Picture yourself standing in front of the mirror in the privacy of your bedroom or your bathroom. As you stand there naked, what do you see? Who do you see? How does it make you feel? It’s very likely most of us will be “insecure” about what we see. Except for the small percentage of finely tuned athletes who have been downing protein drinks after weightlifting, most of us will see someone is too “something…” Too old. Too fat. Too small up there. Too large up there. Too…insecure. Although the mirror may indeed illustrate the need for less of somethings and more of other things, it doesn’t show us the reflection we see when we look into the mirror of God’s perfect love for us. That is the mirror of God’s grace, God’s perfect love for us. What we see when we look into this mirror is our self from God’s perspective, from God’s point of view, through the eyes of his love for us. Yes, his love may indeed say we need to have more of this or less of that – but always in a context of complete acceptance and complete and perfect love. In fact, that grace-full glance actually equips us for change rather than drive us to cover up or look for quick fixes. Psalm 16 says that security comes from the Lord’s Presence. God’s Presence provides a sense of well being and security in where you are going! When you know all that, when you are all of that – you are gifted with “security.” For more, visit KarlGalik.com
The question is, “Does God give you what you want?” Let me throw in another question just like it. “Do your really want God to give you what you want?”
Consider Psalm 37.4, “Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
So…it seems like God does promise to give us what we want. In fact, I agree, as long as you’re talking about what our heart is in need for; what our soul really, wants. What you and I usually hear is, “Delight in the Lord, and he will give you what you lust for.” Many of us are quick to interpret God’s promises of gifts as something to satisfy our passing appetites. These quick-fix, passing lusts, although not always bad in the moment, are always passing and in that sense unsatisfying, sometimes unpleasant and always unfulfilling. So when God promises “the desires of our heart” his desire is for us to have what is not lust-filled, but long-lasting; always pleasant and definitely fulfilling desire. He gives us the unconditional love that sustains, the belonging that attaches us forever to an eternal community; a hope that keeps us looking up and onward. These are the lasting desires of your heart – and in that sense – yes, God loves you enough to not give you what you want – today; in passing. God loves you more than enough to give you what lasts, what your soul craves, the desires of your heart! For more information, visit me at KarlGalik.com
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? -The Prophet Micah (6.8)
This is a quote from a seldom heard from book of the Bible, the prophet Micah. The purpose of his prophetic time was to catch people’s attention. They had gotten too busy and too distracted to focus on what the Lord saw as a lifestyle for his people. They were letting the important things like seeking justice and providing loving kindness slip away – and as a result Micah was warning that the good and the bad were suffering for it. The good and the bad were about to lose what they had because they had taken it for granted and failed to seek justice and love kindness. In the midst of it all, an arrogance had sprung up that led them to believe they could live independently of God’s mercy. Wait! Does any of this sound familiar? Does any of this strike a familiar chord? Was Micah talking to them or to us!? Hmmm…listen again.
There’s no question of the danger of walking in the dark. There’s no question about the difficulty blind people have in making their way on unfamiliar paths. What’s less clear, but just as dangerous, is what happens when people with no spiritual vision try to make their way in the world. The truth is people stumble, find it difficult to find their way and worst of all – people cast off restraint; run amok, people die! This is what Proverbs 29.18 says. Where there is no “vision”/ no “prophetic vision” people separate and move according to what’s best – only for them.
This is why it is critical to have clarity of vision – to know what Light illuminates; to know what God says. This is why it is important for heads of family and heads of state to be clear. This is why it is important for Christians to clearly proclaim God’s Word. God’s Vision brings clarity, boundaries and order – and people – all people are blessed by it! With a vision the people parish. With a vision people thrive! For more, visit KarlGalik.com.
In recent weeks there was a video on FB that went viral. After a Dad discovered his daughter’s inappropriate rant about her parents on FB, the Dad recorded his retort and concluded the video by unloading 10 rounds of a handgun into the daughter’s laptop. When I was growing up, there was a Dad in the neighborhood who always chose to punish his son, my friend publicly in front of his friends embarrassing us all as we stood by and shaming his son who to this day does not have a loving relationship with his Dad. In both accounts I believe the dads were “provoking” their children – going beyond appropriate disciplinary measures in ways that harmed rather than cherished their relationship.
The Bible says, “Fathers do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6.4)
In this way God provides loving boundaries for parents and children. Strengthen and protect them in the Lord without doing so in ways that intentionally provoke them to angry responses. For more visit, KarlGalik.com
There once was a teenage girl that cursed her friend over the phone loud enough for her mother to hear in the next room. When the mom looked at her with a corrective scorn she said, “It’s not like all I do is swear. It’s just when I want to make a point.” The mom nodded and walked away to engage her plan. She baked her daughter’s favorite brownies, but added some dirt from the back yard. When she presented them to her daughter, and waited till her daughter began to enjoy them. She then confessed what she did. The daughter looked at her with scorn and shouted, “Why did you do this to me?” The mom seizing the teachable moment said, “It’s not like its all made of dirt, I’m just trying to make a point.”
The Bible says, “No human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.” (James 3.8-10)
Cursing pollutes. It pollutes our soul as the dirt mingles with works of love. It pollutes others as we wish harm on others. Fortunately, Jesus’ forgiveness cleanses what curses pollutes!. For more visit me at KarlGalik.com.
The first time I heard an adult use this kind of language to describe her Dad I was quite taken back. I thought she was kidding around with me; being silly. But before I laughed inappropriately I caught myself because she was clearly serious. When describing her father each time she used the word, “Daddy.” She described how her “Daddy” owned a ranch just outside of Austin, Texas; how her “Daddy” encouraged her to go away to college. I discovered this is a common affectionate title for Texans to speak of their fathers. Since then I’ve discovered it’s an invitation from our heavenly Father to address him with the same affection. Consider Jesus heartbreaking conversation when making the final decision to move toward the cross.
He said, “Daddy, Father, All things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me…” (Mark 14.40)
Consider it’s this affectionate “Daddy relationship” that Jesus gave to us as a result of the cross. In one of his first letters Paul points out, “Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4.6) A few year later Paul says, “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15) God’s true affection for us is illustrated in his invitation to call to him with “Daddy-like” deep affection as well – which is what the word “Abba” means! For more visit KarlGalik.com
The country has been riveted by the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case in Florida. Zimmerman, it was announced today, now faces 2nd degree murder charges and the possibility of life in prison. Trayvon Martin… well everyone now knows his fate.
Two families ripped apart in the course of six minutes behind some condos in Sanford Florida. Because Martin was black and Zimmerman was not (he is of mixed race background) there are many who make this to be all about racism. It’s not.
It’s about the gun.
What happens to a man when he carries a gun with him and goes looking for trouble in his neighborhood? Does he behave differently than if he was unarmed? The answer, according to psychologists James Brockmole (Notre Dame) and Jessica Witt (Purdue) is a resounding “Yes!”
In their study (published in an upcoming Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance) Brockmole and Witt cite the tragic 1999 case of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed black man who was shot 41 times by New York City police when they mistook the wallet he was trying to show them for a gun. But the study’s findings also seem relevant in the wake of Trayvon Martin shooting. The man who shot him, Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, had been patrolling Sanford’s suburban streets with a handgun.
With a gun in his hand, was Zimmerman more likely to assume — as this new study suggests — that Martin was also armed? And if everything is more likely to look like a gun when you’re carrying one, shouldn’t we be rethinking our permissive concealed weapons laws?
“The familiar saying goes that when you hold a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” says Brockmole. “The apparent harmlessness of this expression fades when one considers what happens when a person holds a gun.”
Brockmole, who specializes in human cognition and how the visual world guides behavior, said he and Witt chose guns for this latest study because they offer a dramatic example of how the presence of an object may not only alter the way we see and perceive information, but also our behavior.
“A gun certainly changes what action choices you make,” said Brockmole.
But only, interestingly, if the gun is in someone’s hand. When the gun was simply nearby but not in the hands of the subjects, the subjetcs were not more likely to jump to the conclusion that the people in the images were armed.
This study also found that the race of the people in the images did not play a significant role in how the students’ responded, but that finding may have been because race was not central to the study’s investigation. “It’s clear [from other research] that race does matter,” said Brockmole.
I believe that the gun was responsible for George Zimmerman having the courage to get out of his truck and confront Martin. What happened next is irrelevant to me, because it was precipitated by Zimmerman getting out of his truck.
For those who think that this is a personal attack on their second Amendment right to bear arms, it isn’t. It is a reasonable conclusion drawn from common sense and published scientific research that says when we have a gun in our hands we act differently. That difference cost Trayvon Martin his life. The question remains: should we consider this before creating new laws that allow more people to walk around more places with more guns in their pockets?
What do you think?
A Post Script: Here are a couple of media clips to listen to and watch. The first two are two audio clips from our radio show (Your Family Matters). They are two halves of a 17 minute conversation about this very issue from March 31 and include a well-known pastor in Detroit’s inner city Christian community, Pastor Emory Moss.
Huge response to this topic about kids and cursing. It seems to be everywhere. The Supreme Court is now hearing a case about cursing and nudity on TV. Should more cursing be allowed on broadcast television? We are only talking about NBC, ABC and CBS (plus Fox). Cable TV already operates outside the boundaries of the FCC and their standards and practices regarding obscenity. On any given TV in America, anyone can turn the channel and hear these words. On broadcast TV however, we hear a “bleep” tone instead. However, are we kidding ourselves? We all know the word being said. Our brains plug in the word so the “offense” (if you are offended) is accomplished whether we actually hear the articulated word or not.
Should we allow the free market to take care of this? It seems as though the people who are at the forefront of “less government” – the conservative movement – is also the ones championing MORE regulation of TV, movies and music. Do we trust the free market or not? If we need government protection from bad words on TV, why is it we don’t need that same protection in other areas of our lives?