To know and not to do, is really not to know.  – Steve Covey

Self-knowledge is best learned, not by contemplation but by action.  Strive to do your duty and you will soon discover of what stuff you are made.  – Johann Goethe

Someone said, “It is difficult to change one’s way of thinking.  Most of us are full of biases, prejudices, and other superficially examined beliefs that determine the course of our lives in ways we may not understand.  Many of the ways we think may, as we have been, be a part of the culture at large, and though these ways of thinking don’t serve us well, they are so prevalent that they go unquestioned.“ 

I left Palau when I was nineteen.  I assimilated to the culture where I lived.  A journey I would not have had it the other way.  Culture shock is real that when I returned home I was in for another shock. Through the years of healing my heart I thought I was all right,  At least I thought I was until… I began to feel rejected, misunderstood, and unwelcomed.  It came from every corner of my life.   I, then, realized that I was going through another culture shock.  It was painful to be surrounded by hostility hiding underneath that “niceness”.  Through the years I came to see it as the Christian smile where you can see venom seething through their teeth.   I learned later that they usually stab you in the back.  In Matthew 15, Jesus calls them hypocrites, quoting Isaiah saying “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  Manning calls it, “Superficial Faith”.  Good Heavens!  This is a universal problem and I’m not alone in going through their abuse.  But I choose not to be their victim. I got so used to confrontations where I used to work; some kind, some unkind, some quite hostile, but a change took place in my life.  It is okay to be wrong.  It is great to be corrected.  It is okay to say NO.  And it is okay to be different.  It is okay to make a mistake on this planet earth.  Actually it takes courage to be imperfect. That kind of environment helped me grow up plenty.  I learned to be part of a group and not be afraid to be confronted for the sake of the group.

Yesterday I went to an evangelical church somewhere in Wales, United Kingdom.  The preacher was so moving… anointed.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  He is known to be a visual preacher and I appreciate him for I see things more than just listening.  He told a story just like Jesus did and his parables.  How the meaning was hidden within the parable.  I found this preacher I’ve read several of his books so I decided to stay through the whole service.  I anticipated to learn something new for my heart.  And I did.

Have you ever wondered why you have forgiven some folks and yet there’s still no peace in your heart when you hear their names or their faces cross your mind.  I have. I have forgiven them so many times but somehow there was no total forgiveness.   That’s exactly where I was stuck emotionally and spiritually.  The church yesterday revealed to me why it was so.  God was using them to cut me off to keep me balance.  Like a tree doctor, the LORD walks around your life trimming some things you do that may seem good a fruitful to you but they were pulling you down.  Then he read Numbers 17 about a small almond tree that was stripped of its bark, its branches to make a staff.  God told Moses to write Aaron’s name on his staff and put with the other 69 staff (skors) in place where God met Moses in the Tent of Meeting.  In the morning,  Moses walked in and found that Aaron’s staff has blossomed and was bearing almonds.  Amazing.

Being stripped off of everything you thought was good, cutting you where you were bearing most fruits, God was actually cutting them off of you to keep you balanced.  Furthermore, you need to be in the presence of God and let him take care of the blossoms and fruits in his own time.  It is in the presence of God that I found it so easy to forgive so I can find my assignment and do it.

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