Archive | pain

Stable P2 

‘No pain. No Gain.’  Is simply not true!  Many times, in my personal life and pastoral ministry I have experience and seen pain, that has not led to gain.    This is in part due to the deception called event-mindedness which says that just experiencing pressure and pain will lead to gain.  It will not!

Some learnt wisdom from Arnie –

“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow. This area of pain divides the champion from someone else who is not a champion. That’s what most people lack, having the guts to go on and just say they’ll go through the pain no matter what happens.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

“The last three or four reps is what makes the muscle grow,” Boom!

It’s not just experiencing the pain that leads to gain, it is what we do within the pain, that leads to growth.  Not just physical muscle but mental, emotional and spiritual muscle.  As we push, rep-eatedly, against the weight we submit to a process and resist the cry of our emotions to quit and go back to comfort!

The word for suffering in Roms 5:3 is pressure and the writer says that pressure produces perseverance, perseverance character and character hope, which does not disappoint because it is attached to the love Father has already poured into our hearts, who we be!   On the surface, this scripture seems to support event-mindedness.  However, the best interpreter of scripture is scripture.  So, let’s bring James 1:2-4 alongside, to build the complete thought –

“consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials [pressure] of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Because you know that testing [pressure] develops perseverance!   Do we know this?  As a revelation and a principle, do we get this?  These verses are a great synopsis of what an event leads to, which is always an invitation to work a process.  So, the pressure comes [event] and we have an opportunity to develop [process word] perseverance.  We take this invite and our first event of preserving, begins the much-needed process of becoming mature and complete.

No pain. No Gain, is a deception, mostly borne out of our emotions which are  kick in when the going gets tough.

What if the Father has designed events that will trigger a much-needed process, so that our potential grows and meets the demand we are facing.  The bridge between our potential and the problem is called pressure.  What we do, rep-peatedly in this pressure is who we become!

“Because we know that…….

Perhaps, some of the pain and the pressure we are experiencing at the moment, has been purposely factored in by the Father?  Maybe, this is His version of gym time?   A divinely inspired opportunity to enter that area of pain that will develop us into champions?

All I know is this – life will bring pressure!   Jesus, who I trust the most said so –

“In this world, you will have trouble [word is pressure] but take heart!  I have overcome the world.”  Jn 16:33

There are two emphatics in this verse:  you will have and I have overcome! And there is one command: take heart which to paraphrase means locate and lock onto your courage.  Courage is acting in the face of fear.   Jesus is asking us for something in the face of fear; to be courageous and act! Not turn and run!  For those who stay and face the pressure, He promises overcoming power.  Cf Roms 8:37; Eph 6:10 & Phil 4:13

I am learning to use, and I’m enjoying, lose weights in my home gym.  But one of the vital lessons is knowing the signs when you are in that area of pain where if I push through and do two more reps, I will gain what I set out to do: develop muscle and strength.

I am not there yet – turning my bay window [stomach] into Baywatch!

But I am on the bridge called pressure and I know what to do and what lies ahead is a ‘enduring walk of faith’ and I will inherit what’s on the other side of the bridge.  See Hebs 6:12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Resources.

“Abilities available when demands are made!”

This is the core dynamic of this blog thought about resources. Merriam Webster and the Cambridge Dictionaries have these entries about resources:

a source of supply or support: an available means —usually used in plural (MW) a usefulor valuable possession or quality of a countryorganization, or person (TCD)

The masculine soul by design, has valuable resources that the Father desires are used to serve and nurture all that He deems beautiful and to use these resources in a sacrificial manner.

The source of these resources are common grace; abilities and resources the Father gave to each masculine heart and soul He created and formed and ‘Covenant Grace’ which He gave and continues to give to all returning and reunited sons!  At the common grace level, we are by nature limited but at a covenant grace level we have access to unlimited love (see Paul’s struggle to describe His love in Eph 3:18&19) and unrivalled or surpassing power (see Eph 1:19)

When demands are made on our masculine heart and soul, we are expected to step up to the plate, if the expectation behind the demand is an appropriate one.  Some expectations made of us as men from those within our world are not appropriate; in fact, they are contrary to design!

An often-heard phrase to men’s’ worlds is this – Why don’t you grow up?!

Many times, this question is legitimate because the male is acting and behaving like a boy, and at this moment in the relationship a man is needed.  However, we are never meant to grow out of our sense of wonder, exploration, adventure and this may come as a surprise, our mischievousness. Why don’t you grow up is sometimes a reaction to these moments and should be resisted!

The buzz word for all these demand making times is responsibility!   Often the definition of a word gives me the dynamic that’s being called for, and responsibility is dynamically about my/our ability to respond. The demand is looking to and calling for much-needed supply.”

“Potential is determined by the demands place about it by its creator.”  Myles Munroe

All designed and manufactured products have inbuilt capacity, max stress levels and gross ladened weights and as a product of the mind and heart of my ‘first Father,’ so do I.   Accepting this truth is the beginning of being able; to be able to respond with our grace given abilities.  The core muscle that needs to be developed, again through meditation, is a core characteristic of the Father’s heart and mind, namely that He is just!

“The justness of Father is a daily plank exercise!”

I have learnt and am daily applying, especially in those ‘demanding make moments,’ to remember His justness and that the Father is making a legitimate demand on the resources and abilities He has given me through both aspects of grace.

This is not unfair but a moment to release and realise my potential!

The other muscle to develop alongside this is discernment which is a much-needed ability because has I said earlier not all demands of us are legitimate, that is, not from Him.

Our resources and abilities as men are very much-needed today and I believe the Father desires to train and develop our masculine hearts and souls accordingly, by reminding us of all we are in Him.  All we’ve been given in Christ, and all we can do motivated by His love and through His surpassing power!

Let’s us get ready in heart and mind for new training opportunities and stay disciplined in our ‘gym time’ of daily meditation on and in His word.

 

Pennies!

oldpennies
A granddad was showing his five year old daughter his porcelain collection and she was fascinated with the colours.  The granddad got temporarily distracted and at to momentarily leave the room.  When he returned he was shocked to see and hear his granddaughter in pain and her hand stuck inside a priceless vase. He tried to pull her hand out, no joy.  He tried all manner of lubricants to see if her hand would budge.  It didn’t.   He finally realised that he’d have to smash the vase, and so, reluctantly he took a hammer and freed his granddaughter’s hand.
What he saw next amazed him.
His granddaughter’s hand had made a fist and was almost white in colour.
fist         What’s in your hand?
She opened her hand and there was an old penny, which the girl had seen at the bottom of the vase, grabbed but could not get her hand back out whilst her hand formed a fist around the penny!  pennycoin
What she clung to eventually destroyed the surrounding environment
Her clinging perspective was catastrophic to her surroundings
What she deemed as valuable had destroyed what was ‘priceless!’
“What may we be clinging to that seems valuable, which might be  destroying that which is priceless?”
The penny and the fist!
The penny could represent many things
  • a mindset
  • a tradition
  • a attitude
  • a loss
  • a grudge
  • pride, vengeance, bitterness, offence
The vase for me speaks of the core people in our world, our family & loved ones.  It is difficult to watch someone you love cling to stuff that’s just not helping them.  In fact it is detrimental to their mental, emotional and relational health.
chinese_vaseThe intensity of clinging can sometimes be seismic to all that’s around us and affect the strength and integrity of the vase, the relationships that make up our core!
This week two politicians clashed and then both clung to the need for the other to apologise first.  It took the intervention of the leader and some key information being shared before one of the politicians apologised unreservedly.  At first, the ex-mayor of London said in effect –
when he apologises for what he said about me I’ll apologise to him!
 In this moment, the politician valued his pride and his will was clenched around his choice like an iron fist.
It’s logical that we cannot receive if our hand is full and that what we need to pick up, sometimes starts with putting something down.  Now, I’m not saying this stuff is easy because it’s not but that which is priceless is being forfeited if we don’t let go of what we deem as valuable: our pride, reputation, standing etc..
Jonah found this lesson out the hard way – fish puke is not an attractant!
Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit grace that could be theirs.      Jonah 2:8
What Jonah was forfeiting was grace.  What he was clinging to is described as an idol, whose value was classified as worthless!
In today’s culture, particularly in the West, we have idle talk but not much talk about idols.
sumerian_idols
An idol is any person, possession or position, that we value and esteem above all, and from which we draw our sense of worth.
This might sound crazy but hear me out – some people draw their sense of worth and their identity and meaning from wrapping their fist around past problems, pains, losses, hurts, injustices, betrayals.   And in the same way an object tightly held in the hand will impress itself into the skin, leaving a mark, so it can be with us!   It makes its impression and until removed, leaves its mark but worthless means is as no value!  Therefore, it adds nothing of value to our lives.  No positives, no enrichments!
If these  ‘penny issues’ are clung to, they inevitably  become our hallmark: setting the standard and authentication of our identity
victim, betrayed, reject, loser, second, last, over-looked, abused, old, past it, lost it!
Victor Frankl never lost his hallmark, even when exposed to heinous and incessant evil.
Viktor_Frankl2
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Victor Frankl
A human being is a deciding being. Victor Frankl
When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. Victor Frankl
I believe that our hallmark is not drawn from what we have, possess or the positions we hold or what we do but from being made in Father’s image. His hallmark, is the standard for our worth and value and authenticates our identity.  He never changes; life and people will and do.
Father never moves the goalposts!
His unmerited love and unrivalled power are always there, regardless. 
This is grace and He desires that it makes a lasting impression on us but it can be forfeited.  
The enemy comes to rob, steal and destroy said Jesus (Jn 10:9) both the the image they bear inside and them as an image bearer!
Is it time to fling and not cling?
Time to forgive and release ourselves?
Time to come back to grace and be stamped afresh?