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Breaking through can hurt

Autor: Jim Thomas
Fecha: 11.09.2010
Category: Asociación

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Publicado originalmente en inglés

We develop relationships with churches of other cultures so we can learn from each other; so we can grow into a deeper, less culturally bound experience the God’s kingdom. If cross-cultural insights for spiritual growth are our goal, how do we know when we’ve had one? What do they feel like?

The kinds I find easiest to recognize, and the ones I enjoy the most, often have something to do with food or music. For example, when I was recently in Japan, I was humbled by the deference and hospitality shown by the servers in several restaurants. And the cooks’ care for those they were preparing food for was shown in the artistic way in which it was served. There are high class restaurants in the US that also show deference and care for their customers. But in Japan, the care and hospitality went further down the economic ladder. And for me at least, it felt genuine and not purchased. In Japan, I saw cultural expressions of care for strangers that spoke to me of God’s admonition for his people to love strangers. This led me to grow in my own hospitality and love for strangers.

This cross-cultural insight was a pleasure. Others have been less so. Some, perhaps even most, are uncomfortable or painful. They often feel like frustration, confusion, anger, disgust, exasperation, or some other negative feeling.

I’ll give you an example from an experience I had while living in France. I was staying in a Christian boarding house, learning French before moving to the Congo (called Zaire at the time). Many French people have a different relationship with baths, showers and body odor than most Americans do. There was one woman in particular who was either oblivious to her odor, or who reveled in it. In any case, I did not enjoy sitting next to her at meals where we all ate together at one large table. I thought less of her and, I will admit, I even spoke badly of her to others. But now, many years later, I see that the French have a comfort with the human body and its natural functions that we Americans lack. I’ve read that Napoleon, upon returning home from battle, sent a letter to his wife that said “Do not bathe, Josephine, I am coming home.” He was looking forward the natural smell of his wife.

In the context of societies throughout history, the American frequency of bathing could be viewed as an obsession with cleanliness. Or, stated more strongly, a denial of our natural bodies. To take this a step further, one could say that many American Evangelical Christians are uncomfortable with the humanity of Jesus; the idea that he had bodily functions like everyone else, and that he would probably smell bad to our 21st century noses. Consider also what his fisherman followers may have smelled like.

The French comfort with natural body odors has caused me to reconsider how I might be in denial of the natural limits of my body, and thus working against the way God created me. For example, I now see more clearly my need for sleep and rest. I’ve started going to bed earlier. With less fatigue, I find that my sense of spiritual wellbeing is tied to my physical and mental wellbeing.

Palabras clave: spiritual formation, cross-cultural

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Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo Mariusbrand (0)
Sudáfrica

Community farms: (Kibbutz)

4 land & wealth redistribution, to evangelise the community: To train, educate, work,  live and have a base from where to launch missionaries into the community. A community farm is where the Christians in the community corporately owns the property. Our corporate finances provide cost of the farm, infrastructure & accommodation for those working on farms.  Investors, invest directly in the crops to secure food and jobs for the people. Thousands of jobs will be created where people could be evangelise, reconciled, unity restored and worldviews changed to a Biblical one. Farms will act as a place of employment, a basic income, a missionary training School, an orphanage and launching pad to send trained missionaries. Here Christ Jesus will be a way of living where the community will see what we preach!

Three legs: (Operating separately)

 1.   Accommodation and employers Lodges/Hostels on farms with infrastructure:

2.   Education, “Skills” development, Discipleship training & orphanages.

3.   Agricultural projects – investment arm. (Project financing). Outside investors.

      Full scale business to create a holistic cosmos to the missionary to have the infrastructure needed to live and operate in without lack or limitations.

 

Shammah Foundation: Marius Brand: Cell 082 9210 275, e-mail - mariba@zsd.co.zawww.koevoet4christ.co.za


18.10.2010
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Responder Señalizar 0 Pulgares arriba Pulgares abajo Pete_Houston (7)
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I like your comment "we should learn to treat negative feelings as a prompt."  Negative interactions need not end up with negative outcomes.  A wise person once said, "People learn from one another, just as iron sharpens iron" (Prov 27v17).  So true!


12.09.2010

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