When Survival Instinct Encounters Love

Any person who has suffered trauma, abuse, neglect, abandonment, etc. learns how to survive. This is especially true if their experience is chronic or ongoing. Even though it doesn’t always look the same, we all have the will to survive. Some shut down, pull in, and seal themselves off from the world trying to protect themselves the best they can.

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Others run. Physically or emotionally run away from any perceived danger. Then there are those who fight. They lash out with their fists or words, angrily striking first hoping to avoid anymore pain.

When a family brings a child into their home, either to foster or to adopt, they need to know that they are bringing a child in that is in survival mode. This is true even if the child is only a few months old. And, as they grow older, even if the abuse or trauma was years before, they will implicitly react to perceived danger much more strongly than a child who has not experienced trauma.

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5 Things that Happen When God Has All of me

Does God really want all of me. This question challenges me. Surely God doesn’t expect to have all of me. Don’t I have free will? And my free will is to have some of my time, money, etc. for myself. Didn’t God just set things in motion for us to enjoy our lives however we want to live them?

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Occasionally I meet someone who carries a sense of confidence and success that doesn’t come from themselves. It’s a sense of destiny. It’s as if God’s favor rests on them. They exude humility and peace that makes another comfortable in their midst. What they carry attracts others.

Do you know anyone like this?

I know the source, but I think I know why some who call themselves Christians carry this while so many don’t.

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Why Do Some Nations Care More?

You don’t have to look very hard to notice that some nations show compassion while other’s don’t so much. Take a look at who responds to disasters wherever they occur. Research which countries adopt children. Who builds hospitals and schools?

Photo Credit: NazareneMissionsInternational via Compfight cc

Sure within any nation there are people who genuinely care for others in need. But as a whole, we all can make a list of countries who respond to those in need, because it’s always the same ones.

I have heard some people though, regardless of what country they are from, ask why should they help someone else, especially someone who they don’t know. They really think this way if they  believe in a social order. When a culture prescribes to a social order in which a person is born into, then why should they help some in need? That is their lot in life.

Before we Americans get to prideful, we have a history of a social order as well.

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3 Things to Learn from a Man Who Lived Unfairness Well

Do We Really Want What We "Deserve"?

That’s Not Fair! They mistreated me. I am misunderstood. I get overlooked. Other people have more money, opportunities, better looks, the “right” color of skin, more talent, more intelligence…

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Our society is full of people who whine and cry about the unfairness of life. I don’t deny that injustice, prejudice, mistreatment, and so on, exists. With the omnipresence of media, we hear about it more, but much of it gets over-exposure too.

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How Many Times on Average Does a Child in Foster Care Move?

You may be a person that has moved a lot. But I am guessing whether that was as a child or as an adult, you moved with your family. Or if you are a single adult, you still have a family you call your own even if you don’t live with them. But for children in foster care, it means not only moving from one place to another, but also from one family to another.

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And, I bet you had a say in the move. At least you probably knew about it in advance. A foster child? Not so much. Not only do they rarely have a say in a move to another family, but it might be a very sudden decision.

So how many times on average does a foster child move? Ready for it?

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Is Our Arrogance Killing Our Passion for Missions?

I sat and listened to a friend who has served in East Asia for seven years talk about how they are sharing the Good News and discipling new believers. I found joy in hearing the things God is doing through their work. It stirred up feelings of pride. Pride. Now that’s an interesting emotion in response to what he was sharing.

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My missionary friend was giving a report of his work to a team of pastors and lay leaders. The more I listened, I sensed an air of…hmm how should I put it? Arrogance? I can’t speak for my friends in the room, so I have to confess my own attitude.

I have been in these kind of meetings before. Representatives of the American church asking a missionary who has been serving faithfully, sacrificially, on the field for an account of the work they are doing. Nothing wrong with that.

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What Can Help Your Child Feel Secure in Your Relationship?

Did you know that when a parent knows or is decisive about what to do next with their child, the child gains confidence? It’s called mirror neurons. A child will reflect or imitate our actions. If we are anxious and unsure, the child will be anxious and unsure. If we are calm and confident, then…well you get the idea.

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A few weeks ago I attended a seminar about the Circle of Security. This is a simple model for parents to use in attaching to their children. In the world of foster care and adoption, this usually is a challenge.  Below is a diagram describing the Circle of Security.

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One More Year Until Senior Discounts!

5 Things I Have Learned Since Turning 50

Today is my birthday. Yep. Turned 54 at 8:22am this morning according to my birth certificate. I was born in Monterey, California at a military hospital. My dad was in the Navy attending language school. The word is, I was about a week late. Some family from Texas drove out for my birth, but missed my arrival because they had to go back home.

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Who is that fat little guy?

 

I guess in many ways I have been a late to a lot of things in life. But like they say…better late than never!

I joke around with my friends that I can’t wait until I turn 55 because we will get discounts on both ends of the spectrum. I will get senior discounts, and my son, who will be five, will still get free meals. Sweet!

I was thinking back over my life, specifically the past five years which have flown by faster than any other time in my life.

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Look at Him Run!

Finding Delight in Your Child

It was a 5K fun walk/run event. The annual event is a memorial in honor of my friend’s son who tragically lost his life during his freshman year in college. We were excited to be able to attend this year. My friend has known our son from the when he was a baby and first placed in our home. She has babysat him and given him swimming lessons. Definitely a sweet connection.

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Our son loves anything that resembles a big party. So as things are getting organized, he is running around playing, laughing and talking to everyone. They gathered us for a group photo. Everyone held helium-filled balloons. I put my son on my shoulders so he could see. Then they fired a starter’s pistol. A small flock of white dove took to the sky followed by hundreds of blue and red balloons.

My son watched with excitement as he climbed down off my shoulders. Anticipation filled the air as well. Then the gun fired again to begin the race.

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6 Life Lessons Your Child Will Learn When You Disciple this Way

We all know that children grow up fast. When it’s not our own children, we notice how much they grow and change every time we see them, especially if it’s only a couple of times a year. But when they live with you…That’s another story.

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The days melt together until one day you wake up and your kids are moving out of your house and beginning their lives out on their own. “Have I taught them everything they need to know?’ you ask yourself. Granted you will still have opportunities to give them guidance after they leave your house, but never like you did when they lived with you.

When it comes to discipling—teaching them the ways of God—how do you do it? Do you read God’s Word with them and teach them that way? Do you have family devotionals at mealtime or bedtime? Do you make sure they go to church regularly and hope that they learn something there?

The question is how much of that sinks in and sticks with them? I am sure some does, or at least I hope some does.

I think there is one sure way to disciple your children so that it does stick with them.

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