Archive for January, 2015

Dr. Benjamin T. Mast on the Psalms and Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

This blog is an excerpt from Dr. Benjamin T. Mast new book Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel during Alzheimer’s Disease. This is an important but neglected topic.

Benjamin Mast is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and an Associate Clinical Professor in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville. He is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia related issues. He is Co-Editor in Chief of the forthcoming American Psychological Association Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology (February 2015).

“Through the personal stories of those affected and the loved ones who care for them, Dr. Benjamin Mast highlights the power of the gospel for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Filled with helpful, up-to-date information, Dr. Mast answers common questions about the disease and its effect on personal identity and faith as he explores the biblical importance of remembering and God’s commitment to not forget his people. In addition, he gives practical suggestions for how the church can come alongside families and those struggling, offering help and hope to victims of this debilitating disease.” From Amazon.com book description

—–

Lewis had gotten so bad that even those who knew him best could no longer tell what he remembered. He rarely spoke, and when he did, it was often a grunt or groan. He could barely walk and relied upon his wife to wheel him from room to room. He had grown too heavy to support his own weight. Swallowing became difficult, and he often choked on his food, breaking into full-body spasms that terrified both of them.

In the early years of their Alzheimer’s journey, Lewis and his wife had prayed every day for healing, in hopes that God would work a miracle. By now, Lewis had stopped speaking audible prayers, and though Ann was holding on to hope and faith, there were times where she couldn’t fight off the feeling that they had been forgotten.

How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, L
ORD my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. (Psalm 13:1 – 4)

It can seem as if Alzheimer’s and other dementias defeat us in the end. They are an enemy that progressively steals from our lives until we die, confused and alone, ending our years with a moan (Psalm 90:9). To combat these fears and doubts, we have only the promises of God to cling to.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the L
ORD’s praise,
for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13:5 – 6)

Though it may seem as if the Lord has forgotten us, we cling to the underlying truth that although we forget our Creator and Redeemer, he never forgets us. He always remembers us, fully knows us, and sustains us, even as we approach the end of this earthly life. Even as we fall into a state of seemingly hopeless decay, we know that God remembers his children and mercifully calls us home.

We’ve discussed the importance of remembering the Lord, how he has been at work throughout redemptive history and in our individual lives. When we remember him, we find a place to anchor our lives as we are battered about by the suffering of dementia.

But we also find comfort in knowing that even in our forgetting, God doesn’t forget. He continues to know us. In fact, it is far more significant that God remembers us than that we remember him. This
 speaks to the reality that our salvation, from
 beginning to end, is by grace. In grace God reaches out to rescue us—not the other
way around. Our salvation, ultimately, is
 not up to us. We cannot save ourselves.
 And there is comfort in this as a person
 experiences physical and mental decay. We
 continue to have hope that they are moving
 closer to full restoration. It is not necessary 
for them to be able to articulate this hope
for it to be true. God loves them just as much now as when they were born and when they first believed. God’s love covers our sin and our forgetting with full knowledge of all that we have done and will do. There is no discovery or development that can diminish God’s view of us, even the devastation that Alzheimer’s wreaks upon our brains…

God remembers and knows us more deeply than we could ever imagine—we are never out of his mind. Even when others forget us, God does not.

If this post was beneficial for you, then considering reading other blogs from my “Favorite Posts on Mental Illness and Medication” post which address other facets of this subject.

Are You Satisfied with Your Sex Education?

How many of us have had a great sex education?

  • That talk with your parents, did it tell you everything you needed to know? I’m pretty sure it would have been traumatic had they answered all the questions you have now back then.
  • Your friends in the middle and high school locker room, I’m sure they knew what they were talking about? We all look back on that season of life and reflect on the wisdom we had, right?
  • What you’ve learned on the internet (except for this post… of course), I’m sure was wholesome and beneficial… or even realistic for that matter? Oddly, no one watches a James Bond movie and thinks they can escape an exploding building in the nick of time, but people do watch a romantic comedy or pornographic movie and think “my life should be like that” … with a choreographed sound track.
  • Trial and error, do you really want to entrust this aspect of your marriage to chance and instincts? Yes, we should and will learn about sex over a lifetime of marriage, but if most couples had a better understanding of how the arousal system and bonding nature of sex worked together they could see their sex life grow stronger with each encounter.

Let’s face it, the church (and most Christian families) have largely abdicated sex education to our culture and our culture has been happy to fill the void of the church’s silence. This silence and the resulting curiosity about what we don’t know are leading factors in what makes books like 50 Shades of Grey popular even amongst Christians who would morally disagree with its content.

The fact that God created sex as a good gift does not tell us how to have good sex. The truth that we’re supposed to wait until marriage to have sex does not equip us to selflessly and skillfully cultivate the pleasure of our spouse in a way that leaves us mutually satisfied while strengthening the bond of trust.

At the Summit, we do not want to contribute to the church’s silence.

We will be addressing the subject of sexuality at the upcoming Sam James Institute Forum. In the second half of this presentation, I will be presenting “Learning to Skillfully and Unashamedly Enjoy God’s Gift of Sex.”

While the primary audience of this material will be for married or engaged couples, we believe that — in a culture that is already sex-saturated — having a wholesome view of what God intends sex to be in marriage can be an important asset in strengthening single’s resolve not to settle for something less outside the context of marriage.

LIVING IN 50 SHADES OF GREY
A Cultural Assessment and Christian Education in Sexuality
Sam James Institute Forum
Date: Tuesday February 10, 2015
Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm – Cindy Peterson, Director of Women’s Discipleship at Summit
Time: 7:30 to 8:30 pm – Brad Hambrick, Pastor of Counseling at Summit
Location: The Summit Church, Brier Creek South Venue
Address: 2415-107 Presidential Drive; Durham, NC 27703
Cost: Free
RSVP Link

If you are unable to attend this event, but are interested in this material, then a version of this presentation is available in videos 4 and 5 of the Creating Gospel-Centered Marriage: Intimacy seminar.

Tweets of the Week 1.27.15

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

Tuesday Tweets of the Week: 1.1.13

There is great value in saying something in a memorable, concise manner. Twitter has caused us to make this a near spiritual discipline. For my own growth (as a generally verbose individual… that’s a long way of saying “wordy”) and for the benefit of others, I highlight tweets each week that deliver a big message in a few words.

A movie preview tweet.

https://twitter.com/BobKellemen/status/285001114263363584A timely passage of Scripture regarding the adoption blockage in Russia.

For those making New Year’s Resolutions.

And one because its funny (but you have to click the image link to get it).

 

Memories After Forgiveness: A Series from Miroslav Volf (Part 1 of 7)

What do we do with memories of intense offenses after we forgive? This is a vexing question in a world marred by violence. Oh, that we could really “forgive and forget.” This is the question Miroslav Volf seeks to answer in his book The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in aWorld of Violence.

This blog series the postscript to Dr. Volf’s book in which he seeks to illustrate what he’s taught through imagined conversations with “Captian G.” – his chief interrogator during Miroslav’s eight years of political imprisonment for being a Christian and “Western sympathizer” in the former communist Yugoslavia.

I admire the honesty and vulnerability of this book. It remains true to the historic Christian positions on forgiveness and righteousness without making the living of those answers seem any “neater” than they really are in a broken world. I hope this series of excerpts will motivate many people to read this excellent book. I believe its content can be of great benefit for those who’ve face various forms of abuse and what to know how to honor God with those memories they cannot forget.

This seven part series will be posted in the following units:

  • Introduction (this post)
  • The Commission
  • In a Pub
  • Invisible Guest
  • Once More in a Pub
  • A Puzzlement
  • After the Judgment

end-of-memeory-225x300I have often wondered what happened to Captain G. after the fall of 1984, when I was allowed to escape from under his inquisitorial “care.” Where was he in the early nineties, when Mostar (the city in which he seemed to enjoy his job of poking around in people’s lives) found itself caught in the whirlwind of a three-way war between Serbs, Croats, and Muslims? Did a communist defending the “brotherhood and unity” of the peoples of Yugoslavia morph into a nationalist fighting for the Serbian cause? Did he come out of the carnage alive? A hero? A four-star general? Or did he abandon the army out of disappointment that the socialist project for which he snooped on so many had so easily crumbled? What did he do after the war, during the years of uneasy and bitter peace? Did he withdraw to the mountains of his native Montenegro to nurse his wounds or drown his memories in Montenegrin vine brandy? Or, ensconced in his ancestral house, perhaps he is still proudly recounting to his grandchildren his great exploits in preventing secret plots against holy causes and wondering which one of these little ones will be found worthy to follow in his footsteps.

I have made a few attempts to track him down. The unsettling yet irresistibly attractive God of mine, intent on reconciling everyone and everything, kept nudging me to locate my nemesis and start the process of reconciliation. I searched the internet. I talked to a few friends with connections in the Yugoslav military. I came away empy handed . . . and relieved. But the Merciful Master of the universe ensconced deep in my conscience didn’t seem satisfied. It wasn’t divine anger that I felt, as though God were furious at me for failing to obey. Nor was it a sense of divine irritation, as though God were nagging, “How many times do I have to tell you to try harder?” It wasn’t even disappointment, as though God were pointing out that Jesus Christ died to reconcile me to God and I couldn’t even make peace with a fellow human being, for whom Christ also died. Instead, I simply sensed God’s unwillingness to let the alienation and enmity have the last word. “Maybe you can do better,” I heard a patient and persistent voice speak from the depths of my own heart – a voice that was my own, yet also that of Another. “And if not now, maybe later. . . .” Relieved from pressure but not from responsibility, I searched for ways to reconcile with Captain G.

Then the obvious occurred to me. Wherever Captain G. lived – presumably within the borders of the erstwhile Yugoslavia – he also showed up in my memory and frequented my imagination. There, I was mostly dealing with him without really engaging him. Early on, I would chase him away, and later, when his presence in my mind became more or less inconsequential, I would simply disregard him. Maybe, I now thought, I should try to reconcile with him in my imagination. I had made many – too many – attempts to forgive him on my own; maybe it was time to involve him in the process. Granted, even if I succeeded in reconciling with Captain G. on the screen of my mind, an imagined reconciliation could not permanently substitute for a face-to-face encounter of living and breathing human beings. Still, imagined reconciliation is something, and something is mostly better than nothing. I had no excuse. I had to begin.

Dr. Benjamin T. Mast on Philippians 2 and Caring for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s Disease

This blog is an excerpt from Dr. Benjamin T. Mast new book Second Forgetting: Remembering the Power of the Gospel during Alzheimer’s Disease. This is an important but neglected topic.

Benjamin Mast is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and an Associate Clinical Professor in Geriatric Medicine at the University of Louisville. He is a licensed clinical psychologist specializing in aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia related issues. He is Co-Editor in Chief of the forthcoming American Psychological Association Handbook of Clinical Geropsychology (February 2015).

“Through the personal stories of those affected and the loved ones who care for them, Dr. Benjamin Mast highlights the power of the gospel for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Filled with helpful, up-to-date information, Dr. Mast answers common questions about the disease and its effect on personal identity and faith as he explores the biblical importance of remembering and God’s commitment to not forget his people. In addition, he gives practical suggestions for how the church can come alongside families and those struggling, offering help and hope to victims of this debilitating disease.” From Amazon.com book description

—–

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we our- selves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:22 – 25)

People with dementia know this groaning. Seeking life through the fog and confusion of dementia, they groan in frustration, both inwardly (as the passage indicates) and outwardly. Deep within they may recall a time when they were free from the weight of memory impairment and confusion, and they may long for a better day. Caregivers will also groan as they long for behavioral challenges to stop, as they long for a return to the way things were, and as they long for the person to remember. Both the person with dementia and the caregiver eagerly await the redemption and restoration of their bodies. As Paul tells us, we wait for something we do not yet see and do not yet have, but this does not change the reality of our hope. Waiting and hoping requires faith, but thankfully we do not wait alone.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26 – 27)

The grace of God is evident in the way he responds to us in our weakness. Here Paul explains that we sometimes suffer so greatly that we don’t even know what we ought to pray for. In these times, the Holy Spirit prays for us “through wordless groans.” The Spirit intercedes for us when we cannot think of the words to pray. If you are caring for a person with dementia and find yourself overwhelmed, seemingly unable to do anything, this passage is for you.

It is also a word of hope to the person who has dementia. In their weakness, the Spirit intercedes with wordless groans on their behalf as well. Sometimes, a person advances to a stage when articulating needs and prayers becomes difficult, if not impossible. But here we are told that the Lord continues to search and know their hearts, interceding on their behalf with these wordless groans in accordance with God’s will. Our faith is in a God who is good, loving, and compassionate. Even when we are unable to speak—perhaps because we are overwhelmed and weak or the disease has severely damaged our brain — we are promised that God still searches our hearts, seeing our innermost thoughts, fears, and hopes, and he responds with prayers on our behalf. God’s grace is so amazing. He gives us what we need when we are too weak or confused to ask for it ourselves. In Alzheimer’s disease we are reminded that God knows us better than we know ourselves.

ReCity: An RDU Non-Profit You Should Know

ReCity is a 501 c 3 educational non-profit that is reimagining what our city would look like if we lived our lives together instead of separately. ReCity’s vision is to see every student in the Triangle connected to the opportunities they need to thrive. By leveraging the assets of the community and partnering with already existing organizations, ReCity creates access to education and career opportunities for disconnected youth through training and apprenticeship programs founded upon a mentoring relationship.

ReCity’s goal is to gather effective organizations together to empower youth to develop their gifts and connect them to meaningful careers. ReCity’s hope is to see these relationships ignite a movement that breaks down the barriers that separate us and catalyzes the reconciliation and restoration of the city.
Join ReCity in rewriting the story of our city together.

3 Ways to Get Involved

1) Mentor If you have a desire to build a mutually beneficial relationship with a disconnected youth in your community and can commit to invest just 1 hour a week for a year, click here to RSVP for our mentor training on Saturday, February 7thhttp://ow.ly/Hn8Zx

2) Share your skill set: Are you passionate and gifted in a particular field? Leverage your skills by teaching a class or seminar through ReCity that will help disconnected youth discover and develop their gifts so they can be equipped for the careers God is calling them to! http://ow.ly/Hj30k

3) Pray Prayer is essential to seeing the vision and mission of ReCity become reality. Join our prayer team and partner with us in praying that God would use ReCity to break down the walls that separate us and catalyze reconciliation and restoration in our city by the power of the gospel! Email Rob Shields (rob@recitynetwork.org) to receive regular updates on how you can be praying for ReCity!

ReCity from The Summit Church on Vimeo.

 

 

An Interesting Quote from Eugene Peterson on the Trinity

The following excerpt is taken from Eugene H. Peterson’s book Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids; 2006) pages 31-33.  It is a lengthy quote and may need to be read several times, but it speaks with great clarity (at least in the mind of this blogger) to the times in which we live.  The bold-faced, under-lined, and italicized text have been added to Dr. Peterson’s work to add emphasis to the portions this blogger believes capture the essence of texts meaning.

“Here’s how it works. It is important to observe that in the formulation of this new Trinity that defines the self as the sovereign text for living, the Bible is neither ignored nor banned; it holds; it holds, in fact, an honored place. But the three-personal Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is replaced by a very individualized personal Trinity of my Holy Wants, my Holy Needs, and my Holy Feelings.

We live in an age in which we have all been trained from the cradle to choose for ourselves what is best for us. We have a few years of apprenticeship at this before we are sent out on our own, but the training begins early. By the time we can hold a spoon we choose between half a dozen cereals for breakfast, ranging from Cheerios to Corn Flakes. Our tastes, inclinations, and appetites are consulted endlessly. We are soon deciding what clothes we will wear and in what style we will have our hair cut. The options proliferate: what TV channels we will view, what courses we will take in school, what college we will attend, what courses we will sign up for, what model and color of car we will buy, what church we will join. We learn early, with multiple confirmations as we grow older, that we have a say in the formation of our lives and, within certain bounds, the decisive say. If the culture does a thorough job on us – and it turns out to be mighty effective with most of us – we enter adulthood with the working assumption that whatever we need and want and feel forms the divine control center of our lives.

The new Holy Trinity. The sovereign self expresses itself in Holy Needs, Holy Wants, and Holy Feelings. The time and intelligence that our ancestors spent on understanding the sovereignty revealed in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are directed by our contemporaries in affirming and validating the sovereignty of our needs, wants, and feelings.

My needs are non-negotiable. My so-called rights, defined individually, are fundamental to my identity. My need for fulfillment, for expression, for affirmation, for sexual satisfaction, for respect, my need to get my own way – all these provide a foundation to the centrality of me and fortify my self against diminution.

My wants are evidence of my expanding sense of kingdom. I train myself to think big because I am big, important, significant. I am larger than life and so require more and more goods and services, more things and more power. Consumption and acquisition are the new fruits of the spirit.

My feelings are the truth of who I am. Any thing or person who can provide me with ecstasy, with excitement, with joy, with stimulus, with spiritual connection validates my sovereignty. This, of course, involves employing quite a large cast of therapists, travel agents, gadgets and machines, recreations and entertainments to cast out the devils of boredom or loss or discontent – all the feelings that undermine or challenge my self-sovereignty.

In the last two hundred years a huge literature, both scholarly and popular, has developed around understanding this new Holy Trinity of Needs, Wants, and Feelings that make up the sovereign self. It amounts to an immense output of learning. Our new class of spiritual masters is composed of scientists and economists, physicians and psychologists, educators and politicians, writers and artists. They are every bit as intelligent and passionate as our earlier church theologians and every bit as religious and serious, for they know that what they come up with has enormous implications for everyday living. The studies they conduct and the instruction they provide in the service of the god that is us, the godhead composed by our Holy Needs, Holy Wants, and Holy Feelings, are confidently pursued and very convincing. It is very hard not to be convinced with all these experts giving their witness. Under their tutelage I become quite sure that I am the authoritative text for the living of my life.

We might suppose that the preaching of this new Trinitarian religion poses no great threat to people who are baptized in the threefold name of the Trinity, who regularly and prayerfully recite the Trinitarian Apostles’ and Nicene creeds, who begin prayers with the invocation, “Our Father…,” who daily get out of bed to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior and frequently sing, “Come Holy Spirit, heavenly dove. . . .”

But this rival sovereignty is couched in such spiritual language, and we are so easily convinced of our own spiritual sovereignty, that it does catch our attention. The new spiritual masters assure us that all our spiritual needs are included in the new Trinity: our need for meaning and transcendence, our wanting a larger life, our feelings of spiritual significance – and, of course, there is plenty of space to make room for God, as much or as little as you like. The new Trinity doesn’t get rid of God or the Bible, it merely puts them to the service of needs, wants, and feelings. Which is fine with us, for we’ve been trained all our lives to treat everyone and everything that way. It goes with the territory. It’s the prerogative of sovereignty (pg 31-33).”

What is “the Story” of Your Marriage?

What is the love story mold into which you want your marriage to grow? Cinderella, Pretty Woman, Snow White, Titanic, Gone with the Wind, It’s a Wonderful Life, Sleepless in Seattle, Grease, Jerry Maguire, Dirty Dancing, etc…? Whether the plot line comes from Hollywood cinema or not, we all have an ideal “narrative” we want our marriage to follow.

As one friend of my wife pointed out, “All chic-flicks are about the same thing. The guy does everything the girl wants to win the girl’s love and attention. She gets to be a god.” The same could be said of the pornographic films to which many men are becoming addicted, “The girl does everything the guy wants to win his love and attention. He gets to be a god.”

This is the really dangerous parts about our ideal love stories (even more than sexual lust); we are a god in the story–the story centers on us. Everyone else, including God, is a supporting actor in our story. This tendency doesn’t go away when we get married. In fact, for many people, it only gets worse as we try to make our “forever relationship” into the “happily ever after” we’ve been creating with each book we read and move we watch. This was the human tendency before modern media, but the multi-billion dollar, idealized story-telling industry greatly exacerbates the tendency.

In this chapter we want to combat these tendencies in two ways:

  1. Examine how and where a non-gospel narrative takes root and gains power in your marriage.
  2. Discover simple, powerful practices to keep the gospel as the grand narrative of your marital love.

In order to help you appreciate how we’ll approach these two things, consider the following question, “How does a news story catch traction and gain definition in our modern media?” The answer is “sound bites” – a clip is played over and over, and opposite sides compete so their phrase is used to describe the event.

This is more than political theatre or the product of cramming world news into a 30 minute program. It is a basic human tendency played out on a large scale. We give things meaning and reinforce that meaning through frequently repeated small messages or images. This is as true of individuals as it is of cultures.

Where does it happen for individuals? In our self-talk, the things we replay in our minds. As Paul Tripp is fond of saying, “No one is more influential in your world than you are, because no one talks to you more than you do.” We spin (for better or worse) the events of our lives and quality of our marriage in our own mind constantly. The bias of our “coverage” will either be gospel-gospel-gospel or self-self-self.

Find “Living in THE Love Story” Evaluation Here

These resources are excerpts from the following seminar:

CREATING A GOSPEL-CENTERED MARRIAGE: INTIMACY
Part One:  Saturday October 19, 2013
Part Two: Saturday October 26, 2013
Time: 4:00 to 5:30 pm or 6:00 to 7:30 pm
Location: The Summit Church, Brier Creek South Venue
Address: 2415-107 Presidential Drive; Durham, NC 27703
Cost: Free
RSVP: Part One (April 26) // Part Two (May 3)

CGCM slide intimacy

GCM Evaluation: Living in THE Love Story

What is the love story mold into which you want your marriage to grow? Cinderella, Pretty Woman, Snow White, Titanic, Gone with the Wind, It’s a Wonderful Life, Sleepless in Seattle, Grease, Jerry Maguire, Dirty Dancing, etc…? Whether the plot line comes from Hollywood cinema or not, we all have an ideal “narrative” we want our marriage to follow.

As one friend of my wife pointed out, “All chic-flicks are about the same thing. The guy does everything the girl wants to win the girl’s love and attention. She gets to be a god.” The same could be said of the pornographic films to which many men are becoming addicted, “The girl does everything the guy wants to win his love and attention. He gets to be a god.”

This is the really dangerous parts about our ideal love stories (even more than sexual lust); we are a god in the story–the story centers on us. Everyone else, including God, is a supporting actor in our story. This tendency doesn’t go away when we get married. In fact, for many people, it only gets worse as we try to make our “forever relationship” into the “happily ever after” we’ve been creating with each book we read and move we watch. This was the human tendency before modern media, but the multi-billion dollar, idealized story-telling industry greatly exacerbates the tendency.

In this chapter we want to combat [full material in the seminar mentoring notebook] these tendencies in two ways:

  1. Examine how and where a non-gospel narrative takes root and gains power in your marriage.
  2. Discover simple, powerful practices to keep the gospel as the grand narrative of your marital love.

In order to help you appreciate how we’ll approach these two things, consider the following question, “How does a news story catch traction and gain definition in our modern media?” The answer is “sound bites” – a clip is played over and over, and opposite sides compete so their phrase is used to describe the event.

This is more than political theatre or the product of cramming world news into a 30 minute program. It is a basic human tendency played out on a large scale. We give things meaning and reinforce that meaning through frequently repeated small messages or images. This is as true of individuals as it is of cultures.

Where does it happen for individuals? In our self-talk, the things we replay in our minds. As Paul Tripp is fond of saying, “No one is more influential in your world than you are, because no one talks to you more than you do.” We spin (for better or worse) the events of our lives and quality of our marriage in our own mind constantly. The bias of our “coverage” will either be gospel-gospel-gospel or self-self-self.

Here is the evaluation from this section of the upcoming GCM: Intimacy seminar to help you assess this aspect of your marriage: GCM_Intimacy_Eval_The Story