TGP Monthly
Volume 6

January 2010

God’s Goodness to Oversee Our Sometimes Stumbling Steps to Growth

We have no Scriptural reason to hope concerning prayer that we can work out a quick-fix deal with God to have our needs met in a way which disregards his redemptive plan for us to connect to the resources he has given for the flow of his provisions to establish us in health (including holiness) and happiness.

With that understood, we can still have this confidence concerning prayer:
  • God knows we are fallen creatures living in a troubled world and are sometimes victims of overwhelming adversity and evil; also, of our own stupidity and weaknesses.
  • He is a wise, compassionate Father watching over us to protect and support us during our stumbling steps to growth.
  • We have opportunity, even after our failures, to pursue God for intervention (to reverse the consequences of our bonehead choices and actions) through praying that is persistent (supplication) and passionate, even to include fasting.
Several years ago, I was engaged in the work that God had given me to do in the place where he had put me to do it. It was a poor, dangerous community, so I was highly motivated to be faithful each day to connect to his resources for my support in every way I knew, especially to take time each morning for extended quiet time in order to have the support of his presence for wisdom and compassion.

After pumping gas one afternoon at a convenience store, and before going inside to find a restroom, I pressed the trunk release button on my key remote instead of the door lock. Coming back out, I found that my high dollar laptop was missing from my car. A customer told me he saw someone take the computer and identified his appearance and the vehicle he was driving. I filed a police report and posted a sign offering a reward, but the store clerk said to consider it gone, that it would quickly be sold on the street for drug money. Of course I was devastated and began to pray with tears and pleading for God to bring conviction and repentance to someone’s heart to return my laptop, also for him to look beyond my stupidity to see my critical need for the stored information on the laptop.

One evening about two weeks later while waiting with wife, Carole, to consult with her doctor concerning a sudden occurrence of heart palpitations, the Holy Spirit whispered to my attention forgotten information from my studies that Carole was deficient in magnesium and calcium. Also, that same evening as we waited for the doctor, my cell phone rang. A mother was calling to say she had seen my posted sign, also found an expensive laptop in her daughter’s bedroom, and wanted to ask if I was the owner and where she could meet me to return it.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective #1001/Journey Notes 8G28

February 2010

Investment Leadership: Sometimes a Challenging Concept to Sell

Walking with my arm around a young man's shoulder in our youth ministry many years ago, I playfully lifted the side of my foot and swatted him on the seat of his pants, then quipped that every time I lifted my foot that way, it always whopped someone in the rump. He wasn't amused. I learned that he was from an abusive home, so I was careful not to do that again.

After years of providing marriage counseling, I have found it sometimes a hard concept to sell that it is the husband's role, not the wife's, to take lead responsibility for the health of the relationship (investment leadership).

Sometimes to illustrate to a user husband the reason his wife is ready to leave the marriage, I press on the knuckle of my little finger and note that, if it is injured, even the slightest touch can be too painful. Grace counseling helps the husband to understand the pain of his wife's unmet needs and to work toward her healing.

Interestingly, the hardest sell of investment leadership can sometimes be to the wife. I recall the concept was so contrary to the traditional views of one wife that it was difficult for her to understand that it was her pain represented by the sore little finger, not her husband's.

"I get it," she had said, "I need to be careful how I react to my husband because of his pain."

"Well, yes, of course," I tried to answer, "but that's not really the point!"

Maybe the saddest example was a battered, bruised wife who came for counseling years ago asking how she could better behave toward her husband in order to motivate him not to beat her. To her surprise, I presented the concepts of investment leadership. She told me she did not agree, left, and never returned.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective #1002/Journey Notes 8J04

March 2010

Hope for Healing Hindered by Addictions

No power can prevail against God provisions for our healing. But powers do exist which can barricade us from the door through which God’s provisions for healing are received. Sometimes we illustrate this principle with light which
  • has the power to dispel the darkness in a room,
  • but only if it is received,
  • and can be barricaded against by boarding up the windows.
The most prominent barricade against receiving God’s provisions may be addiction to alcohol and drugs (including prescribed pain and mood altering pharmaceuticals). For this reason, of course, we would not attempt to provide counseling support to an alcoholic or drug addict until after detoxification.

But there are other addictions, some more subtle, which also barricade against healing, including addiction to money, power, sex, recognition, or even entertainment. This entertainment may be video games, music, or movies - actually any feel-good experience which superficially relieves pain, but does not support healing.

Counselees who hope to experience healing but who, at the same time, hold on to their addictions, soon walk away from our counseling, usually in search of counseling support (Plan B) which allows them to manage their pain, rather than find healing.

This is the reason the Holy Spirit gives, and calls us to, faith (conviction), repentance (a change of mind concerning our needs and also God’s provisions to meet them), confession, and conversion (turning away from the world’s offerings to receive/trust God’s provisions).

“(Having laid) a foundation of repentance from (a changed mind concerning) dead works (choices that do not produce health) and of faith (conviction to enable trust) toward God (his provisions), let us press on to maturity.” – Hebrew 6:1

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective #1003/10B05

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