Thursday, May 22, 2008

Check out New Dr. Sam Web site!

Folks,

Feel free to check out my new Dr. Sam web site. There are a bunch of articles I wrote and some interesting news. Check out my article on "What is a Healthy Person" or the one titled, "How to Spot a Narcissist." There is a fascinating article/documentary news item called, "Mindshock: Transplanting Memories?" It has a four part documentary you can click on. The documentary deals with cellular memory evidenced via heart transplants. Those receiving heart transplants experiencing the memories, emotions, and tastes of those who donated the heart. One blue-collar worker with little education suddenly became a poet. Check it out.

Go to: www.DrSam.tv

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Your Story: Old or New?

People perceive and remember what fits into their personal plot—an internal script of oneself and one’s world. Beliefs and assumptions (inspired by experiences) dictate what you look for and attribute meaning. You always find or create that which validates those beliefs, and ignore, mistrust, disbelieve—or more likely don’t notice—anything that doesn’t fit into that pattern.

Reruns
People repeat behavior, even that which doesn’t work, because it offers security and familiarity. Doing the same thing results in a known outcome; predictability masquerades as effectiveness. When you move beyond a familiar pattern, you may experience anxiety.

Repetition reinstates the security of the familiar, even if the repetition is limiting or frustrating. By opting for repetition, people sabotage invention and imprison creativity. Stuck behavior has stuck consequences. Staying in a rut long enough begins to seem like fate. That outlook can lead to despair. The ultimate question about fixed beliefs or “stuckness” is: Does it work?

Who Wrote This?
Change may be difficult, but it begins with the easy recognition that you are the author of your own life story. Insight, understanding, and theory do not create change. New theories alone will not drive old lived experiences into extinction. Lasting change requires new lived experiences to replace old experiences – you invested a lot of years in the old system, and you will have to practice the new stuff as hard as you practiced the old stuff.

4 BASIC TESTS FOR CHANGE

1. What do you want to change?
2. What do you want to outgrow?
3. What do you want to avoid?
4. What do you want to enhance?

by David Krueger, MD

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Carried in the father's arms

This video by rob bell goes straight to the heart... and maybe addresses the storm you are going through.

Deb and I have been going through our own storm for about 2 years ... and I can affirm that we have felt the father holding us close to his heart, telling us that he loves us, and that we are going to make...he will carry us through!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Straight Story

One of my favorite movies of all times is The Straight Story (1999), directed by David Lynch and starring Richard Farnsworth and Sissy Spacek. It is an unusual film, very reflective and slow-paced with little action and lots of breath-taking shots of the Iowa cornfields in the fall with hauntingly beautiful music.

It is the true story of Alvin Straight, a man who drives a 30-year-old riding mower 240 miles for 6 weeks in order to reconcile his relationship with his brother.

I have posted this story, plus a brief outline from chapter #20 of Purpose-Driven Life on how to restore broken relationships at www.friends4thejourney.com

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Christmas Wish from a Shrink

As I ponder what to wish you all during this festive season, I decided to wish you no less than what I wish for myself and those in similar life’s journey. With some seriousness and some tongue in cheek I wish that this next year you:

  1. Escape The Matrix with its illusions, lies, and games (Christian and other).
  2. Be able to go very deep into the soul and deal with those demons of denial that create guilt, despair, anger, depression, and even disease until…
  3. The soul is bare and naked before God, stripped of its narcissistic armor and false persona ready to…
  4. Receive healing, grace, and joy that lets us…
  5. Experience the lightness of liberation and freedom to be the real us without the need to wear disguises and masks.

Free as a bird… No more hiding…

We can then walk in the very presence of God without obstruction enveloped in the stillness of His love. All inner noise turned off as you watch God.

Dr. Sam

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Snippet from Peter Gent's "Missional Movements..."

Eagleman passed me an excellent article that brings together many key concepts from The Shaping of Things to Come and other books. It's confirmed many things I have been working toward, and phrases things very pointedly. Here is a key passage:

In the Gospel of Luke, chapter 10, Jesus sends out seventy disciples to go to the villages he was about to go to himself, telling the disciples to go find people who would invite them into their homes, and once there, to eat their food, release blessing, heal their sick, and proclaim that the kingdom of God had come near. Before he sends them out, however, Jesus tells the disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” We must stop for a moment to consider: weren’t the disciples the ones that were in that very moment being sent by the Lord of the harvest into his harvest? What was Jesus’ intent in telling the very workers he was sending to pray for sent workers?

Herein lies the key to missional movements. The implication of Jesus’ words are that the great majority of effective workers who will be called to the harvest are yet to be sent, for they are currently still in the harvest. The effect is that the strategic challenge in starting an apostolic movement is not in mobilizing the church to mission, it is mobilizing the harvest to mission. And consequently, the great task of the church in the West is not in reinventing the church but rather rebirthing the church. It is time to release new missional movements, from which workers will arise out of the harvest to carry the church to new heights and reshape the very fabric of the western church.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christianity Rediscovered

I found this on a blog by someone named Solidaridad at
http://marydaly.blogspot.com/2006/07/christianity-rediscovered_27.html

I was on the plane reading Christianity Rediscovered when I read something so enlightening that for about five minutes I had to resist the urge to start a theological conversation with the strangers seated next to me...lucky for them I was able to resist myself, although it was very hard! But now I can share what I read with you...

Vincent J. Donovan was a Catholic missionary in Tazania and a member of the Holy Ghost order...bear with me. After some years of working in the schools and hospitals that served the people of the Masai tribe, he received permission to meet directly with a gathering of interested Masai people and their chief to speak to them solely about the good news of Christianity - Jesus' gospel and the God he spoke about. Donovan met weekly with them in the early morning - a time that would not interfere with their daily activities and work - and began by bringing up a topic or theme each week, asking about their thoughts on the topic and then offering his. Their first climactic moment came at the end of their discussions on God: Donovan ended the God discussions by comparing their understanding and beliefs about God with Abraham's understanding and beliefs about God (of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible).

Donovan explained that like them, Abraham had also believed that God blessed him and his family in a special and unique way - that his God loved and blessed him above all others. Donovan explained that like the Masai, Abraham tried to restrict God to his tribe and his land and so made God less of a God than God really was (pg. 34). Donovan told them that the God they believed in who loves rich people and hates poor people, who loves good people and hates evil people – who loves some over others – does not exist (pg. 35)! Donovan said, "There is no God like that. There is only the God who loves us no matter how good or how evil we are, the God you have worshipped without really knowing [it], the truly unknown God – the High God" (pg. 35). He told them the High God is really the only God.

With the silence that followed Donovan became nervous that maybe he had gone too far – had he offended the Masai by saying that their tribal God whose love they restricted to themselves and to their land did not exist? Then suddenly someone asked Donovan, "This story of Abraham – does it only speak to the Masai? Or does it speak also to you? Has your tribe found the High God? Have you known Him [sic]?" (pg. 35).

"Has your tribe found the High God?"

Donovan caught himself and realized the question required serious consideration...he thought to himself, "suddenly I remembered that since the time of Joan of Arc, if not before, the French have conceived of God as being rather exclusively and intimately associated with their quest for glory. I wonder what god they prayed to? Americans have some kind of certainty that 'almighty God' will always be on their side in all their wars. Hitler never failed to call on the help of 'Gott, der All├Ąchtige' in all his speeches; in all his adventures…I have been to many parishes in America where they prayed for victory in war. I recognized the God they were praying to – the tribal God. And what about the God who loves good people, industrious people, clean people, rich people, [add your own bias here; married people, church-going people, etc.] and punishes bad people, lazy people, dirty people, thieving people, people without jobs and on welfare [gay people, conservative people, etc.]? Which God is that?" (pg. 35-36)

Finally Donovan realized that he, we, are no different than the Masai – we also only worship a tribal God – who blesses and loves those that are basically more like ourselves. Donovan, humbled before the Masai said, "No, we have not found the High God. My tribe has not known Him [sic]. For us, too, He [sic] is the unknown God. But we are searching… I have come a long, long distance to invite you to search for [God] with us. Let us search for [God] together. Maybe, together, we will find [God]" (pg. 36).

Maybe, together, we will find God – the High God.

Donovan first went to the Masai to speak to them about the good news, about the God and the gospel of Jesus Christ; to tell them that God is above all tribes and clans, nation and race, and that God loves us all; that the world is sacred and full of unlimited possibilities and expectant hope; that the human race is all one – we are all one brother/sisterhood – that we are all sons and daughters of a common parent – that we are all of equal value and importance. Donovan first went to the Masai to offer them Jesus' good news and Jesus' God, but soon realized that he also came from a people – a tribe – that does not believe in the good news or know the High God of whom Jesus spoke: the God who loves and values all people equally; the good news that say we no longer have to live our lives with "the burning hatred, hostility, and prejudice of one race or tribe toward another" that causes us to tear each other and the earth apart (pg. 40) and instead declares that we live in a sacred world of endless possibilities and expectant hope (pg. 38).
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After reading this part of the book I was overwhelmed with the need to extrovert and talk about this revelation from Donovan's book that became my own revelation. I thought about the way I had just heard a relative speak about how "the devil tricks people into thinking that homosexuality is ok with God"…does this relative's god only love heterosexual/straight people? I thought about our country's rhetoric against "those terrorists – our enemies,"…does the god of the United States only love "Americans" and not Iraqis or Palestinians?

Do I think that my god only loves those who are "open-minded," have feminist ideals and support gay rights?

I realized that from now on, when I catch others and I try to box, limit, and define who God is and whom God loves, I can think of Abraham. I can remind myself and others that Abraham was called by God to leave behind his assumptions about whom God loves and blesses, and to leave behind his tribe and his nation and his land so that all the nations will be blessed. Because when we make such assumptions, when we restrict god to our way of thinking – to what we think is good, true and right – we are indeed only worshiping a tribal god – a god who is less that the High God who called Abraham out of his tribe – and we cannot and should not claim that this tribal god of ours is the God of the good news, the God of Christianity, or the God about whom Jesus came to share.
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I have yet to finish Donovan's book – but already it has given me much food for thought – and at this point what I can say about the God of Christianity and the good news of Jesus Christ is that, "Indeed, we have not found the High God. My tribe has not known God. For us, too, the High God is unknown. But we are searching for God…let us search for God together. Maybe, together, we will find God…and rediscover Christianity."