“MY FAMILY IS NOT DYSFUNCTIONAL!” When I hear individuals vehemently make this statement I want to reply “How do you know? Are you familiar with the dynamics and characteristics of a dysfunctional family?” As a trained marriage and family therapist with 27 years professional experience, I am familiar with these characteristics. I have a plumb line regarding this issue.

What is a plumb line? According to dictionary.com a plumb line is an instrument or a tool, a cord with a lead bob attached to one end, which is used to determine perpendicularity, the depth of water, etc.

Plumb lines have been used since at least the time of ancient Egypt to ensure that buildings under construction are vertical…Until the modern age, plumb-bobs were used on most tall structures under construction. A section of the scaffolding would hold a plumb line, which was centered over a mark on the floor. As the building proceeded upward, the plumb line would be taken higher, still centered on the mark on the floor. Many cathedral spires, domes and towers have brass marks inlaid into their floors, which signify the center of the structure above… Early skyscrapers used heavy plumb-bobs, hung on wire in their elevator shafts.” (Wikipedia)

BIBLICAL EXAMPLE of NEED for a PLUMB LINE: Josiah, ruler of the people of Judah 600 years before the birth of Christ, decreed that he and the people in his kingdom would live according to God’s standard. Sometime during his reign, while repairs were being done on the Temple, a priest “found the Book of the Law of the Lord that was written by Moses” (2 Chronicles 34:14). It is believed to be what later became the Book of Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Old Testament. The book, which was in the form of a scroll at the time, was taken to King Josiah and read to him. “When the king heard what was written in the Law, he tore his clothes in despair” (2 Chronicles 34:19). He had not realized until then just how far off track, how out of sync with God’s commands, his people were. He did not have an accurate plumb line. Once he understood this, he instituted major religious reforms throughout his kingdom. (The full account of this event is told in 2 Kings Chapter 22 and 2 Chronicles Chapter 34).

Before you vehemently state that your family is not dysfunctional, I gently encourage you to educate yourself on the dynamics and characteristics of functional vs. dysfunctional family systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you know, I am reading The Missing Link by Sam Hunter. I just read a section that I feel moved to share with you. Here it is:

“Busyness mistakes motion for true movement. People imprisoned by busyness have much motion in their lives, but they are not moving closer to Jesus. They are producing much worldly fruit, but not fruit that will last. Getting closer to the Father, digging deeper with Jesus, abiding with him, and learning to live with the power of the Holy Spirit are not tangible, and the world does not reward this–not at all, not in any way…A tragic life is a life that seeks things that are measurable in the moment instead of things that are measurable eternally. I have found that things that are measurable in the short term are often neither measurable nor memorable in the long term…what is unseen produces fruit that will last…what is seen is all too often no true fruit at all. Holiness is an inward harmony and unity with the Father, not an outward display of activity and religion.”

I am reading The Missing Link by Sam Hunter (Link: https://www.amazon.com/Missing-Link-Journey-Peter-Spirit/dp/1946615439/ref=asc_df_1946615439/?tag=bingshoppinga-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=&hvpos=&hvnetw). If anyone is interested in reading what it means to live a life empowered by the Holy Spirit I highly recommend this book.

Excerpt, When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough:

…the church failed women by not taking the lead in setting women free as Christ intended. Rather, the church has allowed the world to take the lead and has followed its example. Well, the world, at least the United States, is now leading in a new direction regarding gender equality. My question to Christ followers now is: Are you willing to take a good, hard, honest look at the lens through which you view reality, and consider the possibility that maybe the values and beliefs you were taught growing up regarding the roles of the sexes is not actually what Christ taught?

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Going-Flow-Enough-Upstream/dp/1625860714/

 

As I’m de-Christmasing the house I’m reminded that though the Christmas season is over, the Christmas spirit can still live.

https://isntenough.wordpress.com/2016/01/03/christmas-can-last-365-days-a-year-4/

I would like to update you re: a new endeavor I will begin in the new year. I will be volunteering for She’s Somebody’s Daughter, an organization in Harrisburg PA dedicated to coming against the sex trafficking and pornography industries.

In order to be an effective volunteer I needed to educate myself. I accomplished this by reading the following 4 books: Somebody’s Daughter, The Hidden Story of America’s Prostituted Children and the Battle to Save Them by Julian Sher; The White Umbrella, Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking by Mary Frances Bowley; The Johns by Victor Malarek; and Surfing for God, Discovering the Divine Desire Beneath Sexual Struggle by Michael J. Cusick. Before I begin my volunteer work I am going to read one more book, Girls Like Us, Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not For Sale by Rachel Lloyd. Needless to say, none of these are light reading.

I read these books and will be doing this volunteer work because in 2014 God lit a fire in my heart to set His daughter’s free. My first response to this prompting was to write When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough. Volunteering for She’s Somebody’s Daughter is my second response.

I wish each of you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Carol of the Bells – Pentatonix