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Tag Archives: shadows

Face Your Shadow

Everyone has a shadow. Shadows are those untamed emotions and behaviors. They may be sinful; they may simply be weaknesses. Most importantly, they lie concealed just beneath the surface of our more proper selves. They may erupt in judgmental perfectionism, outbursts of anger, jealousy, resentments, lusts, greed, or murderous tendencies. At other times, they emerge through our need to rescue people, our seemingly endless need to be noticed, our inability to stop working, our isolation, or our rigidity. Our shadows are the damaged versions of who we are. They are the behaviors we use to protect ourselves from actually changing. We keep them hidden because they make us feel so vulnerable. Churches and organizations can develop a “shadow mission.” We want to reach people for Jesus Christ. That is good. The shadow of that is: “We are here to grow our numbers.” Many of us have wonderful public gifts in speaking and mobilizing people.. Read more.

Face Your Shadow

Everyone has a shadow. Shadows are those untamed emotions and behaviors. They may be sinful; they may simply be weaknesses. Most importantly, they lie concealed just beneath the surface of our more proper selves. They may erupt in judgmental perfectionism, outbursts of anger, jealousy, resentments, lusts, greed, or murderous tendencies. At other times, they emerge through our need to rescue people, our seemingly endless need to be noticed, our inability to stop working, our isolation, or our rigidity. Our shadows are the damaged versions of who we are. They are the behaviors we use to protect ourselves from actually changing. We keep them hidden because they make us feel so vulnerable. Churches and organizations can develop a “shadow mission.” We want to reach people for Jesus Christ. That is good. The shadow of that is: “We are here to grow our numbers.” Many of us have wonderful public gifts in speaking and mobilizing people.. Read more.

Good Friday/Holy Saturday: Following Jesus into the Darkness

We have not done a good job of remembering Good Friday or Holy Saturday in the Western church. We like to quickly jump to Easter. Tonight at New Life Fellowship Church, on Good Friday, we will remember Christ’s crucifixion through a Tenebrae (meaning “darkness” or “shadows”) style service. The service of Tenebrae has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Tenebrae is a prolonged meditation on Christ’s passion, using Scripture, silence, worship, and darkness. As lights are progressively extinguished, we enter into the overwhelming reality of His death.  After the final candle is extinguished, we will sit in total darkness for 5 minutes, reminding us of the terrible horror of Jesus laid in the tomb. Why? The cross is the pattern of our lives. Everything happened to Jesus in some way happens to us. That includes the tomb. On the first Holy Saturday, the 11 disciples were at a Wall (See Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, chapter. Read more.

Surrender to the Inner, Downward Journey

I spent the last week and a half pondering, once again, the profound lessons buried in Jesus’ testings in the desert (Luke 4:1-14). His internalization of biblical truths in the desert enabled Him, in an extraordinary way, to walk through his fellow-townspeople who attempted to kill him by throwing him off a cliff (Lk. 4:28-9).  And to think these were his friends, neighbors, clients, cousins! What will it take for us to be so differentiated, so clear about who we truly are in Christ, and His purpose for lives that we too can walk through people who have agendas for our life and may not approve of us? I think the answer lies in a surrender to an inner, downward journey. Without this commitment to look at the hardest realities of our lives, I think it is inevitable that we will project them outwards. We will make other people into monsters when the real. Read more.