right / freedom-power
transition / end / transmission
find someone who has earned your trust and disagrees with your position—that’s part of the Abigail Advantage
the Abigail advantage—the benefit of a perspective that’s unhindered by your hangups
** Big deal—in almost any emotionally hightened situation, we tend to overreact and underrelate. the worst part of that may not be simply what happens in that moment, but what comes out of that moment to be part of every future situation that carries any influence from it. It’s like DNA—it passes along to every offspring, for better or for worse.
growing up— lots of tough talk around. one phrase
?? re: the whole premise is that even a small change 30 years ago could have huge ramifications today.
Evere ask “what if I had been born in a different country…, what if ___ had never happened, what if instead of choosing _____, I chose ______ (I was a flunkie at Gordon—took a while to get my head on straight. If I had been more responsible…, would I have met and married Kim? Would God have redirected her life?
Some of those questions are just extraneous thoughts, but think a little bit deeper. What if we had caught the hijackers before they tool over the planes September 11, 2001, what if the wright brothers had decided to open a bakery instead of a bicycle shop? What if ____
Here’s the reality—major aspects of our lives might be very different if even a small set of circumstances had been different some time in the past. IOW—the world we live in today is a result of the world someone created before we got here. In a god way, we have received… But in a much different way...
TIMEs is all about the value of understanding what’s happening
32 Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.
At some level you believe that somehow knowing things about God and the Bible will make a positive difference in your life, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But one of the most substantial ways God brings benefit into our lives isn’t simply by teaching us religious ideas. In fact… What God really wants to do is by showing us thiungs from His Word, to help us even understand the world we live in. We don’t simply ned to know what the Bible says. We need to know what to do in response. And that means not only getting a grasp of the great beyond, but also to understand
You believe knowing God things...
But in fact, it’s allowing the god things to help you understadn the world things that really makes it possible to know what to do.
Today, we’re going to continue… TIMEs… understand taht teh world we live in today… and see a way to put that to work...
25 In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
** Summary of book of judges. But in closer way, summary of last series of events in book of Judges that summarizes not just the book, but what the people were like “when they had no king”
** Judges does a couple of things in the Bible—tells about life in first couple hundred years of Israel first coming into the promised land; and it sets up for th estory of Israel finally getting their first king—a king that was not going to be very good news to them
1 In those days, when there was no king in Israel, a certain Levite was sojourning in the remote parts of the hill country of Ephraim, who took to himself a concubine from Bethlehem in Judah. 2 And his concubine was unfaithful to him, and she went away from him to her father’s house at Bethlehem in Judah, and was there some four months. 3 Then her husband arose and went after her, to speak kindly to her and bring her back. He had with him his servant and a couple of donkeys. And she brought him into her father’s house. And when the girl’s father saw him, he came with joy to meet him. 4 And his father-in-law, the girl’s father, made him stay, and he remained with him three days. So they ate and drank and spent the night there.
14 So they passed on and went their way. And the sun went down on them near Gibeah, which belongs to Benjamin, 15 and they turned aside there, to go in and spend the night at Gibeah. And he went in and sat down in the open square of the city, for no one took them into his house to spend the night. 16 And behold, an old man was coming from his work in the field at evening. The man was from the hill country of Ephraim, and he was sojourning in Gibeah. The men of the place were Benjaminites.
20 And the old man said, “Peace be to you; I will care for all your wants. Only, do not spend the night in the square.” 21 So he brought him into his house and gave the donkeys feed. And they washed their feet, and ate and drank.
28 He said to her, “Get up, let us be going.” But there was no answer. Then he put her on the donkey, and the man rose up and went away to his home. 29 And when he entered his house, he took a knife, and taking hold of his concubine he divided her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel. 30 And all who saw it said, “Such a thing has never happened or been seen from the day that the people of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt until this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak.”
2 And the chiefs of all the people, of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, 400,000 men on foot that drew the sword. 3 (Now the people of Benjamin heard that the people of Israel had gone up to Mizpah.) And the people of Israel said, “Tell us, how did this evil happen?” 4 And the Levite, the husband of the woman who was murdered, answered and said, “I came to Gibeah that belongs to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to spend the night. 5 And the leaders of Gibeah rose against me and surrounded the house against me by night. They meant to kill me, and they violated my concubine, and she is dead. 6 So I took hold of my concubine and cut her in pieces and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel, for they have committed abomination and outrage in Israel. 7 Behold, you people of Israel, all of you, give your advice and counsel here.”
18 The people of Israel arose and went up to Bethel and inquired of God, “Who shall go up first for us to fight against the people of Benjamin?” And the Lord said, “Judah shall go up first.” 19 Then the people of Israel rose in the morning and encamped against Gibeah. 20 And the men of Israel went out to fight against Benjamin, and the men of Israel drew up the battle line against them at Gibeah. 21 The people of Benjamin came out of Gibeah and destroyed on that day 22,000 men of the Israelites.
20 And the men of Israel went out to fight against Benjamin, and the men of Israel drew up the battle line against them at Gibeah. 21 The people of Benjamin came out of Gibeah and destroyed on that day 22,000 men of the Israelites.
23 And the people of Israel went up and wept before the Lord until the evening. And they inquired of the Lord, “Shall we again draw near to fight against our brothers, the people of Benjamin?” And the Lord said, “Go up against them.” 24 So the people of Israel came near against the people of Benjamin the second day. 25 And Benjamin went against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed 18,000 men of the people of Israel. All these were men who drew the sword.
27 And the people of Israel inquired of the Lord (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, 28 and Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron, ministered before it in those days), saying, “Shall we go out once more to battle against our brothers, the people of Benjamin, or shall we cease?” And the Lord said, “Go up, for tomorrow I will give them into your hand.”
44 Eighteen thousand men of Benjamin fell, all of them men of valor. 45 And they turned and fled toward the wilderness to the rock of Rimmon. Five thousand men of them were cut down in the highways. And they were pursued hard to Gidom, and 2,000 men of them were struck down. 46 So all who fell that day of Benjamin were 25,000 men who drew the sword, all of them men of valor.
6 And the people of Israel had compassion for Benjamin their brother and said, “One tribe is cut off from Israel this day. 7 What shall we do for wives for those who are left, since we have sworn by the Lord that we will not give them any of our daughters for wives?” 8 And they said, “What one is there of the tribes of Israel that did not come up to the Lord to Mizpah?” And behold, no one had come to the camp from Jabesh-gilead, to the assembly.
13 Then the whole congregation sent word to the people of Benjamin who were at the rock of Rimmon and proclaimed peace to them. 14 And Benjamin returned at that time. And they gave them the women whom they had saved alive of the women of Jabesh-gilead, but they were not enough for them.
19 So they said, “Behold, there is the yearly feast of the Lord at Shiloh, which is north of Bethel, on the east of the highway that goes up from Bethel to Shechem, and south of Lebonah.” 20 And they commanded the people of Benjamin, saying, “Go and lie in ambush in the vineyards 21 and watch. If the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in the dances, then come out of the vineyards and snatch each man his wife from the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin. 22 And when their fathers or their brothers come to complain to us, we will say to them, ‘Grant them graciously to us, because we did not take for each man of them his wife in battle, neither did you give them to them, else you would now be guilty.’ ” 23 And the people of Benjamin did so and took their wives, according to their number, from the dancers whom they carried off. Then they went and returned to their inheritance and rebuilt the towns and lived in them. 24 And the people of Israel departed from there at that time, every man to his tribe and family, and they went out from there every man to his inheritance.
A couple really critical things to notice here:
1- the story never ends
every end creates the next beginning
Cf. sit com
?Who shot JR
No ending is ever really and ending. Every episode of life and history accomplishes both transition and transmission
the transition is the functional link between episodes. It’s the conjunctions of life. the end of the last thing is the beginning of the next. that’s part of what makes endings so critical. Starting points matter. Imagine Gilligan’s island starting in a corn farm in Iowa. It’s true, they may go for days without seeing another living soul. But professor is not going to making radios out of bamboo and coconuts and they are not going to end up on a deserted island. Imagine is Christopher Columbis’s voyage HAD ended in teh far east. There would be no pecan pie this thanksgiving—and no thanksgiving for that matter.
See, nothing in life happens in a vacuum. And while most of us are at least decent at figuring out where we are, we rarely do enough work at thingking about how this ended up being our starting place.
Why does that matter? Tracing the steps on the path behind us often points out a trend that will predict the results ahead. If the steps have been increasing anger, maintaining the same path is only going to see the problem grow worse. W
Where I am starting is not accidental. Either through the actions of myself or thos who came before me, I am where I am because a series of actions and events brought me here.
Understanding why i am where I am is critical to knowing which option in front of me is the best.
At so many points, you could begin this story and it would be bizarre! Try starting at almost any point, and you’ll find yourself asking, “why werent they enough?” “why did they refuse to let their kids marry? why are they kidnaping the dances? why ..”
That’s teh transition-
the transmission is the transfer of some quality, mindset or condition from one situation to teh next. Here, it’s the oath against the Benjamites, or the blame agains those from Jabesh Gilead, or even the feverish anger that traces all the way back to the day those body parts showed up all over teh nation.
Whether anger, hostility, passivity, hotheadedness, cynicism, racism, greediness, dishonesty—there are all sorts of character qualities that simply make sense to teh next generation or the next people downline from us in the story we are living because our lives made it seem so normal. the wurd we use for that is culture.
the characteristic features of everyday existence (such as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time (eg popular culture or southern culture)
The problem is when that fun stuff becomes the habit. And I think that's what's happened in our culture. Fast food has become the everyday meal. (Michelle Obama) Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/culture
the reason taht matters to us is all over the place in our land.
It’s teh story behind teh fight over teh GA governor’s race or teh FL governer’s race. It’s part of hwat’s going on when people ask the question whether or not the ATL braves or the KC Chiefs need to change their names. It’s in the fight over government funded healthcare and the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings.
I watched an episode of a sitcom (Last Man Standing) in which the non-Christian son-in-law is expected to set up the big nativity scene in front of the church simply out of love for his mother-in-law. his father-in-law, who is teh one who put him up to it, threatens.... His ascerbic reply--”combining your religion with violence! that’s never been done before!” It’s the quick reaction to Christianity these days when attempting to show that it’s no better than Islam or any other. people point to the Crusades (but not honestly) or the salem sitch trials, or teh church-going people of teh KKK and make the case that Christianity is jsut one more reason people can’t get along, just like all the other violent and mean-spirited religions.
And it’s here that you have to appreciate teh last line of the entire book of Judges.
Everyone did what was right. they were all doing what was right! How can you fault that?
Most of the people I know who do wrong things are often doing them, as far as they know, because they are the right things.
And we;ve see some pretty reprehensible things done. The Indian Removal Act and trail of tears—just w/ Cherokee alone saw as many as 8,000 die along the way of starvation, disease, and exposure to the elements. The rally in Chraleston that set off events…, the vengeful and vindictive burning and pillaging of GA and SC taht brought the war to its parcitcal close...
According to the Tuskegee Institute figures, between the years 1882 and 1951, 4,730 people were lynched in the United States:
Between the 1830s and the 1850s the majority of those lynched in the United States were whites. Although a substantial number of white people were victims of this crime, the vast majority of those lynched, by the 1890s and after the turn of the century, were Black people. Actually, the pattern of almost exclusive lynching of Negroes was set during the Reconstruction period. According to the Tuskegee Institute statistics for the period covered in this study, the total number of Black lynching victims was more than two and one-half times as many as the number of whites put to death by lynching.
In many cases, Blacks were lynched for no reason at all other than race prejudice. Southern folk tradition has held that Negroes were lynched only for the crimes of raping white women—”the nameless crime”—and murder. However, the statistics do not sustain this impression.
The accusations against persons lynched, according to the Tuskegee Institute records for the years 1882 to 1951, were: in 41 per cent for felonious assault, 19.2 per cent for rape, 6.1 per cent for attempted rape, 4.9 per cent for robbery and theft, 1.8 per cent for insult to white persons, and 22.7 per cent for miscellaneous offenses or no offense at a 11.5 In the last category are all sorts of trivial “offenses” such as “disputing with a white man,” attempting to register to vote, “unpopularity”, self-defense, testifying against a white man, “asking a white woman in marriage”, and “peeping in a window.”
Cf LA Riots of 1983?
63 killed, 2383 wouonded;m 12,000 arrested;
3,600 fires were set; 1,100 buildings were destroyed, and somewhere between 800M and $1B in damages, not to mention the vastly widespread looting
Note Mayor’s words after the verdict was announced:
Today, the jury told the world that what we all saw with our own eyes was not a crime. My friends, I am here to tell the jury ... what we saw was a crime. No, we will not tolerate the savage beating of our citizens by a few renegade cops. ... We must not endanger the reforms we have achieved by resorting to mindless acts. We must not push back progress by striking back blindly.
— Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, post-verdict press conference
On March 16, 1991, a year prior to the Los Angeles riots, storekeeper Soon Ja Du physically confronted black ninth-grader Latasha Harlins, grabbing her sweater and backpack when she suspected she had been trying to steal a bottle of orange juice from Empire Liquor, the store Du's family owned in Compton. After Latasha hit Du, Du shot her in the back of the head, killing her. (Security tape showed the girl, already dead, was clutching $2 in her hand when investigators arrived.) Du was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and forced to pay a fine of $500, but not sentenced to any prison time.
RE Watts riots in 1965 in LA
Over the course of six days, between 31,000 and 35,000 adults participated in the riots. Around 70,000 people were "sympathetic, but not active." Over the six days, there were 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries, 3,438 arrests, and over $40 million in property damage. Many white Americans were fearful of the breakdown of social order in Watts, especially since white motorists were being pulled over by rioters in nearby areas and assaulted. Many in the black community, however, believed the rioters were taking part in an "uprising against an oppressive system." In a 1966 essay, black civil rights activist Bayard Rustin wrote:
The whole point of the outbreak in Watts was that it marked the first major rebellion of Negroes against their own masochism and was carried on with the express purpose of asserting that they would no longer quietly submit to the deprivation of slum life.
Despite allegations that "criminal elements" were responsible for the riots, the vast majority of those arrested had no prior criminal record.
(Lynchings, slavery, families, destruction of families, riots (Watts, LA/Rodney King/ STL-Ferguson)
because of this transition and transmission properties, issues so often take on a life of their own. It’s foolish to look at any incident outside the context of what got us here, because it’s so easy to take treh next step in teh wrong direction.
*** And the whole time, you’re doing the “right” thing. And the point here—it’s not even that it’s being argued as “morel”. For some deeply religious people, “moral” is also “right”. But for most of the population, “right” is more about what’s fair, what’s necessary, what’s teh thing that makes sense. What creates balance and sets things back right.
So how can doing the right thing be the wrong thing to do?
It’s about the perspective--”right in their own eyes.” That’s just about the lowest bar that can be set.
And so what we are really looking at is a mechanism of response that is the transition from what has been to what’s going to be.
Two factors make this transition problematic:
1- The Power of Impulse
Cf feeling of being punched in the nose
Fight or Flight impacts--https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fight-or-flight_response
*** Hard to resist—especially of you don’t recognize it’s happening. In fact, everything about this response is tuned to helping you focus on the thing you perceive as a threat—and against you taking the time to be reflective about your responses!
“a soft answer turns away wrath...”
*** Cf. receiving sliced up body parts.
Principle—energy follows empathy. Whatever you feel will show up in your actions.
[Other illus re: emotional reaction?]
2- The Poverty of Insight (failure / absence of reflection)
buzz words (extremist, xenophobe, liberal, homophobe, fascist, communist)
sensitive topics (
*** From the very beginning, how does any of this seem right? the answer is that it only does if something has happened to the vision of the ones who are deciding
*** in 2016, Boeing’s new 737 MAX 8 went into service around the world. It was more fuel efficient and more technologically sophisticated than any earlier version. The placement of the engines actually created more lift than in previous versions of the aircraft, which could potentially cause the nose to point up too much, inducing a stall. So they installed a new technology called The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System to take over if the nose began to rise too much, preventing the aircraft from going into that stall. However, since this was to take over for a pilot not dealing with it, it can also block the pilot from overriding it. And it doesn’t alert the pilot when it kicks in.
So last month a Lion Air flight took off from Jakarta amd within only minutes of takeoff, it dove hard into the Java See, killing all 189 people on board. What happened was the MCAS system took over when it wrongly discerned that the nose was too high, and it overcorrected. Because a gauge didn’t correctly assess what was happening, it took teh wrong action.
Listen, poorly assessing either the situation or your responses will lead you to actions that don’t fit a better future.
Over correction is often really about misunderstanding the nature of either the problem or your corrective measure
“each person was doing what was RIGHT. In their own eyes.”
Cf Devil went down to GA
devil plays too (is good at things you just don’t think about him being good at)
we often judge sin by outcomes (and right, if it seems to turn out ok)
the biggest thing—Sometimes an actual loss is a perceived win. “I feel good about it, even though I know it doesn’t seem right.” Who really won in that moment? It’s fiction, but not really at all! If I’m Satan, and my goal is to get you a little farther away from God, is there anything more strategically effective that I could do than to get you to think you beat me by doing something that may not be so good, but obviously worked?
Satan’s win is getting you to join the agenda. the rightness of your position is irrelevant if you are in the wrong fight!
Satan doesn’t beat you by being a better swordsman. He beats you by enticing you to pick up the sword.
Letting you win just ensure the power of the deception that keeps you stuck in a spot you don’t need to be.
CF. Garden of Gethsemene and Peter with sowrd.
Who saw that ear-healing thing coming?!
*** See, so much of what needs to happen next must be disconnected from what HAS happened. And so much about what you need to Do must be disconnected from what has been DONE to you.
that’s the advantage of teh Abigail Advantage that we discovered in a previous message. We won’t re-read all of it, but basically, it’s the advantage of better awareness through different eyes.
David had been… and he was about to… it seemed completely right....
So Abigail brings gifts that soften is heart and help him hear, then she offered him a different view of the same circumstance that turned things around.
And her inputs ive us three questions...
We have an opportunity...
overreaction and under-awareness will lead us to make terrible choices. In politics we will overreact and overcorrect. in our dirving, our working, our relating to people close to us we will...
But we don’t have to...
Invitation of grace--
you say “I can’t” That’s where God actually wants to meet you
He will give you strength...
He will build up your conviction
he will tenderize your heart… (w/ grace)
And He will draw you close…that’s cebtral to How God is at work here… he wants a close relationship with you...