Monday, July 18, 2016

Soul ties, and how to be free of the unhealthy ones

God created humanity with the ability to form soul ties, intending for them to be healthy and life-promoting. The deep connections we develop with parents, siblings, friends, spouses and many others root themselves down in the depths of our beings and create seemingly unbreakable bonds. The profound and mysterious links may even be to a belief system, a group or a community.

The strongest ties form when a couple engages in sexual activity, especially the ‘Adam knew Eve’ kind.  They unite each individual’s body of course, but also each spirit and each soul (mind/conscience, will and emotions). The more we discover how profound those bonds can be, the more absolute and eternal God’s idea of ‘sex only within the bounds of marriage’ makes unshakable sense. These and any other kind of soul ties can too easily turn sour when, for example, abuse, abandonment, hurt of any kind—including of course divorce—happen.

In today’s communicative, connective, and hypersexual society, forging unhealthy soul connections with others is crazy easy.  Few realize the widespread havoc this causes for individuals, families, groups and communities. A look around, however, provides abundant evidence of exactly that. Soon after toxic bonds form, disorder then too easily moves out in concentric, yet connected, circles.


Obviously no one solution can fit all, but a remarkably simple prayer will, I promise you, help. From my own and countless others’ experiences with this prayer strategy, huge burdens and entanglements can be broken and lifted off forever, and incredible freedom found and continually walked in.

So here’s how I and many others have found a true way out and forward. As a preamble, I would like to explain the way this prayer developed. It goes far deeper and further than most ‘prayers to break soul ties’ in that we take into account the bonafide TRUTH existing in what is often said about AIDS: “When you sleep with someone, you sleep with every other individual that person has slept with.”  The creation of the bond means a sharing of each party’s being with the other, a giving of one to the other, and a taking from that other.

To experience the greatest freedom, then, unhealthy soul ties must be broken not only from between the person wanting healing and the one they have direct soul ties with, but also from between that person and every other individual the other has ‘slept with’—all the ‘indirect’ soul connections. You then need to pray for the return to yourself (or the individual being prayed for) all that has been taken,  as well as for the return to all the others what has been taken from them.

While it sounds complicated, the following suggested prayer succinctly and powerfully wraps it all up. It can be easily altered when you’re praying for someone else.

PRAYER

“Dear Lord, I confess to unhealthy connections with __________________ .  Please forgive me and help me be free. In the name of Jesus and by the power of his blood, I take the sword of the Spirit and I cut through all unhealthy soul ties between myself and   __________________, and between myself and all the people, places, systems, world systems, organizations, belief structures and demonic architectures that  __________________ has soul ties with, and that they (all the others) have soul ties with.  Please cauterize these severance points with Your Love, Lord.  I pray now that You would return to me what is mine, to __________________ what is his/hers, and to all the others what is theirs. In Jesus’ mighty name, thank-you and amen.”


Friday, June 27, 2014

Seeing, not seeing, and seeing differently: Blindness, physical and spiritual

Do you see what I see? Do I see what you see?

Sherlock Holmes wondered the same thing on a camping trip with his faithful sidekick Watson. After a long hike over the moors and mountains, setting up the tent, a good meal and a bottle of red, they lay down for the night and soon went to sleep. Some hours later Holmes woke up, nudged his faithful friend and said, "Watson, I want you to look up at the sky and tell me what you see."

Watson pondered a minute or so and then replied. "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of of galaxies and potentially billions of planets, and I also observe that Saturn is in the constellation of Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day today. What does it tell you?"

Holmes  was silent for about 30 seconds and said, "Watson, you idiot! Someone has stolen our tent!"

The necessity of ‘eyes to see’ looms large in Christianity. While Jesus healed the physically blind, he simultaneously heaped criticism on pharisaic types suffering spiritual blindness. The problem was not they couldn’t see, but that as spiritual teachers, they were sure they could.

How can one possibly perceive the 'Light of the world' without spiritual eyes—without an ability to see beyond the physical? John 9 succinctly reveals these truths, and in likely the most memorable way in scripture.

“While I am in the world, I am the light of the world", Jesus announces to those around him, including a fellow he’d just met who had been blind from birth. What follows may be the strangest of Jesus’ recorded miracles. He “spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the [blind] man's eyes. 'Go,' he told him, 'wash in the Pool of Siloam' (this word means 'Sent'). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing" (vv. 6-7).

How on earth could a man born blind—and now with his eyes full of mud—make his way to the pool of Siloam to wash away the mess? We know he did of course, and perhaps some supernaturally endowed spiritual sight helped him to. After cleansing, he gained physical sight as well, sending the hyper-critical Pharisees into religious overload.

Jesus had worked a miracle on the Sabbath, and so violated the Sabbath ‘no work’ laws. But he really tangled up their taut tidiness with his next statement, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind" (John 9: 39). A better summation of Jesus’ ‘doing away with the Law’ may be hard to find.

"What? Are we blind too?" the incredulous Pharisees replied. To which Jesus answered, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains” (John 9: 40-41).

Prayer for the day: 'Dear Lord, preserve us from the spirit of stupid!'

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Holy Chutzpah! Viewing Israel from the inside with the movie 'Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference'

A poll spanning 22 countries done recently for BBC’s World Service suggests people view North Korea and Israel equally negatively. The utterly cool movie Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference (link below) may change some naysayers’ minds … then again, maybe not. Closed minds are just that.

Narrated by New York Times bestselling author and former Harvard lecturer, Dr. Tal Ben Shahar, the film uncovers how despite incredible challenges, Israeli creativity, innovation and chutzpah have triumphed over adversities ranging from geographic to unspeakable.

Hundreds of TV networks and programs have profiled the brilliant, personable PhD and family man, including 60 Minutes and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He now consults and lectures around the world to executives in multinational corporations, Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and for the general public. His topics include leadership, education, ethics, happiness, self-esteem, resilience, goal-setting, and mindfulness.

Israeli-born and American-raised, Dr. Tal taught Harvard’s most popular course ever, 'Positive Psychology', and his international best sellers Being Happy and Happier have been translated into 25 languages.


You can view a ten-minute version of the movie here: Israel Inside: How a Small Nation Makes a Big Difference

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Surprisingly unknown Good News about Vincent van Gogh’s journey

No one viewing Vincent Van Gogh's painting Starry Night walks away unmoved.

But how many know about Van Gogh's abiding 
faith in Christ? Both his father and grandfather were pastors in the Dutch Reformed Church, and apparently many in the family gravitated toward religion or art. 

Vincent’s zeal for Jesus grew in his early twenties. Wanting to study theology, he unfortunately failed the seminary entrance exam, so went off to serve as a missionary to coal miners in Belgium instead.

Much evidence exists of his literally pouring out his life in sacrifice and service on behalf of the diseased and destitute. 


Sadly, and likely a contributing factor to his later psychological problems, even church authorities rejected him for what they thought was his improper dress and excessive zeal.

Read the whole amazing story by Mark Ellis here, including reprints of some of his more overtly Christian-themed paintings.


Monday, August 6, 2012

The Invisible Ceiling: Breakthrough to freedom for all


We live on a beautiful blue planet suspended in sparkly darkness, lit up half the time by our glorious sun and the other half (sort of) by our reflective moon. Life should be good—for all of us. It is good for many, but not for too many more ... and atrociously horrific for all the rest.

Wherever you stand in your belief system, you know this is not right. Whether something good went wrong, or really wherever and however infection set in, we are infected. The planet and its people are infected. If you’re not infected personally, you are at least affected. And infection always spreads. With nearly as many permutations and combinations as beauty, it keeps us ever seeking new antidotes.

Mysteriously however, a huge infection being slowly well-treated in most of society continues to infect, primarily, people of faith. As much as we Christians in particular proclaim freedom for all, an oppressed people group remains in our midst: women.

“Nonsense,” church men reply. “I let my wife do whatever she wants.” You let your wife?

And it’s not just church men. I know otherwise powerful women, in Christian ministry themselves, who have confessed to traces of misogyny. When you’re in the culture, absorbing, for example, all the scriptural references to men, how can you not feel at best ‘less than’, at worst, invisible?

Once upon a time I dated a black fellow who would proclaim he was not ‘black’, but ‘brown’. Well yeah ... and I’m not white, I’m pink. But I didn't feel any need to make that point. Obscure analogy I admit, but perhaps it begins to at least partially, racially, illustrate the gender issue.

Recently I listened to, and was gobsmacked and hugely healed while listening to, a talk by Danny Silk. So in the spirit of Somebody Else’s Story, I want to share that talk with you (see link below). As Danny says, the message is for "anyone who knows a woman.”


Preview: did Jesus—this Friend of humanity/brother/prophet—come only to break the curse over men … and not women? You can download Danny's talk here: The Invisible Ceiling.  He has also published a book on the topic: Powerful and Free: Confronting the Glass Ceiling for Women in the Church.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

God's Chosen Argumentative Ones?

Jewish people, says Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, "are not so much God's chosen people as His argumentative ones. They don't take things on faith. Abraham, Moses and Job," he notes, "all argued with God. And sometimes won."

As TIME magazine's Richard Stengel wrote recently:

"Like Bibi, they were ornery and maybe had a chip on their shoulder. You can imagine Bibi arguing with God, and he probably does. Israeli society hums with contest and grievance. The name Israel derives from Jacob's wrestling with the angel.

"Islam, Bibi has suggested, is about submission, Judaism about arguing. And if you disagree, he will argue with you. Just because everyone thinks something, he says, doesn't mean it's right."

—Richard Stengel, TIME magazine, May 28, 2012