Friday, August 19, 2016

Self-centeredness Destroys Relationships


Self-centeredness is a sad thing. It is the basis for many relational problems. Generally, everybody needs acceptance. And that can only happen when the person is recognized and appreciated for his character, personality, gifting and contribution in a relationship or society. When a person's contribution is not recognized and appreciated, something dies in that person. 

The desire to be appreciated may lead to a form of distorted appreciation that is self-focused. That is to recognize only one's own efforts and contributions and totally forget about what other party or parties have contributed. 

For example, in a relationship such as a marriage, trouble begins when the couple refuses to recognize the contributions that each has brought to the relationship. 

Many a time, one spouse may become totally blind to what the other spouse is contributing to the marriage and begins to make unrealistic demands. The regular quarrels are mostly which person contributes the least and wastes the most. 

For example, in one counseling session concerning a marital dispute, after spending time counseling a man, I asked him to wait outside while I talked to his wife. The wife walked in and even before she sat down, she shot me the question, "What lies did my husband told you?" 

What this lady did not realize was that her husband was extremely honest about his own short comings and mistakes that he had made. In short, he confessed that he needed help so that he could be a better spouse. When I asked the lady to evaluate her own short comings, she could only name one. She said, "My mistake is that I choose to marry him." 

She felt that she had done no wrong and therefore was not to be responsible for the conflicts in their marriage. Every problem arose because of "his anger management problem" and "his pride" and "his side of the family".  In fact, she shared lavishly about all the sacrifices she had made such as taking care of her mother-in-law by bringing the elderly lady shopping once a while. One of her sacrifices was to avoid prolonging the quarrel by going back to her parents' home. She was tired of the "cold war" but she claimed that God had given her to patience to overcome. 

The couple had no children and so the lady, as a homemaker, spent a lot of time looking after her six cats. She spent lots of money and time grooming them, feeding them special food, and taking them for competitions. In fact, her cats won many prizes which she proudly showed some photos with her mobile phone.

This lady did admit that she neither cooked, washed or ironed for the husband. She claimed that she had to take care of her cats and so she had no time to take care of her husband. She justified, "Anyway, he is a grown man and should be able to take care of himself." 

This lady went on to describe, unlike her commitment to the Lord, her husband was a spiritual slob. He did not read the bible regularly, disliked praying and serving God. A few times, I heard the word, "hypocrite" being repeated while she painted a very negative picture of the man she married.

The husband had his mistake too. He retaliated by working and staying late in the office. Even though he served in a church and headed up some committees, his life was a mess. He admitted that he had anger-management problem and suffered lots of inner hurts since childhood. He had an intense hatred for his mother and siblings. His whole desire to achieve success was to "show them who he really was"

Because of his arrogant nature, this man had few friends. During the counseling, he revealed great pride in his professional achievement and social status. He felt that he was highly intelligent and that his wife was absolutely "brainless". He could see nothing good in her, except that she was good at spending his money and nagging at him. He wanted to leave her on many occasions but his church elders had counseled him against it.

The wife was more religious and knew how to talk the "Christian" way. She sounded like a Christian alright but from what she had revealed, she was full of deep-seeded unforgiveness, bitterness and self-righteousness. She had done"absolutely no wrong" in this marriage and proudly proclaimed that she was the ideal wife. All the faults and problems that caused the marriage to deteriorate were caused by her "stupid" husband. She did not believe in divorce and so she lamented that her husband was God's "thorn in the flesh" for her. She said that she would "bravely endure this miserable life until God changes my husband".

I really like to say that this couple resolved their problems and learned to love each other. The truth is that the man left his church after he was caught having an extramarital relationship with someone. He filed for a divorce with his wife and after two years, remarried.

The "righteous" wife had lost financial support and so is now back in the work force, serving as an administrative assistant in a small company. She lives with her aging parents and her cats, continues to attend church and is not looking for another husband. 

Self-centeredness has its foundation on pride in oneself rather than honoring God and others. Even if a person were to repent, he (or she) has to ask whether he is repenting because of his own guilt alone or he is repenting because of his love for God. If the the ultimate goal of repentance is to rid oneself of the feelings of guilt, then it is definitely not true repentance. If God, is not the center of the person's motivation to repent, then once again it is a self-centered rather than God-centered decision and action.

Many couples do not realize that the solution to their marital woes lies with their relationship with God. There is of course a great difference between the Pharisaic relationship with God and that of Christ and His disciples. Here are some pointers that may help us understand how our relationship is with God and whether we 

He is more troubled by how he feels than what he’s done.
He returns to the sin as soon as the guilt leaves.
He is unwilling to change other sinful desires and actions; he only cares to reform the desire or action that is causing the guilt. Again, his main concern is getting rid of the guilt, not becoming more Christlike overall.
He is not primarily concerned with being totally reconciled to God. He is only concerned with getting rid of his feelings of guilt.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

SPEAK TO THE BONES AND RESTORE YOUR MARRIAGE



1 The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and placed me in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones. 2 He made me walk all around among them. I realized there were a great many bones in the valley and they were very dry. 3 He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said to him, "Sovereign Lord, you know." 4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy over these bones, and tell them: 'Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. 
(Ezekiel 37:1-4)

I am reminded of some couples that Pastor Grace and I have counseled. Many of their marriages were like dry bones. They were so brittle that they could break at any point of crisis.

Many of these couples had survived through very tough time together but their relationships did not improve. Some of them were even planning to separate and ultimately divorce.

However, because they were willing to let God be the Master of their marriage and submit to His will, the Lord intervened and spoke life to their relationships.

Through forgiveness, patience, love, wisdom and understanding, the love between the couples has grown and flourished.

Many still have to make daily adjustments as the Lord brings correction into their lives. The good thing is that the couples have learned how to speak life into their marriage and stir up the Agape love that God has blessed them with since the beginning of their relationship.

They no longer consider divorce as an option. They now know that they belong to each other and most importantly they belong to God. They have learned to draw strength and love from the Lord so as to love and cherish each other better.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7


Albert Kang

Sunday, May 29, 2016

This Is A MUST Read: Take A Gander At This Amazing, But Little Known, 9-11 Story



This incredible story is from a flight attendant on Delta Flight 15:
On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about 5 hours out of Frankfurt, flying over the North Atlantic.

All of a sudden the curtains parted and I was told to go to the cockpit, immediately, to see the captain.

As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “All Business” look on their faces. The captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s main office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the Continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic. Land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.”

No one said a word about what this could mean. We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find terra firma quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us in Gander, Newfoundland.

He requested approval for a route change from the Canadian traffic controller and approval was granted immediately — no questions asked. We found out later, of course, why there was no hesitation in approving our request.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, another message arrived from Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later word came in about the hijackings.

We decided to LIE to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and that we needed to land at the nearest airport in Gander, Newfoundland, to have it checked out.

We promised to give more information after landing in Gander. There was much grumbling among the passengers, but that’s nothing new! Forty minutes later, we landed in Gander. Local time at Gander was 12:30 PM …. that’s 11:00 AM EST.

There were already about 20 other airplanes on the ground from all over the world that had taken this detour on their way to the US.

After we parked on the ramp, the captain made the following announcement: “Ladies and gentlemen, you must be wondering if all these airplanes around us have the same instrument problem as we have. The reality is that we are here for another reason.”

Then he went on to explain the little bit we knew about the situation in the US. There were loud gasps and stares of disbelief. The captain informed passengers that Ground control in Gander told us to stay put.

The Canadian Government was in charge of our situation and no one was allowed to get off the aircraft. No one on the ground was allowed to come near any of the air crafts. Only airport police would come around periodically, look us over and go on to the next airplane.

In the next hour or so more planes landed and Gander ended up with 53 airplanes from all over the world, 27 of which were US commercial jets.

Meanwhile, bits of news started to come in over the aircraft radio and for the first time we learned that airplanes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and into the Pentagon in DC.

People were trying to use their cell phones, but were unable to connect due to a different cell system in Canada . Some did get through, but were only able to get to the Canadian operator who would tell them that the lines to the U.S. were either blocked or jammed.

Sometime in the evening the news filtered to us that the World Trade Center buildings had collapsed and that a fourth hijacking had resulted in a crash. By now the passengers were emotionally and physically exhausted, not to mention frightened, but everyone stayed amazingly calm.

We had only to look out the window at the 52 other stranded aircraft to realize that we were not the only ones in this predicament.

We had been told earlier that they would be allowing people off the planes one plane at a time. At 6 PM, Gander airport told us that our turn to deplane would be 11 am the next morning.

Passengers were not happy, but they simply resigned themselves to this news without much noise and started to prepare themselves to spend the night on the airplane.

Gander had promised us medical attention, if needed, water, and lavatory servicing.

And they were true to their word.

Fortunately we had no medical situations to worry about. We did have a young lady who was 33 weeks into her pregnancy. We took REALLY good care of her. The night passed without incident despite the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements.

About 10:30 on the morning of the 12th a convoy of school buses showed up. We got off the plane and were taken to the terminal where we went through Immigration and Customs and then had to register with the Red Cross.

After that we (the crew) were separated from the passengers and were taken in vans to a small hotel.

We had no idea where our passengers were going. We learned from the Red Cross that the town of Gander has a population of 10,400 people and they had about 10,500 passengers to take care of from all the airplanes that were forced into Gander!

We were told to just relax at the hotel and we would be contacted when the US airports opened again, but not to expect that call for a while.

We found out the total scope of the terror back home only after getting to our hotel and turning on the TV, 24 hours after it all started.

Meanwhile, we had lots of time on our hands and found that the people of Gander were extremely friendly. They started calling us the “plane people.” We enjoyed their hospitality, explored the town of Gander and ended up having a pretty good time.

Two days later, we got that call and were taken back to the Gander airport. Back on the plane, we were reunited with the passengers and found out what they had been doing for the past two days.

What we found out was incredible…..

Gander and all the surrounding communities (within about a 75 Kilometer radius) had closed all high schools, meeting halls, lodges, and any other large gathering places. They converted all these facilities to mass lodging areas for all the stranded travelers.

Some had cots set up, some had mats with sleeping bags and pillows set up.

ALL the high school students were required to volunteer their time to take care of the “guests.”

Our 218 passengers ended up in a town called Lewisporte, about 45 kilometers from Gander where they were put up in a high school. If any women wanted to be in a women-only facility, that was arranged.

Families were kept together. All the elderly passengers were taken to private homes.

Remember that young pregnant lady? She was put up in a private home right across the street from a 24-hour Urgent Care facility. There was a dentist on call and both male and female nurses remained with the crowd for the duration.

Phone calls and e-mails to the U.S. and around the world were available to everyone once a day.

During the day, passengers were offered “Excursion” trips.

Some people went on boat cruises of the lakes and harbors. Some went for hikes in the local forests.

Local bakeries stayed open to make fresh bread for the guests.

Food was prepared by all the residents and brought to the schools. People were driven to restaurants of their choice and offered wonderful meals. Everyone was given tokens for local laundry mats to wash their clothes, since luggage was still on the aircraft.

In other words, every single need was met for those stranded travelers.

Passengers were crying while telling us these stories. Finally, when they were told that U.S. airports had reopened, they were delivered to the airport right on time and without a single passenger missing or late. The local Red Cross had all the information about the whereabouts of each and every passenger and knew which plane they needed to be on and when all the planes were leaving. They coordinated everything beautifully.

It was absolutely incredible.

When passengers came on board, it was like they had been on a cruise. Everyone knew each other by name. They were swapping stories of their stay, impressing each other with who had the better time.

Our flight back to Atlanta looked like a chartered party flight. The crew just stayed out of their way. It was mind-boggling.

Passengers had totally bonded and were calling each other by their first names, exchanging phone numbers, addresses, and email addresses.

And then a very unusual thing happened.

One of our passengers approached me and asked if he could make an announcement over the PA system. We never, ever allow that. But this time was different. I said “of course” and handed him the mike. He picked up the PA and reminded everyone about what they had just gone through in the last few days.

He reminded them of the hospitality they had received at the hands of total strangers.

He continued by saying that he would like to do something in return for the good folks of Lewisporte.

“He said he was going to set up a Trust Fund under the name of DELTA 15 (our flight number). The purpose of the trust fund is to provide college scholarships for the high school students of Lewisporte.

He asked for donations of any amount from his fellow travelers. When the paper with donations got back to us with the amounts, names, phone numbers and addresses, the total was for more than $14,000!

“The gentleman, a MD from Virginia , promised to match the donations and to start the administrative work on the scholarship. He also said that he would forward this proposal to Delta Corporate and ask them to donate as well.

As I write this account, the trust fund is at more than $1.5 million and has assisted 134 students in college education.

“I just wanted to share this story because we need good stories right now. It gives me a little bit of hope to know that some people in a faraway place were kind to some strangers who literally dropped in on them.

It reminds me how much good there is in the world.”

“In spite of all the rotten things we see going on in today’s world this story confirms that there are still a lot of good people in the world and when things get bad, they will come forward. Let’s not forget THIS fact.

This is one of those stories that needs to be shared. Please do so…


Source: 
http://www.thecoast.net.nz/shows/days-with-lorna-subritzky/this-is-a-must-read-take-a-gander-at-this-amazing-but-little-known-9-11-story/

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Stop Being Afraid of People and Shine!


One of the abnormal fears that you may have is people around you. 

You are afraid that your success or achievement might hurt their feelings. In order not to offend them, you play it small. You hold back. 

All your life, you have a fear of being the best, being on top, in the limelight, being the smartest because someone might be offended. So you sell yourself short. 

All the talents and gifts that you received from God are buried in the cemetery of unhealthy fear. 

There is nothing enlightening about burying your talents and abilities because there will always be people who will feel insecure around you. 

God has made you to soar and not to crawl. He has made you to swim and not to sink. He has made you to climb and not to fall.

He has made you the light of the world and He wants you to shine. 

Maximize all your talents and abilities and serve the Kingdom of God. You serve God better when you be the very best that you can be!

Today, God wants you to become the person that He wants you to be. So… shine!

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE


If you want to make a difference in your life then you need to rise to the challenge that God has given you.

What causes you to feel compassion for would likely be an indication of the assignment that God wants you to accomplish.

An absence or disorder in a situation around you may be the indication for you to take the challenge to initiate a change.

God will always increase your capacity to receive the wisdom and power to fulfill His assignment.

Albert Kang

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Slippery Slope to Incest

The idea of a “slippery slope” is important to understand. It refers to a step down a particular path that, whether intentioned or not, could lead to slipping down and falling much further than you could ever imagine.
 
Usually, a “slippery slope” refers to a way of thinking, or the basis for a decision that, if applied broadly, would carry sweeping ramifications.
 
For many, this is the concern for the argument behind the embrace of gay marriage. In other words, the arguments used for the acceptance of homoerotic behavior and gay marriage could be just as easily used for polygamy, bestiality and pedophilia. After all, once you redefine family into whatever people want it to mean, make “love” or “attraction” the ultimate ethic in terms of appropriate relationship, then you have very little keeping you from applying that to almost any kind of relationship.
 
This caused an outrage on the other side, who said in no uncertain terms that this was reprehensible to even consider.
 
Yet we now know that soon after gay marriage began its victory lap through the courts, cases advocating polygamy – using virtually the same arguments that the courts had accepted for gay marriage – became legion.
 
And the legal battle being waged over all things transgender is based on gender being a matter of choice – or simply what emotionally they believe themselves to be.
 
Again, same argument.
 
If you can demonstrate that people really have an orientation, then the desire must be legitimated. Nightmarish in its application, yet sweeping our culture like a wildfire.
 
And now comes incest.
 
I saw the first stirring of this only a handful of years ago.
 
An article in the London Times titled “I used to have sex with my brother but I don’t feel guilty about it” offered a detailed narrative of a woman’s sexual relationship with her biological brother from the time of 14 to nearly 30, until he met another person and married.
 
Their sexual trysts were revealed as part of a tale of sibling intimacy and friendship that ended with the ubiquitous reasoning that they were not hurting anyone, so why make it so wrong?
 
Much was made that her brother, only a year older, never pushed himself on her and that she was a willing participant. The author’s lament is that something “so lovely and natural to me would be regarded as abhorrent.”
 
Now, there are those who are wanting to label incest just one more orientation. In an article in The Telegraph, referring to the story of a woman who entered into a romantic relationship with her child 30 years after giving him up for adoption, incest is being labeled “Genetic Sexual Attraction” (GSA).
 
GSA describes a powerful sexual attraction that occurs when biological relatives – parent and offspring, siblings or half siblings, or first and second cousins – meet for the first time as adults. It’s termed a “struggle” – something that is so ingrained (natural?) that those involved can’t be considered in control of the situation.
 
“As if their feelings are impossible to change.”
 
The article goes on to note that in normal families, living together “desensitizes” the sexual dynamic between family members. But with the rise of fertility options (e.g., egg and sperm donation), the article suggests GSA will also rise in frequency.
 
Here’s a telling line:
 
“Those who succumb to GSA are not sickos, or freaks, but victims who desperately need…understanding. Their feelings are not controllable.”
 
Does any of this language sound familiar?
 
Slippery slopes are real.
 
And we’re on a very, very large one.
 
James Emery White
 
 
Sources
 
“I used to have sex with my brother but I don’t feel guilty about it,” as told to Joan McFadden,times2, The London Times, July 15, 2008, pp. 10-11, read online.
 
“Disgusted by incest? Genetic Sexual Attraction is real and on the rise,” Charlotte Gill, The Telegraph, April 11, 2016, read online.
 
   
About the Author
 

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His latest book, The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated, is available on Amazon. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. You can also find out information about the 2016 Church and Culture Conference. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.

Monday, April 4, 2016

The Sovereign God Does Involve You


The sovereignty of God is often misunderstood. Many are not involved in the Great Commission because they believe that if God wants to save the whole world He can do it without their help.

William Carey, the Father of Modern Missions, met with such response when, in a meeting of pastors in 1787, he raised the question of whether all Christians should spread the Gospel throughout the world.

An elderly pastor told him off, saying,"Young man, sit down; when God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do it without your aid and mine."

Many do not realise that the dominion of this world is given to Man. God, of course, can operate without us but since He has assigned this "first heaven" to us, He must involve us.

Even God could not save us by remaining as "God" in heaven. He had to become a Man to die on the cross for our sins. The wages of sin is death and only a righteous man can pay that price.

Man lost it and so Man must gain it back.

Today, the victory over the evil one has been won at the Calvary and we are now the occupying force.

We have to spread the Good News that the victory has been won and our people have no need to live under the slavery of the enemy.


We have to do the task of evangelism and not God..


Albert Kang