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11

I think anyone who is honest and who genuinely desires to embrace the life of faith that God calls us to will have periods of time in which we wrestle with serious doubts.  Over my life, I can identify at least 3 distinct periods in which I’ve come face-to-face with doubt, emerging from each one with a more solid understanding and ability to defend what I believe.

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22

It’s almost embarrassing to say that I am someone who believes in the Bible in today’s modern society. From animated TV shows to everyday conversation I hear many objections to the credibility of this best-selling book of all time. One such objection is that the Bible is barbaric. How else would you explain a book that commands parents to stone to death a child who is rebellious? Let’s examine this seemingly repulsive commandment more closely as I take you on my own journey in trying to understand this.

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13

What do you do when God seems crazy?  What do you do when God does the unthinkable - when it seems like God has betrayed you?  After leaving his family business to follow Jesus for almost 3 years, the disciple Simon (aka Peter) finds himself in just that kind of situation.

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25

In the last blog, we looked at a couple of incidents where Jesus seems to behave in such a way that current psychological thought would label Him as codependent.  Based on Wikipedia's definition, codependency is a "tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one's relationships and quality of life. It also often involves putting one's needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others."  In two passages (Mark 3:20-21 and Mark 6:31) Jesus seems to act in such a caretaking way that He and His disciples don't even have a chance to eat!  Apparently this caretaking was a pattern in His life because His family, thinking he was "out of His mind," went to restrain Him in what we would today call an intervention. How do we reconcile this?  Isn't codependency unhealthy?  Is codependency a sin?  Was Jesus a codependent?

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26

What is the difference between codependency versus loving others sacrificiallyWikipedia defines codependency as a "tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively caretaking ways that negatively impact one's relationships and quality of life.  It also often involves putting one's needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others."  Based on this definition, it seems that you might be able to label Jesus as codependent.  Consider the following incident in Jesus' life, where His own family thought that He was out of control and needed help.

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19

With the advent of technology, it seems that our society is becoming more and more “disconnected.” Trying to maintain a relationship involving any level of intimacy via email, text messages, or any of the other social networking tools can be quite challenging. I think one reason for the difficulty is that the written word does not communicate the body language, vocal intonations, or other subtle nuances that can be used to infer intent. As a result, the reader can sometimes interpret written forms of communication in ways that the author never intended. Since the Bible is God’s written Word to us, I wonder if we sometimes interpret an intent or tone of voice behind His Word, that God never intended.

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11

In the world of addiction and recovery, there is an acronym that is used to help identify triggers: Hungry Angry Lonely Tired (H.A.L.T.) and can be helpful in preventing relapses and overcoming addictive behaviors. Scripture tells us specifically that Jesus experienced all four of these emotions. It’s interesting to note how he handled them.

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04

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time recently reflecting on the topic of manipulation, and what is a godly way of handling it. I’ve been drawn to John 6 where it seems like the crowds, after being fed the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and fish, tried to manipulate Jesus.

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07

Around Thanksgiving of 2010, I was able to tour the Holy Land with my hero since college, Dr. Larry Crabb.  Over his lifetime, Dr. Crabb has been instrumental in driving the discussion about how to integrate psychology and counseling with a Biblical worldview.  His passion for the Church as God's instrument of change in relationships, helped shaped my beliefs in the sufficiency of Scripture for all of life's problems -- including "mental health" issues.  In a large part, I am still a follower of Jesus because of how God has used Dr. Crabb's walk with Christ to impact me.  I hope that my walk with Jesus has just as significant impact on the people in my life.

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