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Quotes Archive, 2021

"Conquering and ruling are different skillsets. Getting territory, success, wealth, a rich relationship, whatever--and maintaining those good things--are very different skillsets. Lifechanging blessings often solve one set of problems, only to create new ones that require a new, specialized intelligence and ability. When you win, when you prosper, when you are exalted, when you form critical connections, do not lose the philosophical and practical ethos that got you there. (How many millionaires went bankrupt because they abandoned the first principles that got them there?) However, realize you will have to add new, specialized qualities to that ethos to maintain, and even increase, those lifechanging blessings." (12/26)

"Idolatry, or polytheism, is humanity's nature and norm. It is his default setting predetermined by his fallen nature. From the womb we all went astray, the Word says often (Ps 51:5, 58:3, Pr 22:15, Isa 48:8, Eph 2:3). We all entered life drawn to worship something other than Yahweh Elohim. Whether it be a hand-carved statue, the ideal family, emotional overeating, a political figure, constant attention, needing to control, or a codependent relationship, unhealthy dependencies and devotions define the human race. It would be a grave misrepresentation to assign polytheism only to Hinduism, Animism, and other openly polytheistic religions. Even born-again Christians, those regenerated and indwelt by the Spirit of God, can experience unhealthy dependencies and devotions (1Jn 5:20,21, 1Co 7:23) if we are not spiritually proactive to grow in the opposite direction Godward." (12/7)

"Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) is not a real place. It is the emotional and solipsistic equivalent of pornography." (11/21)

"The telltale sign of defense mechanisms is continual exhaustion. Defense mechanisms drain power from other systems to reinforce and maintain the shield. A person running from themselves, a person obsessed with keeping up appearances, will be continually drained mentally, emotionally, and physically." (10/26)

"Be wary of falling in love with people who have fallen in love with falling apart. Interpersonal control takes diverse forms, not all of which are overt and obvious. A person with regular fits of distress needs advanced help and a restructuring of their life, not constant rescuing." (10/7)

"Even after witnessing Jesus feed 5,000 Jews and 4,000 Gentiles in two separate miracles, the disciples still worried about not having enough food (Mk 8:14,16). They did not perceive, much less internalize, the transformational lesson in the miracles: Jesus' attributes are unchanging and transferable from situation to situation to situation. Jesus was trying to teach them to use the afterglow of the previous miracle as protein and muscle memory for the next miracle. Repent of and renounce the subconscious belief that God is a one-hit wonder. Because He is flawlessly conscientious, benevolent, omnipotent, and abundant, what He did yesterday He is willing to do today and He is willing to do tomorrow, regardless of whether it is before a crowd of Jews, a crowd of Gentiles, or in a small boat with not-so-sharp buddies who forgot to bring dinner." (9/22)

"Loneliness has nothing to do with the presence or absence of people around you, but rather, the absence of people who are emotionally and relationally sophisticated enough to read what you need beneath the surface and hear the dialect of love your soul speaks beneath your words." (8/30)

"Discern early and quickly who values leverage over love. A power-needer can't help but objectify you into a tool, an asset, an agency of their agenda, a 'connection' (not in the sense of intimacy, but the next stepping stone). We easily recognize power addiction in geopolitics and political leaders, but we are often blindspotted to those in our family, relational, social, or vocational spheres that itch for power." (8/14)

"In the Biblical worldview, conscience is not the same as true spiritual senses. Many Christians confuse and conflate the two, and as a result, miss what the Lord is genuinely doing and saying in a situation.
    Conscience, the New Testament Greek word syneidesis, means co-recognition of good and bad, right and wrong, the inner impression of moral polarities. This sounds great and useful until we read what else the New Testament says about the conscience: it can accuse us legalistically (Ro 2:15), it can be "weak and defiled" (1Co 8:7,10,12, Tit 1:15), it can be non-functional or "seared" (1Ti 4:2), it needs to be purified (Heb 9:14, 10:22). In other words, the conscience needs to be updated and transformed like any other aspect of our soul. If not, because of its faulty or mixed programming, it will give us wrong impressions and wrong instincts and wrong pangs of conscience and wrong understandings of Scripture. 
    Spiritual senses, on the other hand, are superior to conscience. They emanate from our born-again spirit and must be trained, developed, and matured as the true internal GPS. Hebrews 5:14 speaks of this (NASB): But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to distinguish between good and evil. 1Corinthians 2:15 words it differently, but with the same idea (NASB): But the one who is spiritual discerns all things...
    The conscience is a rudimentary moral map, useful enough until the born-again experience introduces new spiritual senses. These new, and far more sophisticated, senses must be trained, developed, and matured, while the old conscience must be updated, transformed, and conformed to an accurate understanding of Scripture and updated realities." (7/13)


"The old does not have to be thrown out immediately, it can be phased out. In fact, sometimes it is more tactical and safer to phase out the old. Be aware, however, sequential phase-shifting requires patience and planning. Phasing out the old should run parallel to phasing in the new, each done with sensitivity to the other." (7/3)

"Ekklesia, 1Corinthians 3:11 says no other foundation exists except Jesus Himself. But that is a conceptual truth that has to be funneled into commensurate actions to become an experiential reality. I cannot just think Jesus is the foundation, I cannot just say Jesus is the foundation, I must funnel that truth into congruent actions to enjoy the practical reality of it. "Jesus is the foundation" has to go from conceptual to functional, from the logos Word to the incarnate Word, and the bridge that makes that happen is habitual Biblical actions and choices--especially ones that make us choose one foundation over another, one voice over another." (6/21)

"Ekklesia, what do we do in times of change, uncertainty, or trauma? We do so much more than the rudimentary go-tos of "praying about it" and "talking to someone". We dig deep into the Presence, we dig deep into the Scriptures, and we grow spiritually by what obeying what is illuminated there. Resist the end of history illusion: the inner psychological trinket that says, "I have changed so much to get to this level, I don't need to change that much anymore." Really? How is that possible when the One who is transforming you is omni-everything? Does an infinity Being have a transformational ceiling for you that low? Digging deep into the Presence and the Word, especially in times of dark fog, shatters that end of history illusion with illuminations of where I/you/we still need to grow spiritually." (6/12)

"Power dynamics will always be an ontological property of relationships. Why? Each individual brings needs, wishes, values, and maturity levels to relationships, and those elements are the purest, rawest forms of power. They are not static, they are not inert, they do not have an Off button. The question is, therefore, what is the godliest, healthiest, smartest power dynamic for this relationship in this particular moment in time? It may be a tilted power dynamic, where I am relating downward (leading more) or I am relating upward (following more). Or, it may a balanced power dynamic, where I am relating directly across because an egalitarian matrix is truly possible (or structurally mandated). Human relationships are and always will be power-sensitive. The power variables between people are a relationship factor that needs to be discerned, stewarded, and shepherded towards the godliest, healthiest, smartest matrix." (6/4)

"Overcoming family oppression and dysfunction is a multidimensional project that necessarily addresses several zones of your life. It addresses the deepest foundation stones of your internal constitution, forcing a healing and redesign of your emotional-mental core. It addresses how you let others relate to you (notice the wording), forcing you to draw red lines, establish "private property" and hallowed ground, and use trust-earning checkpoints. It addresses how you relate to others, forcing you to learn an assortment of new relationship skills that were not modeled in the nest. Most importantly, it addresses your relationship with your heavenly Father, forcing that relationship to supplant and supersede family idols, dictates, and givens with His truth." (5/8)

"False or immature prophets predict and preach things people already want. They are mirrors for their audience's earthly wishlist, reflecting back at them their cravings, unmet needs, injustices, aspirations, and political ideals. True or mature prophets tell you—with astonishing precision, felt authority, and pride-exposing frankness—where you need to develop and mature spiritually. While foreknowledge and foresight are occasional aspects of prophetic ministry, spiritual development (what 1Corinthians 14 calls "edification", what Ephesians 4:11-13 call "repairing, preparing, and maturing the Body") is the arrowtip of New Testament prophecy. Beware of people with microphones that keep repeating what you already want. Beware of seeking out such people of your own initiative. If you want to be triply blessed (and awed) by the truest, purest form of New Testament prophecy, seek out those who will tell you—with uncanny precision, noticeable spiritual power, and pride-exposing frankness—where you need to develop and mature spiritually." (4/13)

"To help someone change, you have to pinpoint the deepest stories they tell themselves. Then you have to tamper deliberately with those stories, (I) pointing out the unnoticed problems, incoherencies, contradictions, and impossibilities in the stories, and (II) holding up new and better stories for them to flirt with and eventually fall in love with, own, and manifest as new outcomes." (4/3)

"Elijah gave his mantle to the one who washed his hands, followed him to the very end, and was able to "see" loss. One does not deserve the weight of glory unless they can ignore the weight of glamour and carry the weight of grit over time. Take longterm faithfulness seriously. Ignore glowing emotional words that show up too early." (3/21)

"Genuine, permanent transformation does not happen via behavior modification alone. That takes way too long and the changes are surface-level. Personal transformation eventuates from consistent epiphany and inspiration, which then prompt practical behaviors and choices. Epiphany (in this context) refers to sudden and penetrating realizations into the deepest, rawest "whys" of your behavior—the seeds (original events and conditions) that grew trees (life structures) that sprouted fruits (behaviors and outcomes). Inspiration refers to an inner Fire that never goes out, a Source of unending motivation and provocation to follow through with the transformation project until new trees grow and new fruits appear." (3/10)

"The feudal system may no longer exist as an explicit social setup, but it absolutely still exists in implicit social dynamics. When one person successfully controls another--eliciting protracted fealty, hyperloyalty, even practical service--is this not the spirit and substance of feudalism? When pathways of upward mobility are blocked or hindered or suspiciously narrow, is this not the spirit of feudalism? We have become lords at changing vocabularies and labels, but remain peasants and serfs in actual life dynamics." (2/27)

"We each live in a world of our own making, an umwelt, a perpetual sequence of perception-conception-action, which happens at largely subconscious levels (for most people). Your umwelt begins with perception, how you interpret the variables and persons in your environment. From perception you move into a conception of how you should respond, which is largely a kneejerk repetition of past patterns (for most people). From conception you enter into action, or lack of action, to actualize your perception and conception. Want to change your world, change your umwelt: incorrect perceptions of the true nature of what and who is around you, incorrect conceptions of what you should do (which is what you have always done), incorrect actions that flow from incorrect perceptions and conceptions." (2/21)

"The most promising relationships begin with conscious, informed forethought in multiple dimensions, bypassing deeper instinctual forces like raw emotions, missing pieces from childhood, unmet needs in the present, self-esteem holes, parental imagos (idealizing, pedestaling, or fearing parents), other types of imagos, and so on. These deeper forces objectify the other into a psychological toy or cartoon character of sorts, diminishing their uniqueness and true beauty." (2/6)

"Taking care of everyone else is a defense mechanism, a savior complex, a type of passive-aggressive altruism, and in extreme cases, a type of predatory altruism. What is the deeper self really needing and wanting? Who are you really doing it for? If you do not get to the deepest emotional truth and resolve the cathexis at the core, there will always be an ironic selfism, a subtle stain of duplicity, even hypocrisy, in your so-called caring for others. (1/31)

"Semantic therapy is all over Scripture. What are your word habits? What are the hidden assumptions and emotional substructure causing your go-to speech patterns? Excessive silence, hyperprivacy (i.e., emotional isolation), never/rarely asking for help, never/rarely sharing deeper vulnerabilities, linguistic poverty, etc. are just as much sin and dysfunction as active linguistic problems like talking way too much or speech patterns that block intimacy or speech patterns that seek unilateral power and control." (1/20)

"Most people are not free enough, self-aware enough, confident enough, visionary enough, independent enough, whatever enough, to make the decision they really should make. Some individuals, however, will make the decision if a loved one builds a permission structure within their psyche, and sometimes, around them too (socially, financially, etc.). A permission structure is a coherent set of powerful reasons for the decision, matching or surpassing the emotional fears and character problems that block or retard great decisions. A permission structure, though coherent, is not only coherent, since many people understand rationally what they should do but very few actually do it. A permission structure is equal parts coherence and emotion, both persuasive and tantalizing in their own way in their respective realms, in a way that significantly undermines and challenges the psyche's existing decision-making structure. The bottom line is simple and pragmatic: people do not make blessed decisions until their existing decisional structure is significantly undermined and challenged, and in some cases, demolished altogether." (12/20/20)

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