About Me

My photo
Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my thoughts. I hope you will find an enjoyable adventure here on my pages.

The articles are only my opinion and are never meant to hurt anyone nor to downgrade any other person's ideas or opinions.

Scroll through the page and stop to read any of the articles you wish. If you like what you see leave a comment, then tell someone where they can find this site. If you don't like what you read then leave a comment reflecting your thoughts and I will read them when I visit the site from time to time.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Comfort under persecution

"4:16 But if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but glorify God that you bear such a name. 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin, starting with the house of God. And if it starts with us, what will be the fate of those who are disobedient to the gospel of God? 4:18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners? 4:19 So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good."  (1 Peter 4:16-19)

When we read or know about someone being insulted because of some Christian principle brushing up against their sensitivities, and they form a coalition of like-minded persons to ban some Christian practice as a result, then the Christians across the country rise up in protest.  Sometimes we hear these stories in the context of "Christians being persecuted." 

When the Apostle Peter wrote to the Christians in his letter we call 1 Peter, the Christians were being persecuted for real.  They were hated by the Roman government and officials as well as the Jewish hierarchy at that time.  Their persecution included real harm personally and to their families.  During the time of Nero the persecution included death to Christians.  Through the centuries since then we have all read about the atrocities committed to others in the name of religion, and sometimes even the name of Christianity.

For sure when sensibilities are ruffled and we believe we are being persecuted we should speak up and challenge those who are trying to stifle anyone's faith.  In the Western world it is generally accepted that there is a freedom extended to all citizens to practice their perspective faith.  In America especially there is an individual freedom to practice one's faith.  So, at least in the current, modern era, we are not experiencing the same type and intensity of persecution experienced by the people who listened as the Apostle Peter's letter was being read.  As will all history and the passage of time, however, this may not always be the situation.

In our explosive world of radicalism and explosiveness that executes war with weapons up to, and including, the atomic weapons we have, it is not completely out of the question that many who call themselves Christian will be targeted for persecution, perhaps even to the point of death.  As the radicalism of other cultures who repeatedly call upon the annihilation of various people groups continue to flourish, the words of the Apostle Peter will become decidedly more comforting.

It is possible that as Christians we might be called upon to glorify God and not be ashamed to bear the name Christian.  In the midst of the most severe persecution we must accept the fact that God's judgment will start with the epicenter of Christianity.  Peter warns us, "if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners?"  ( a quote from Proverbs 11:31)  So no matter what happens there is nothing we can do to save ourselves; our task is to remain righteous by remaining in Christ.  Only then will the Apostle Peter's words be the most comforting:  "So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good."  (1 Peter 4:19)
Jim Killebrew          

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gifts through weakness

"As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.  If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as the ability which God giveth:  that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever.  Amen."  (1 Peter 4:9-11)
The Apostle Peter was inspired to remind us once again that we operate under God's power when we commit ourselves to His love and accept Jesus as our Savior.  Clearly spoken in these few sentences that Peter gave us contains a number of truths that Christians may live by.  Those truths include the fact that God has given each one of us a gift that we are expected to use for the benefit of others; we are to practice good stewardship with God's Grace; when we speak we must speak of the things that God has given to us, and we are to do all things through the power of God's Spirit. 
There is a difference between a "talent" that we might have, such as playing a musical instrument, or singing, and a gift that God gives us.  Those talents are usually recognized early and we spend many hours developing those talents through practice and rehearsal.  When we perform for an audience we are on display to please those who are listening or watching.  When the performance is flawless it is usually because we have practiced and developed that talent into a skill.
I wonder if a gift is something that God places in us that we have not had the opportunity to hone within ourselves to the point that we soak up the praise from men and deflect it from God when we manifest that gift to others?  When I look at a gift a person has I always wonder if that particular thing is, or was, the weakest characteristic that person had.  The greatest orator may be the person, like Moses, who had trouble with speaking until he yielded himself to the power of God.  God demonstrates His strength through our weaknesses, not necessarily through our strengths.
We are sometimes fearful of using the gifts that God has given us because we know that the gift may cause us to tap into our greatest weakness.  But you see, this is where yielding, submission and faith begin to work in our lives.  God takes that weakness, makes it a gift and then sends His Spirit to create a work in us that in turn glorifies Him. 
What a rush to ride the crest on the wings of the Spirit as He does His work through us by charging up our weakness to be our greatest gift.
Jim Killebrew        

Friday, March 2, 2012

Galatians 5:22-23

5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 5:23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Of course these are the fruits that are produced by the Holy Spirit as He guides a person who is committed to following Jesus.  I wonder, however, if we should look closely at these attributes and try to teach our children these things from the earliest age?  Are these attributes not being taught to children because we as parents and grandparents do not exhibit them ourselves?  Can we expect children to learn these things without our guidance? 
Does our home and family life exist as an environment without love; a place of negative talk with condemning neighbors, friends and other family members for the wrong things we see in them?  Do we ourselves see things that are not going right, things that are out of place, messed up or dirty? 
Is our home a battleground of fighting, misbehaving, slinging mud at each other, anger or rage where we talk about getting even with someone who has done us a wrong?  Are we looking for revenge for every ruffled feather?  Do we plot to make sure that someone we don't like will befall some calamity that will cause them embarrassment or harm?  Do we have to constantly look over our shoulder to be on the lookout for someone whom we think might ambush us because of a skirmish in which we have been involved?
Do we have a short fuse that causes us to explode all over a person who says or does the "wrong" thing?  Do we emulate the cartoon figure who laments, "I have one more nerve, and you are about to step on it?  Are we immediately upset because our child, or someone else has spilled milk, made a mess, left the bed unmade or failed to complete a chore?  Do we spit out words of disgust or profanity when we are interrupted from something requiring our attention?
Do we belittle others and repay good deeds with harsh words?  Do we make fun of others and seek to embarrass them publically "just to teach them a lesson"?  Do we turn away from those who are in need of our help by being unsympathetic and less compassionate?  Do our actions demonstrate an obvious lack of consideration and caring to others in our family or circle of friends?
Have we blotted out that part of ourselves that sees the good in others?  Have we bathed ourselves in our own selfishness to the point that our usefulness to others has diminished?  Is that quality part of our character missing as we engage in tearing others down just to try to build ourselves up?
Have we become so unreliable that we have lost our credibility in following through with promises we have made?  Do others just take it for granted we will not deliver when the going gets rough?  Have we used up all of our strength and lost our will to continue on long before the task is completed?  Are we the first to leave when the heavy obligation is taken up by the strength of others?
Has a harshness of character become the primary attribute that others first think about when our name is mentioned?  Are we the first to condemn a bruised, hurting soul with gruff exhortation to stand up and endure the weight of a situation by their own power?  Do we become annoyed easily when others approach us with some request?
Finally, have we fallen into a habit of responding immediately to some perceived infraction from others by using anger or rage as a means of control?  Are we unable to hold our words aimed at others that are intended to "break their bones" with force and hatred?  Have we sunk into a dismal practice of tearing up things around us physically and figuratively? 
If any of the questions about the attributes mentioned above can be answered in the affirmative, there is a tremendous need for the Spirit of Christ to indwell our soul.    "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 5:23 gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law."  (Galatians 5:22-23)  Are these the attributes we want our children to live by, or those things that oppose these attributes?  As parents and grandparents it is our responsibility to decide and act.
Jim Killebrew