Meanwhile, enjoy this first comment from Ben (which is the 2nd comment ever on ubfriends!)
Ben Toh (2010-06-25 16:17:39)
“Hi Joe, You Be Friends is cute”
If you have ideas for the what and how and why of ubfriends, please let us know! Thank you and have a burden-free weekend!
Steven Hassan and Brian Karcher discuss various topics from Steven’s book “Combating Cult Mind Control” and Brian’s book “Identity Snatchers”.
Steven A. Hassan, M.Ed., LMHC, NCC is a former cult member who has been educating the public about mind control and destructive cults since 1976. As a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Hassan is the author three books that have received extensive praise from former cult members, families of former members, clergy, cult experts, and psychologists. Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best Selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults(1988, 1990, 2015), Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves(2000), and Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults & Beliefs, (2012, 2013). He also co-developed “Ending the Game”, a non-coercive curriculum designed to educate and empower commercial sex trafficking victims.
He has appeared on 60 Minutes, CNN, NPR, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Larry King Live, Oprah, Dr. Drew, Dr. Phil, and many other programs, and has been featured in People Magazine, USA Today, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, The Guardian, and dozens of other major publications and websites. Learn more about him and the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, Inc. at FreedomOfMind.com
The words haunt me. Ever since my name showed up on the Sunday announcements as someone “struggling and in need of prayers”, the words are a shower of bitterness to me. I realized this week such feelings are valid because “praying for you to change” is not a healthy prayer and has little if anything to do with Christ. How do you know the way I should act or think or feel or change? After MJ’s articles this week about right being wrong and overcoming the “I’m sorry syndrome”, I stumbled across a rather striking contradiction: When can prayer be wrong?
“Many times being right is the same as being wrong.”
Acknowledgement that you do not monopolize the truth
This blog is a response to Joe’s excellent article about healthy communities. I particularly liked point #3:
“A third sign of healthy community is acknowledgment that the group’s distinctive views and values are not always right, and that in the final analysis, maintaining these distinctive is less important than learning how to love.”
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In 1990, Steven Hassan courageously published the book, Combating Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best Selling Guide To Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults. Now, 25 years later, Hassan has published an updated edition. Here is my book review, and brief introduction to Steven Hassan.
Jean Vanier knows something about community.
Born in 1928 as the son of a high-ranking official in the Canadian government, Vanier traveled the world and served in the Royal Navy. Sensing that there must be something more to life, he resigned from his naval commission in 1950 to study theology and philosophy, eventually completing a Ph.D. at the Catholic University of Paris. Through his friendship with a Catholic priest, he renewed his faith in God and became deeply concerned about the plight of people with intellectual disabilities. In 1964, Vanier invited two disabled men to leave their institutions and move into his home. This led to the establishment of L’Arche (“The Ark”), a worldwide federation of residential communities where people with intellectual disabilities live, pray and worship together with caregivers in an atmosphere of friendship, mutuality and inclusion. Although L’Arche was founded as a Christian organization, the communities are open and welcoming to people of all religious beliefs. Vanier has studied, taught, and written extensively on topics related to faith, disability and community. He became a close friend and mentor to the late Christian author Henri Nouwen (1932-1996), who resided at a L’Arche community in Ontario, Canada for the last ten years of his life. In recognition of Vanier’s influence and achievements, he was awarded the Templeton Prize in 2015. (Previous winners of the Templeton Prize include Billy Graham and Mother Teresa of Calcutta.)
A “Person of Peace” And The Family
“I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.” (Phil 1:3-4, NIV) Continue reading →
Have I committed the unforgivable sin? This coming Sunday I will preach on The Unforgivable Sin from Isaiah 22. One of my Bible students has asked me repeatedly over many years whether or not he has committed the unforgivable sin whenever he “falls into sin.” He asks this because he thinks that the unforgivable sin is to curse and swear at God out of his own frustration and anger. My response to him is always the same, “The fact that you ask and wonder about this tells me that you have not. Yes, you have sinned, as I have, but you have not committed the unforgivable sin. Those who do commit the unforgivable sin very likely don’t know and don’t care.” Continue reading →
Those who know me only know me a short while before I recommend Gk. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. I am not sure I would not be a Christian today had I never found Orthodoxy. We often think that discipleship as a type of mentorship program, wherein the more mature person advices and help the less mature person to grow. But words are the means to meaning and meaning is what discipleship brings. I am more and more convinced that discipleship does not need to occur between two living people. One is never dead as long as their words survive, and so we can all be discipled by those great Christians whose words have shaped culture and brought Christ into the hearts of countless generations.
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Born in Chicago, and Son to Korean missionaries, I lived within the UBF system from birth to high school graduation. I’ve had a taste of the Large UBF church through my time at the TOLEDO UBF as well as was the 5 small house churches my parents created throughout the US.