My Beloved has a new name

I have always longed for a more distinct appellation. A more colorful moniker. A memorable sobriquet. Instead I am named Dave. I share my very original name with 3,553,128 other citizens of this great country according to the website howmanyofme.com. My name is the 7th most common male first name in America. Los Angeles has a population of about 3.8 million so you could populate about 94 percent of LA with Daves and Davids. I looked throughout history and I saw many distinctive names that I considered for my upgraded cognomen. I am envious of the title given to Diogenes. The philosopher was known as Diogenes the Cynic. My wife quickly vetoed “Dave the Sarcastic” since that is one of my gifts that she is trying to downsize. Some of the names in history were powerful. William the Conquerer and Richard the Lionheart conjure up images of strong and courageous leaders. Some names would not make the hearer real comfortable. “I would
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Do we really understand grace?

(For those who are breathlessly awaiting the next installment of the victimhood series…it will resume in a couple of days) God is a great teacher. He is a prof that I cannot bluff. I report to Him that I have read the material. I tell others that I have done my homework. I speak proudly about how I am mastering the course. And then He pops the life quiz to see if I have truly absorbed what I say I have learned. Those who are honest about this journey know that you are in trouble anytime you announce that you are determined to be more (choose from the following partial list: patient, loving, obedient, forgiving, prayerful, serving). God smiles and arranges a test. I hate the spiritual pop quizzes as much as I did the academic ones. But they are just as revealing about how I am doing. A recent pop quiz consisted of work situations that frustrated me and other people conspiring (I thought) to divert my focus and steal my joy. How did I do?
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Letting go of Victimhood – Part 7

For the next several days I will be working on a new book project. During that time I will be posting some excerpts from the previous books. We begin with a chapter from “Bring’em Back Alive – A Healing Plan for Those Wounded by the Church”. This chapter is called “Your Bleating Heart Will Tell On You” and it deals with the uncomfortable truth that sometimes we choose to remain in victimhood. Blessings, Dave Many people go to church with the hope of finding a place to finally belong and fit in. They were the kids who dined alone in middle-school. They were the people who hated phys-ed because they were the agonizing last pick for a team or they felt embarrassed to undress around the “jocks”. They might have been the one who sat home depressed on prom night or were rejected for membership by a fraternity or sorority on campus. Then you hear about this thing called Christianity
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Letting go of Victimhood – Part 6

For the next several days I will be working on a new book project. During that time I will be posting some excerpts from the previous books. We begin with a chapter from “Bring’em Back Alive – A Healing Plan for Those Wounded by the Church”. This chapter is called “Your Bleating Heart Will Tell On You” and it deals with the uncomfortable truth that sometimes we choose to remain in victimhood. Blessings, Dave We have unrealistic expectations regarding how our church experience should be unfold. The church is where I least (or at least used to) expect to be hurt. Perhaps we expect attack and have our defenses up when we are out in the “world” but are extra vulnerable to attack at church. For example, you likely would not hurt a boxer if you took a swing at him in the ring. He would be wary, fists up and ready to defend and respond. You might hurt that
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Letting go of Victimhood – Part 5

For the next several days I will be working on a new book project. During that time I will be posting some excerpts from the previous books. We begin with a chapter from “Bring’em Back Alive – A Healing Plan for Those Wounded by the Church”. This chapter is called “Your Bleating Heart Will Tell On You” and it deals with the uncomfortable truth that sometimes we choose to remain in victimhood. Blessings, Dave Eugene Peterson argues that the main difference today is not how much people are hurting, but how much they expect to be relieved from their hurting.  Few in the church have taken victimhood to the subterranean level that Romanian Sandu Tudose achieved. When his wife ran off with another man the seventy-four year old man vowed to spend the rest of his life in a hole in the ground. His underground ode to bitterness is located in the town of Mera, Romania and is outfitted with
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Letting go of victimhood – Part 4

For the next several days I will be working on a new book project. During that time I will be posting some excerpts from the previous books. We begin with a chapter from “Bring’em Back Alive – A Healing Plan for Those Wounded by the Church”. This chapter is called “Your Bleating Heart Will Tell On You” and it deals with the uncomfortable truth that sometimes we choose to remain in victimhood. Blessings, Dave   English writer Charles Kingsley wrote, “If you wish to be miserable, you must think about yourself, about what you want, what you like, and what respect people ought to pay you. Then to you nothing will be pure. You will spoil everything you touch; you will make sin and misery out of everything God sends you.” That is painful to apply to my personal life. I sometimes try to imagine how I would respond if I were a disinterested third party listening to my own
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Letting go of victimhood – Part 3

For the next several days I will be working on a new book project. During that time I will be posting some excerpts from the previous books. We begin with a chapter from “Bring’em Back Alive – A Healing Plan for Those Wounded by the Church. This chapter is called “Your Bleating Heart Will Tell On You” and it deals with the uncomfortable truth that sometimes we choose to remain in victimhood. Blessings, Dave (Yesterday I mentioned a letter from a reader who was not a big fan of mine and my fellow Christians. Here is that letter) I cannot grant the courtesy of credit since the reviewer identified themselves only as a “reader from Wayland, Ma”. I will reproduce the comments along with a sampling of some typical reactions I have to criticism when I shift into victim mode. “Burchett (as is the case with virtually all his co-religionists) (What the heck is a co-religionist?) misses the point: it
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