Strengthsfinder 2.0

I took the Stregths Finder test tonight after I got the book with the login code today.
My top 5 are:

  1. Connectedness
  2. Ideation
  3. Responsibility
  4. Adaptability
  5. Empathy

Here's a few things the report said about what each strength is about:


You are considerate, caring, and accepting. Certain of the unity of humankind, you are a bridge builder for people of different cultures. Sensitive to the invisible hand, you can give others comfort that there is a purpose beyond our humdrum lives. The exact articles of your faith will depend on your upbringing and your culture, but your faith is strong. It sustains you and your close friends in the face of life’s mysteries.


You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. An idea is a new perspective on familiar challenges. You revel in taking the world we all know and turning it around so we can view it from a strange but strangely enlightening angle.


Your Responsibility theme forces you to take psychological ownership for anything you commit to, and whether large or small, you feel emotionally bound to follow it through to completion. Your good name depends on it. If for some reason you cannot deliver, you automatically start to look for ways to make it up to the other person. Apologies are not enough. Excuses and rationalizations are totally unacceptable. You will not quite be able to live with yourself until you
have made restitution. This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, and your impeccable ethics, combine to create your reputation: utterly dependable.


You live in the moment. You don’t see the future as a fixed destination. Instead, you see it as a place that you create out of the choices that you make right now. And so you discover your future one choice at a time. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have plans. You probably do. But this theme of Adaptability does enable you to respond willingly to the demands of the moment even if they pull you away from your plans. Unlike some, you don’t resent sudden requests or
unforeseen detours. You expect them. They are inevitable. Indeed, on some level you actually look forward to them. You are, at heart, a very flexible person who can stay productive when the demands of work are pulling you in many different directions at once.


You can sense the emotions of those around you. You can feel what they are feeling as though their feelings are your own. Intuitively, you are able to see the world through their eyes and share their perspective. You do not necessarily agree with each person’s perspective. You do not necessarily feel pity for each person’s predicament—this would be sympathy, not Empathy.


Liminal is a word that means "threshold". To be in a liminal place is to be in an in-between place. You've left one place and you are not yet at a new place. A rite-of-passage can be a liminous place. A liminal place is a place where your identity changes and you feel disoriented. You are opened by the circumstances of your life and are given the opportunity for change, growth, and transformation. When a group of people are in a liminal place together, such as when a group of people face crisis or disaster; social classes, previous prejudices, or ranks do not matter. Everyone is in the same boat.

The places of growth and rich revelation in the Bible are often liminous times. These are times of change and disorientation. Much of Abraham's life was liminal, for example.


The Bible says that Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss and that Jesus addressed him as, "friend".

For Judas, an intimate greeting was only a formality; it didn't really carry any meaning. He could both kiss the purest person he had ever met and betray that person in one stroke.

It's interesting to me that, at the moment of betrayal, Jesus addresses Judas as "friend". For me, it puts things in perspective. If Judas was Jesus friend, then what does that say about Jesus? I think it says that he was incredibly secure in the Father's love. Jesus is our example of how to live. We are to be anchored in God, but hold our earthly relationships more loosely. It's so deep that I can't find the words, but Jesus knows that we all will betray him at some level, yet he calls us friend. Friends will betray but God is faith full. Peter betrayed Jesus, although in a different fashion than Judas and ended up being faithfull.

When your word hasn't come true, part 2

These insights were shared by Linda Heidler at the Glory of Zion weekly prayer meeting (Chuck Pierce's church). She talked about breaking out of old cycles and how to contend for the authority God wants us to step into.

Three points:

Presumption: You may be presuming that you see or know the whole picture and you stay stuck because of this. We always do not have the whole picture. We always must humble ourselves to be lifted up or to recieve grace. It is presumption to think we know how things should be. People reject what God does because they presume.

Incompetence: You may be saying that you've done everything you could do and now it's not up to you. You may fall into apathy or laziness because you feel your job is done and now it's up to God and others to make things happen. This is a spirit of incompetence and is the opposite of the spirit of excellence that we are called to. Excellence is when we continue to work hard and be gracious and generous when we have not had breakthrough.

Occult spirits keeping things hidden: We have to remember that we are not struggling with flesh and blood. Linda said:
"There is an occult spirit keeping things hidden... The way we contend with this spirit is first of all to set ourselves against it. Take up your authority, contend with it, and command it to let go of what belongs to you. Command it to allow it to come to the surface and be seen. Say, “You will let this be uncovered. You will let go of what is mine.” The Lord said that we will not break through and recover in passivity. We have to stir our spirits and step up to a new place of authority and contend in the spirit. We will also have to hear the Holy Spirit. We cannot just spout off in our anger and frustration about the circumstance. We cannot contend with an occult spirit out of our soul. We have got to contend by the Word of the Lord. We have got to hear the Holy Spirit and declare the Word of the Lord. We have got to war with the Word of the Lord until that occult spirit breaks and bows its knee to the Word of the Lord. We will have to gain deeper revelation of the Word of the Holy Spirit, then take it and not stop warring until that occult spirit submits to the Word of the Lord. In this, we must not be in agreement with any occult spirit. We cannot be in authority to withstand it if we are in agreement with it."

I found these insights to be helpful and I hope they help you too.

Kingdom and church: Churchian or Christ-ian?

I read this comment, written by Jon Hallewell, on John Smulo's blog:

I'll never forget sitting in a small group with Jackie Pullinger. She said it can take over 10 years to change the hearts of christians to be kingdom orientated - that was far too long for her - she advocated finding not yet christians who were already kingdom orientated and working with them.

It takes people who have been Christians any length of time (7 years, 3 years) about 10 years to unlearn stuff they've learned in church that isn't the real deal. What is the real deal and what is not? That's a big question that has a long answer. But part of the real deal is the issue of the kingdom of God. Jesus came proclaiming the kingdom of God (not the church or any "program") and he said that we would preach the gospel of the kingdom until he comes again. It's interesting that he didn't say something like, "preach the gospel of salvation through me until I come".

I'll add to this later!

A time to mourn

Good grief. Grieving is a gift to carry us through times of loss. Grieving is a process that takes time and cannot be denied. Mourning is a season of grief. The end of the process may be called healing, but we are forever changed. We may never forget our loss, but grieving helps us to live. We are forever changed by our losses, but they do not define us.

Good grief isn't about regaining equilibrium. Grieving can be very angry, deeply sad, filled with numb shock, or filled with questions. Equilibrium may be found temporarily and then waves of emotional processing or bleak depression can sweep over a person. A paradigm shift may be occurring as we seek to make sense of life in the face of loss. There is a time to mourn.

Morning has broken

by Eleanor Farjeon

Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for the springing fresh from the word

Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass

Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day

You might think that this song was written by Cat Stevens, who popularized it song in the early 1970's; but he did not. Actually, the song was written in 1931 by the prolific writer
Eleanor Farjeon and the tune is a Scottish Gaelic Christmas carol that originally carried the lyrics, "child in the manger, infant of Mary". In 1961, Floyd Cramer, who was a pianist who played on many of Elvis Presley's records, including "Heartbreak Hotel"; recorded "Morning Has Broken", with the familiar piano melody, of which Rick Wakeman played, with his own flair, uncredited, on Cat Stevens 1971 recording.

God's keeps his promises

I am thinking about how it can be possible for God to promise something that seems impossible.
Or to put it another way, how does it work when you believe God has given you faith for something, but you don't see it happening and there is plenty of evidence that it can not and will not happen? What if you have faith for something that seems impossible? I've thought a lot about faith and exercising faith, as well as Jesus words to pray, "thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." I have also thought a lot about Abraham and his faith walk. God called this childless older man, "the father of many nations". Paul says that God can say such things or make such impossible claims on people because he, "calls into being that which does not exist". God's word is settled in heaven and we are just being brought into alignment with it. Another translation has Romans 4:17 as "calls things that are not as though they were".

About Romans 4:17, Commentator Albert Barnes says, "I regard it as having reference to the strong natural improbability of the fulfillment of the prophecy when it was given, arising from the age of Abraham and Sarah, Romans 4:19. Abraham exercise power in the God who gives life, and who gives it as he pleases. It is one of his prerogatives to give life to the dead (\~nekrouv\~) to raise up those who are in their graves; and a power similar to that, or strongly reminding of that, was manifested in fulfilling the promise to Abraham. The giving of the promise, and its fulfillment, were such as strongly to remind us that God has power to give life to the dead.
And calleth, etc. That is, those things which he foretells and promises are so certain, that he may speak of them as already in existence. Thus is relation to Abraham, God, instead of simply promising that he would make him the father of many nations, speaks of it as already done, "I have made thee," etc. In his own mind, or purpose, he had so constituted him, and it was so certain that it would take place, that he might speak of it as already done."


Today is the anniversary of the Israelites seven day march around Jericho. There are many fascinating applications that can be drawn from the account of this in Joshua 5 and 6, but the part I am considering are how the people were instructed:
"Do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout!"
They had to be silent as they went about the marches around Jericho, until the end of the seven marches around on the seventh day.

There is something about being silent as we walk in faith around our Jericho that only God can defeat. Walking around it is an act of faith and obedience, but so is being silent as we do so. It's a different kind of faith than the kind that speaks.

The parting of the Red Sea

Today is the anniversary of the parting of the Red Sea. After all the plagues that had been visited on Egypt, the Israelites were finally let go and given tons of gifts as they went, but then the Egyptians decided to pursue them and try to destroy them. the Israelite's ended up with their backs up against the Red Sea and the Egyptian army closing in on them. Then God made a way where there was none and then destroyed the whole Egyptian force. There is speculation that there were four groups of Israelites. One group said that they should surrender and return to Egypt. Another group advocated mass suicide. Another faction said they should valiantly fight the Egyptians. The fourth group said to pray to G-d who delivered them from Egypt to get them out of this trap and that's what happened. God intervened.

come again

Psalm 126

1When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream.

2Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The LORD hath done great things for them.

3The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.

4Turn again our captivity, O LORD, as the streams in the south.

5They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

6He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.

If you have been disappointed, come again.
If your hopes have been dashed and your prayers seem unanswered, come again.
You will come again with rejoicing and with a harvest.

When your word hasn't come true

"..until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the LORD tested him."

The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him. Now it happened at the end of two full years... Then Pharaoh sent and called for Joseph, and they hurriedly brought him out of the dungeon; and when he had shaved himself and changed his clothes, he came to Pharaoh.
Psalm 105:19 and Genesis 40:23-41:1, 14

I was thinking about this issue of waiting for God when you believe he has promised you something. I think it's normal to feel frustration and disappointment. It says that the word of the Lord tested him. The word there for tested is the same word used for the refining fire that the goldsmith puts gold through to make it pure: "goldsmithing".

Easter text

Isaiah 53

1 Who has believed what he has heard from us? [1]
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected [2] by men;
a man of sorrows, [3] and acquainted with [4] grief; [5]
and as one from whom men hide their faces [6]
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief; [7]
when his soul makes [8] an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see [9] and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, [10]
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, [11]
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.


[1] 53:1 Or Who has believed what we have heard?
[2] 53:3 Or forsaken
[3] 53:3 Or pains; also verse 4
[4] 53:3 Or and knowing
[5] 53:3 Or sickness; also verse 4
[6] 53:3 Or as one who hides his face from us
[7] 53:10 Or he has made him sick
[8] 53:10 Or when you make his soul
[9] 53:11 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scroll he shall see light
[10] 53:12 Or with the great
[11] 53:12 Or with the numerous

Sky Links, 9-27-17