Tiger Woods and Forgiveness

In a Fox News panel discussion about Tiger Woods, Brit Hume stated: "The extent to which he can recover, it seems to me, depends on his faith. He is said to be a Buddhist. I don’t think that faith offers the kind of forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith. So, my message to Tiger would be, ‘Tiger, turn to the Christian faith and you can make a total recovery and be a great example to the world."

In her blog on 1/7, Ann Coulter defended this statement, and discussed the crazy responses from the liberal press.  She quoted several verses to support her thesis that Christianity “is the best deal in the Universe,” including Romans 10:9, that states "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." She says “… accept that God sent his only son to die for your sins and rise from the dead … and you’re in!

The key missed by Ann is a very important phrase in the verse:  "believe in your heart."  I think the article misses this, as do most churches.  This verse is often treated as a magic formula to heaven.  Pray the magic prayer and you are in!  Whoopee!

However, intellectual agreement and heart belief are very different, but our culture does not know the difference.  When you believe it in your heart, your emotional life is powerfully impacted:  your life is dramatically changed.  The fact of your direct, permanent connection to God as an adopted adult son or daughter, with full authority – just like Jesus, who calls you his brother, not his servant – becomes a foundation for your life.  This is the truth that truly sets you free, but only if it is a heart belief, not a head belief.  When your heart believes, you are living by the Spirit; your focus will be on your daily relationship with your "daddy" Father God.  You live in complete freedom from law, as clearly stated by St. Paul in Galatians.  But many Christians today have heart beliefs that contradict this, so instead they need to focus on works, on "being good" and playing by the rules – all of which are operating as under the law.  The central fact that God is focused on your heart is often missed:  He cares what your heart believes, not what you give intellectual assent to.

Head belief and heart belief are completely separate, and people can and often do have opposing beliefs between head and heart.  This is a lose-lose situation:  this is why we believe it is so important for people to understand the difference, and learn how to reprogram their hearts by replacing cultural or family background lies with God’s truth … in their hearts!

The understanding of heart vs. head was something I learned about after being a Christian for over 30 years.  My first transformational experience in 1994 blew my mind.  How could I believe but not believe?  Over the past 2 years, I have been exposed to teaching that revealed to me how that was possible:  for 30 years, I believed in my head, but it did not change my life, other than for me to try real hard to be "good" and do what "good Christians" do, with some fair success, but not a lot of satisfaction (I would make a GREAT Pharisee!).  I knew something was missing, but what?  It was heart belief.  In 1994, I finally was able to toss out one of the many lies in my heart, and replace it with God’s truth.  Since then, I have been tossing out many more, and will continue on this path.

Ann is right:  the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the best deal out there.  Hands down, nothing else comes close.  If only more Christians believed it in their hearts!  Then our world would be a different place!

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January 9, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Can Abuse Make You Fat?

January is a time for many Americans to take stock in what we have and make resolutions for a better future.  For many of us, getting into shape tops the list.  But for some, past pain runs deep enough that diet and exercise may not be enough.

A new article from TIME/CNN cites one research effort by Dr. Vincent Felittik showing that as many as 50% of obese men and women have been sexually abused.

While a diet and exercise are always good to implement when the scale begins to tip, many people suffer a quiet, hidden pain that is often unaddressed.  Some use alcohol, drugs, sex or food and suffer the consequences of those various methods of numbing the pain.

In the online course, "Journey to Freedom: Releasing the Past" Dr. Jim Sawyer addresses the various ways that abuse and trauma contribute to various addictions later in life, including food addiction.  "It is not only physical wounds that need to be lanced and drained, and be left open to the air in order to heal" Dr. Sawyer says.  "Spiritual and emotional healing need to go through a similar process."

More:

How Childhood Trauma Can Cause Adult Obesity (Time/CNN) by Maia Szalavitz

Journey to Freedom (Free e-book)

Journey to Freedom: Releasing the Past (online course

January 7, 2010. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Episode 2 of the EduPlex Ministries Podcast Posted

Web Here’s the latest installment of the new podcast from EduPlex Ministries.

It’s hard to resist the urge to just put all the content from Dr Sawyer into one BIG podcast and let it roll. There’s so much though from just 5 minutes.

As you listen to this, I think it’s clear why we were so inspired to build a series of class and study guides around The Shack. Even if you don’t see eye-to-eye with some of the themes in this book, the dialog it has created is invaluable.

http://eduplexeric.podomatic.com/entry/2009-12-28T07_45_44-08_00

In this, and the next few episodes of this podcast, we talk to Dr Jim Sawyer of EduPlex Ministries about the book, The Shack by Paul Young. During his studies of the book Dr Sawyer identified five big questions people commonly ask. In this recording, we hear him discuss the first of these questions.

If you have any questions or comments about the show, send them to podcast@eduplex.org. We’re just getting started and would like to hear what YOU want to hear about.

Or leave a comment below.

December 28, 2009. Tags: , , . The Shack. Leave a comment.

New Episode of the EduPlex Ministries Podcast

Hi everyone, I posted the first episode of our new podcast.

Please click the link below to view it.
http://eduplexeric.podOmatic.com/entry/2009-12-21T07_25_43-08_00

In this, and the next few episodes of this podcast, we talk to Dr Jim Sawyer of EduPlex Ministries about the book, The Shack by Paul Young. Out of a sea of Christian fiction, this book has sparked many emotional responses (both positive and negative) as this book has sustained top-selling status for several months. The themes in this book even inspired the creation of a series of class and study guides around The Shack at EduPlex Ministries. In this recording Dr Sawyer reflects on his own initial discovery of the book and why he feels it has managed to touch so many lives.

See you there!

December 25, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Prepping New Podcast With Answers to Common Questions About The Shack by Paul Young

We’re pretty excited about the release of the class and study guide we’ve developed for The Shack but we’re far from finished.

Coming soon, we’re going to publish some conversations we recorded with Dr Bill Sawyer who developed the content for the class. With such a depth of knowledge, and a great gift for sharing, these recordings are going to be a real treat.

The recordings will be collected together as a podcast on podomatic and iTunes and the individual sessions will be shared here as well.

By the way, what questions do YOU have which your reading of The Shack may have brought out in you? Just leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.

October 21, 2009. Tags: , . Online Classes, The Shack. 1 comment.

Moving Beyond The Shack with The Shack Class and Study Guide

We’ve been working like crazy on the new class and study guide for The Shack and it’s almost ready to go. Last week we even spoke with William Young and he was both excited and supportive to see that we’re finally coming out the other end of the tunnel.

The sign up page for this class and study guide is ready to go at
http://eduplex.org/en/launch2009/shack1.aspx

For those wondering what’s in store for this online class built around the book The Shack, here’s a brief description of course 1.

BEYOND THE SHACK Course Series
Beyond the Shack is a revolutionary, high impact, life-changing experience that engages the student in a deep and satisfying emotional connection to God: beyond rules, guilt and pain into relationship, joy and power! An exhilarating journey of discovery! A remarkable integration of teaching, coaching, social interaction and contemplation! The unique integrated coaching takes you beyond knowledge to actual experience of deep spiritual truth.

Course 1 – Forgiveness: Possible or Impossible?
Pain & Guilt: Neutralizing the Poison

When others hurt us, abuse us or commit horrific crimes against us, where is God in all of this and how could he possibly ask us to forgive? Forgiveness: Possible or Impossible? addresses the theme of forgiveness in The Shack book by William P. Young, and highlights the three distinct types of forgiveness, commonly taught as one. The course teaches common forgiveness myths, the dangers of premature forgiveness, and explains how to experience true freedom from those who have hurt us. If you are still feeling wounded by another, then this course is especially designed for you. Experience healing and a new freedom of your heart as you develop a loving and lasting relationship with God and others.

Student Comments: “I really liked the interaction with the other students on the conference call and was surprised at how fast a bond began and people started opening up.” “I liked the fact that there were seasoned staff on the call to ask the questions and keep the group on track.”

October 5, 2009. Tags: , , . Online Classes, The Shack. 3 comments.

Interviews With William Young About The Shack

While working on The Shack Class and Study Guide I found these interviews with William Young. They give a lot of insight into the pure passion he’s put into this book.

William Young Interview Part 1 of 3

William Young Interview Part 2 of 3

William Young Interview Part 3 of 3

Based on the comments about this book it’s pretty clear to me that people need additional information to process what they’re taking in. To me it’s less about “right vs wrong” interpretations but rather a willingness to explore your own values and beliefs when it comes to your relationship with God.

The Shack Class and Study Guide on the way. Won’t be long now.

If you have any questions you’d like covered, please leave them below.

October 1, 2009. Tags: , , , , . Online Classes, The Shack. Leave a comment.

Questions about The Shack

The Shack by William Young is a book with an amazing history. He wrote it as a personal labor of love and really didn’t have a lot of expectations of it becoming the best seller it became.

For many people, the book raises a lot of questions and some people have even found themes in the book offensive.

Imagine that.

I think anything that creates that kind of dialog is great. It’s a platform for seeking answers and exploration.

There’s a lot of material though so it’s also the kind of thing which lends itself to a class. That’s why it’s going to be one of our first releases from Eduplex.org.

More news when we’ve got more to share.

September 28, 2009. Tags: , , . The Shack. Leave a comment.

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