Tension Within: Monday Monologues, Podcast on January 20, 2020

Stephen W Hiemstra, 2018
Stephen W Hiemstra, 2018

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

This morning I will share a  prayer and reflect on the Tension Within Ourselves.

After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

To listen, click on this link.

Hear the words; Walk the steps; Experience the joy!

Tension Within: Monday Monologues, Podcast on January 20, 2020

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Corner_2020

 

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Prayer to Bridge the Gaps

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Father God,

We thank you for your willingness to break into our little worlds.

Break our obsession with ourselves—the person that we know so well, but have trouble being truthful to.

Shine your light into the darkness; drive the cloud of despair away; help us to accept your Gospel by engaging it, living it, and sharing it.

Bridge the gap between our false selves and our true selves in Christ; bridge the gap between us and others; bridge the gap between us and you.

By the power of your Holy Spirit, re-create us again as whole people.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Prayer to Bridge the Gap

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Corner_2020

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Oración de Cerrer Brechas

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Padre Dios,

Te agradecemos para tu voluntad de romper en nuestro pequeño  mundo.

Rompa nuestra obsesión con nosotros mismo—la persona quien conocemos tan bien, pero con quien encuentamos duro a estar sinceros.

Brilla tu luz en la oscuridad; aleja la nube de la desesperación; ayúdanos a aceptar tu evangelio  por entenderlo, víverlo, y compartirlo.

Cerrar la brecha entre nuestro falso yo y nuestro verdadero yo en Cristo; cerrar la brecha entre nosotros y los demás; cerrar la brecha entre nosotros y tú.

En el poder de tu Espíritu Santo, vuelve a crearnos como personas enteras.

En el precioso nombre de Jesús, Amén

Oración de Cerrer Brecha

Ver también:

Oración del Creyent

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo: http://bit.ly/Corner_2020

 

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Tension Within Ourselves

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101For I do not understand my own actions. 

For I do not do what I want, 

but I do the very thing I hate. (Rom 7:15)

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

As North Americans, we are the best fed and most pampered generation of all time; yet, our young people and senior citizens are committing suicide at historically high rates and “ordinary children today are more fearful than psychiatric patients were in the 1950s.” (Lucado 2012, 5) Why?

Isolated from Ourselves

One answer is that we have become painfully isolated from ourselves: “We live in a society in which loneliness has become one of the most painful human wounds” (Nouwen 2010, 89). Our isolation has been magnified by a loss of faith and community, leaving us vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Isolated people often ruminate about the past. In ruminating, obsessing about a personal slight, real or imaged, amplifying small insults into big ones. For psychiatric patients who are not good at distinguishing reality and illusion, constant internal repetition of even small personal slights is not only amplified, it is also remembered as a separate event. Through this process of amplification and separation, a single spanking at age 8 could by age 20 grow into a memory of daily beatings.

Rumination

Amplified in this way, rumination absorbs the time and energy normally focused on meeting daily challenges and planning for the future. By interfering with normal activities, reflection, and relationships, rumination slows normal emotional and relational development and the ruminator becomes increasingly isolated from themselves, from God, and from those around them. Why do we care? We care because everyone ruminates and technology leads us to ruminate more than other generations. The ever-present earphone with music, the television always on, the constant texting, the video game played every waking hour, and the work that we never set aside all function like rumination to keep dreary thoughts from entering our heads. Much like addicts, we are distracted every waking hour from processing normal emotions and we become anxious and annoyed when we are forced to tune into our own lives, a kind of escalation behavior in the language of psychiatrics. Rumination, stress addiction, and other obsessions have become mainstream lifestyles that leave us fearful when alone and in today’s society we are frequently alone even in the company of others. We are in tension with ourselves.

A Heavy Burden

Jesus sees our tension and offers to relieve it, saying: Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30) Self-centered rumination is a heavy burden, not a light one. Jesus models the Sabbath rest, prayer, and forgiveness that break rumination by encouraging us to look outside ourselves. In Sabbath rest we look outside ourselves to share in God’s peace, to reflect on Christ’s forgiveness, and to accept the Holy Spirit’s invitation to prayer. In prayer we commune with God where our wounds can be healed, our strength restored, and our eyes opened to our sin, brokenness, and need for forgiveness. When we sense our need for forgiveness, we also see our need to forgive. In forgiveness, we value relationships above our own personal needs which break the cycle of sin and retaliation in our relationships with others and, by emulating Jesus Christ, we draw closer to God in our faith. Faith, discipleship, and ministry require that we give up obsessing with ourselves. On our own, our obsessions are too strong and we cannot come to faith, grow in our faith, or participate in ministry. For most people, faith comes through prayer, reading scripture, and involvement in the church, all inspired by the Holy Spirit. For the original apostles, the discipling was done by Jesus himself.

Honored

In the Beatitudes, Jesus tutors the disciples and says that we will be honored in at least three ways: Honored are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Honored are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Honored are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. (Matt 5:3–5) Jesus takes the world’s threats to our identity, self-worth, and personal dignity and reframes them as promises that we will receive the kingdom of heaven, be comforted, and inherit the earth. But, Jesus ties these promises to discipleship as part of his yoke (Matt 11:28-30) and does not extended them to spectators.

REFERENCES

Lucado, Max. 2012. Fearless. Grand Rapids: Zondervan. Nouwen, Henri J.M. 2010. Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society (Orig pub 1972). New York: Image Doubleday.

Tension Within Ourselve

Also see:

Preface to a Life in Tension

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/XXXmas_2019  

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Tensión entre Nosotros Mismo

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102Porque lo que hago, no lo entiendo. 

Porque no practico lo que quiero hacer, 

sino que lo que aborrezco, eso hago. 

(Rom 7:15)

Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Como norte-americanos, somos la generación mejor alimentado y más mimada de todo tiempo; sin embargo, nuestros jóvenes y personas mayores se suicidan a tasas históricamente alto y “los hijos comunes de hoy día tienen más temor que los pacientes psiquiátricos durante los 1950s anos.”⁠1  ¿Porque?

Aisolado de Nosotros Mismo

Una respuesta es que nos hemos estado dolorosamente aisolado de nosotros mismo: “Vivimos en una sociedad en la que la soledad se ha convertido en la heridas humanas más dolorosas.”⁠2 Nuestra aisoladidad ha estado magnificado por la perdida de fe y comunidad, dejándonos vulnerables a la ansiedad y la depresión.

La gente aisolada a menudo rumia sobre el pasado. Por causa de esta rumia, obsesionarse con un leve personal, real o imágenado, amplificando pequeños insultos en grandes. Por los pacientes psiquiátricos, quienes no tienen facilidad a diferenciar realidad y ilusión, esta constante repetición, desaires personales son no solo se amplifica sino que también se recuerda como eventos separados. A través de esta proceso de amplificación y separación, una sola zurra por edad ocho podría por edad veinte  se memorar como palizas diarias.

La Rumia

Ampliado en esta manera, la rumia absorta el tiempo y la energía que normalmente seria enfocar en enfrentar los desafíos diarios y planificar para la futura. Por interferir con actividades normales de reflexión y relaciones, la rumination ralentiza el normal proceso de emocional y relacional desarrollo y el ruminator se convierte increasiamente aislado de si mismo, de Dios, y los demás cerca a él.

¿Porqué tenemos interés? Nos importa porque todo el mundo rumia y la tecnología lídenos a ruminar más que generaciones previas. Los siempre-presente auriculares con música, el televisor siempre encendida, el constante textando, el videojuego que se juga cada hora del día, y el trabajo que nunca dejamos de lado—todos funcionar como rumia a guardar que pensamientos tristes nunca de entrar nuestras cabezas. Al igual que los adictos, cada hora del día nos distraemos del procesamiento de las emociones normales y nos sentimos ansiemos y molestamos cuando nos vemos obligados a sintonizar de nuestras propias vidas, un tipo de comportamiento de escalada en la lengua de psiquiátricos. La rumination, adicción de estreso, y otras obsesiones se convierten a estilos de vida convencionales que dejarnos temerosos cuanto somos solos y en la sociedad de hoy somos solos frecuentemente incluso en compañía de otros. Estamos en tensión con nosotros mismos.

Una Carga Pesada

Jesús ve nuestra tensión y ofrece a aliviarla, diciendo:

Vengan a mí, todos los que están cansados y cargados, y yo los haré descansar. Tomen mi yugo sobre ustedes y aprendan de mí, que yo soy manso y humilde de corazón, y hallaran descanso para sus almas. Porque mi yugo es fácil y mi carga ligera. (Matt 11:28-30)

Egocéntrica rumia esta una carga pesada, no una ligera. Jesús modela el descanso sabático, oración, y perdón que rompen rumia al alentarnos nos a mirar fuera de nosotros mismo. En el descanso sabático miramos fuera de nosotros mismo para compartir la paz de Dios, a reflexionar sobre el perdón de Cristo, y a aceptar la invitación del Espíritu Santo de la oración. En la oración nos comunicamos con Dios donde nuestras heridas puedan estar sanado, nuestra fuerza restaurada, y nuestros ojos abiertado a nuestros pecados, quebrantamiento, y necesidad para perdón. Cuando sentimos nuestra necesidad para perdón, también vemos nuestra necesidad a perdonar. En el perdón, valoramos relaciones por encima de nuestra propia necesidades personal lo que rompe el ciclo de pecado y retaliación en nuestras relaciones con las demás y, al emular Jesucristo, nos acercamos a Dios en nuestra fe.

La fe, el discipulado, y el ministerio requieren que dejemos de obsesionar con nosotros mismo. Por nuestra cuenta, nuestras obsesiones son demasiado fuertes, y no podemos llegar a fe, crecer en la fe, o participar en ministerio. Para la mayoría, la fe llega por media de la oración, leer las escrituras, y la participación en la iglesia, todas inspirado por el Espíritu Santo. Para los apóstoles originales, el discipulado fue realizado por Jesús mismo.

Honrados

En las Bienaventuranzas, Jesús enseña a los discípulos y dice que seremos honorado al menos de tres maneras:

Honrados son los pobres en espíritu, pues de ellos es el reino de los cielos. Honrados son los que lloran, pues ellos serán consolados. Honrados son los humildes, pues ellos heredarán la tierra. (Matt 5:3-5)

Jesús toma las amenazas del mundo a nuestra identidad, autoestima, y dignidad personal y las reformula como promises que receiveremos el reino de los cielos, ser consolados, y heredar la tierra. Pero, Jesús vincula estas promesas al discipulado como parte de su yugo (Matt 11:28-30) y no extiendálas al espectadores. 

Notas

1 “Ordinary children today are more fearful than psychiatric patients were in the 1950s.” (Lucado 2012, 5).

2 “We live in a society in which loneliness has become one of the most painful human wounds” (Nouwen 2010, 89)

Referencias

Lucado, Max. 2012. Fearless. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Nouwen, Henri J.M. 2010. Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society (Orig pub 1972). New York: Image Doubleday.

Tensión entre Nosotros Mismo

Ver también:

Gospel as Divine Template

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo: http://bit.ly/XXXmas_2019

 

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Burns Calls Out the Unclean

Burns_review_20200108Percy Burns.[1] 2020. Glorious Freedom: How to Experience Deliverance Through the Power and Authority of Jesus. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers, Inc.

Review by Stephen W. Hiemstra

Many people recognize the work of God in their lives through their sensitivity to unexpected blessings. Spiritual warfare often works the same way, through unexpected afflictions usually timed to interfere with a spiritual breakthrough, like the little foxes that can destroy a vineyard in blossom, as King Solomon once wrote (Sol 2:15).

Introduction

In his book, Glorious Freedom, Percy Burns writes:

“I will teach you how you, too, can walk in the power and authority given you by Jesus Christ to be set free from demonic bondages and how to set others free. Glorious Freedom is for all who desire to recognize demonic strongholds in your own life or in your children’s lives, how to deal with those bondages, and how to protect yourself and your family from the strategies of our common enemy Satan.” (14)

The key word here is teach. This book assumes no prior knowledge of the subject matter and provides a fair amount of biblical background for those unacquainted. Frequently, Percy passes the pen to his wife, Sara Jo, when she offers an alternative perspective or interesting story.

Clues to Demonic Influence

While for many people spiritual warfare may appear like Solomon’s little foxes, others find themselves with ongoing demonic oppression. In introducing his chapter on recognizing demonic influence, Percy recounts the story of a man whose life and marriage was falling apart because of his own sexual sin. He knew he had a problem and had hit rock bottom. Wanting to reclaim his life, he approached Percy about deliverance ministry (33-35).

In general, Percy cites these clues to demonic oppression:

  • Extreme fearfulness
  • Consistent confusion
  • Sense of ongoing defeat
  • Sense of foreboding darkness
  • Excessive meanness
  • Overly controlling
  • Addictive personality
  • A drivenness (36)

He follows scripture in his observations and sees deliverance ministry perfectly compatible with Christian counseling, working with a mentor, and striving to improve personal discipline (35-38). Percy has occasionally worked with several psychiatrists in undertaking this ministry (27).

Background and Organization

Percy Burns is a retired Presbyterian pastor who came to deliverance ministry while serving a church next to the French Quarter in New Orleans, which he describes as the center of witchcraft in the United States at that time (29). He received his bachelor’s degree from Belhaven University and his masters of divinity at Austin Presbyterian Seminary. When I met and worked with him, he was a seminary chaplain in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Percy writes in eleven chapters:

  1. The Launching Pad
  2. Recognizing a Demonic Problem
  3. How Demons Gain Access
  4. Step-by-Step Guide to Ministering Deliverance
  5. Ministering Deliverance to Children
  6. Recognizing the Power and Authority of Jesus
  7. Personal Testimonies of Freedom
  8. Questions You May Have
  9. Called to Minister Deliverance?
  10. A Journey through the Scriptures
  11. From My Bookshelves: Insights from Trusted Sources (xi)

These chapters are preceded by a preface and Introduction, and followed by an epilogue and about section.

 Satan not Fair

The longest chapter recounts personal testimonies of people helped by deliverance. The stories represent a cross section of society, all ages and economic classes and they chronicle many different challenges. These stories have been written by those who experienced them, which is obvious from the different writing styles of the authors.

Perhaps the most striking was a story by a parent of a four-year boy, visited by a spirit that he describes as “gray man” who attempted to convince the boy to jump out a window and to dismiss his Sunday school lessons about Jesus (138-144). As a parent, this story really gripped me—we think of childhood as a time of innocence. Yet, as Percy repeatedly reminds his reader—Satan does not play fair.

Scriptural References

The second longest chapter is Percy’s review of biblical teaching about Satan, demons, and the practice of deliverance ministry. In particular, Percy draws attention to:

There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead” (Deut 18:10-11 ESV; 180)

Dabbling with the occult is a common thread running through many of the accounts that Percy cites. The prevalence of films today focused on the occult suggests one reason why the need for deliverance ministry has grown in recent years.

Assessment

Key turning points in my seminary training were often accompanied with unexpected family challenges, which led me to introduce myself to Percy and to assist him with his ministry when an occasion would arise. This book, Glorious Freedom, provides an accurate picture of deliverance ministry, as Percy practices it.[2]This work led me to appreciate the power of Christ, strengthened my prayer life, and led to healing in my own life on several occasions. Experiencing spiritual oppression? Curious? Check it out.[3]

Footnotes

[1] https://www.GloriousFreedom.org.

[2] My own experience is chronicle in a chapter on authoritative prayer in my 2019 book, Simple Faith (Centreville, VA: T2Pneuma Publishers LLC).

[3] I would like to thank Percy Burns for making a pre-release copy of Glorious Freedom available to me

Burns Calls Out the Unclea

Also see:

Cloud and Townsend Set Limits; Heal Relationships; Gain Control 

Books, Films, and Ministry

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net

Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/Corner_2020

 

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Monday Monologues Comes to Podbean.com

Stephen W Hiemstra, 2018
Stephen W Hiemstra, 2018

Monday Monologues Comes to Podbean.com

Jan 13th, 2020 by T2Pneuma at 3:48 pm

On January 20, 2020, Monday Monologues Comes to Podbean.com with a URL of T2Pneuma.org. Each episode features a prayer and a reflection. Transcripts of both the prayer and the reflection can be found on T2Pneuma.net.

Monday Monologues will continue to be posted on T2Pneuma.net as usual.

As you are probably aware, prior podcasts and transcripts can be found on T2Pneuma.net each Monday since March of 2018. Beginning in 2020, both prayers and reflections are also available in Spanish.

In case you don’t know, my published books are available online on many retail sites. To find them all in one place, check out T2Pneuma.com.

Thank you for listening. Say a little prayer for a seamless transition!

Stephen

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Divine Template: Monday Monologues, January 13, 2020 (podcast)

Stephen W Hiemstra, 2018
Stephen W Hiemstra, 2018

By Stephen W. Hiemstra

This morning I will share a  prayer and reflect on the Divine Template.

After listening, please click here to take a brief listener survey (10 questions).

To listen, click on the link below:

Hear the words; Walk the steps; Experience the joy!

Also see:

Monday Monologue On March 26, 2018 

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/XXXmas_2019

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Gospel Prayer

Life_in_Tension_revision_front_20200101By Stephen W. Hiemstra

Almighty Father, Beloved Son, Ever-present Spirit,

We give thanks for the work of Jesus Christ, who lived, ministered, suffered, died, and rose from the dead that the Gospel might live in us. May we know him and his power; share in his suffering and his death; that we might also be resurrected with him into new life (Phil 3:10–11). Break the power of sin in us; empower us to live in reconciliation to one another; and grant us words to lift up in prayer all the days of our lives.

In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Template Prayer

Also see:

Believer’s Prayer

Other ways to engage online:

Author site: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net, Publisher site: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/XXXmas_2019  

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Oración del Evangelio

Vida_en_Tensión_front_20200102Por Stephen W. Hiemstra

Padre Todopoderoso, Hijo Amado, Espíritu Siempre Presente,

Agradecemos por el obra de Jesucristo, quien vivió, ministró, sufrió, murió, y resucitó de los muertos para que el evangelio pudiera vivir en nosotros. Que podamos conocerlo a él y su poder; compartir en su sufrimiento y su muerto; para que pudimos estar también resuscito con él en la nueva vida (Phil 3:10-11). Rompe el poder de pecado en nosotros; empoderarnos a vivir en reconciliación unos con otros; y concédenos palabras para levantar en oración todos los días de nuestras vidas.

En el precioso nombre de Jesucristo, Amén

Oración del Evangelio

Ver también:

Oración del Creyent

Otras formas de participar en línea:

Sitio del autor: http://www.StephenWHiemstra.net,

Sitio del editor: http://www.T2Pneuma.com.

Boletín informativo: http://bit.ly/XXXmas_2019  

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