Words

"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." - African Proverb

african-proverb
african-proverb

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. - Romans 12:4-5

WORDS

Words mean things.

At a recent board meeting we discussed the words we would use to describe a "healing environment."

Grace Based Confessing Flows Freely Forgiveness Redemption Unconditional Love Relational

  • Mutual
  • Authentic
  • Protective Love
  • Acceptance
  • Belonging
  • Trusting
  • Renewal
  • Long Suffering
  • Communal
  • Vulnerable

INSTEAD OF:

  • Rules Based
  • Hidden
  • Restricted
  • Unforgiving
  • Worthless
  • Conditional Love
  • Sterile
  • One Way
  • Hypocritical
  • Selfish
  • Rejection
  • Exclusive
  • Distrustful
  • Depressing
  • Short Lived
  • Individualistic
  • Reserved

When I look at these words I ask myself the question…

"What would an environment look like that is _________________?"

Two words that stand out to me are "mutual' and "communal."

What would an environment (The Shepherd's House, the workplace, church, home) look like that is MUTUAL and COMMUNAL?

Somehow "rugged individualism" doesn't fit an environment like this.

Mutual implies a two-way transaction rather than a one-way transaction. It implies both giving AND receiving.

Return-of-the-prodigal-son
Return-of-the-prodigal-son

Communal implies two or more together.

"The question is not “How am I to find God?” but “How am I to let myself be found by Him?” The question is not “How am I to know God?” but “How am I to let myself be known by God?” And, finally, the question is not “How am I to love God?” but “How am I to let myself be loved by God?” Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Return of the Prodigal Son

One of the greatest gifts God has given us through His Son is the ability to not only be found, known and loved by God Himself, but also by others.

Words mean things...take a look at that list of words again.

MICHIGAN

We created memories. We had a GREAT TIME on our trip to Michigan to see family and friends and to celebrate 50 years of marriage for Larry and Madge Johns (Beth's parents). Congratulations! You are an encouragement and a blessing.

We touched 9 states in our travels; we crossed the Continental Divide; we visited The Badlands, The Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore of South Dakota; we crossed the Mighty Mississippi; and we traversed the majority of the "UP" (the Upper Peninsula) of Michigan.

Round trip from our door in Redmond, OR to the KOA RV park in Petoskey, MI was exactly 4,700 miles and probably close to 100 hours of driving. We only ran out of fuel once (I learn quick); Jarod and I had a "shocking" experience at an RV park in South Dakota; and the predominant crops that we saw across the heartland of America appeared to be alfalfa and hay followed closely by corn and then wheat.

Thank you again for your prayers! We definitely had traveling mercies and we were fully aware of God's hand of love and protection.