What It's About

TRIBEWORK is about consuming the process of life, the journey, together.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Anger and Patience – Two Divergent Poles

Clang goes the dishes into their cupboards, “huff” grates the person crashing them away, and slam goes their door when the job’s complete; out they go! It’s a familiar but embarrassing story that we all identify with. Without notice, we can all become typhoons without cause. We are vaguely conscious how illogical we’re being.

~Stepping Outside this Situation~

What is it standing on the other side of the room? We see it faintly and must move closer... wait... it looks like Patience. And so it is!

Anger and patience span the known world. They look apart from, and cannot understand each other. Each has logic that seems weirdly incongruent to the other.

Such is life as it appears.

Achieving Patience

There appears no shortcut to patience, but just to know it’s the opposite reality to sinful anger gives us the motive to grow it.

How will we know we’ve arrived at patience?

In the midst of trial and chaos we will be found smiling; not with gritted teeth, but a genuine smile of joy to know that this too shall pass as all trials do.

This smile knows somehow the power of victory to remain resilient. It doesn’t lose hope despite unpleasantness.

Smiling, from without or within, and both it seems, is our patience key performance indicator... that, with God, we’re winning this battle against our anger.

Patience – the Perfect Retribution for Anger

Anger is a corrosive element destroying many things; it is patience that gets us achieving what was once impossible. Even for those of us that rarely blow up, perhaps holding onto our anger, which only corrodes our insides, patience is a beautiful blessing of God to bestow on ourselves.

Patience has a way of getting anger back—the best way possible. It gets anger back by making friends with it, and not for one moment presenting a threat. Patience calms anger, conforming it into itself through understanding.

Understanding is always the key.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Credit: Discover Lake Louise.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Beyond Many Rejections Unto Favour

“It’s my flesh that holds onto facts. It’s my spirit that reaches up for the truth.”

~Bishop Kenneth Ulmer.

A life beyond facts is what we’re called heavenward for now.

God stands eternally behind, in front, and all around the evil one. God has the answer as it pertains to those chiding rejections we face from a fractious world bent on our harm.

Acceptance is something we’re inherently needy of. When rejection comes we shriek, no matter how well our exterior seems to contend. But times as these — acceptance times and rejection times — we’re often relying on the wrong truth.

‘Facts’ or Truth

The truth is... truth outstrips fact. The former is an eternal reality that can never change, whilst the latter — our so-called ‘compelling’ fact — is so often open to abuse, partiality, mood and circumstance. The motive of humanity so often fails fact.

We’re blown about on the billowing seas of the facts of our lives, whilst the eternal truth lags behind, hardly featuring for a hearing.

We’re smashed by our worlds; on those lapping seas against the rocks near the lighthouse.

God wants better for us, always. He is the lighthouse imploring us to resist belief in the sweeping seas of our emotions. We believe better in this higher fact of the Spirit’s truth.

Rejecting the Rejectable Facts

Finding ourselves with choice is always a fine place to be. The choice is this: choose for the facts that beckon for our seeing or hearing, or wait just a little longer for God’s Spirit to usher in a more urgent and ever-truthful better truth.

If we take the latter road and hold out, not cruelling ourselves over the rejections that do come, then we can accept that the world is only potent to us to the value we ascribe to it.

We’re best accepting the garbage the world dishes out whilst simultaneously disregarding it for something altogether better.

Doing this allows us to sidestep the hurt.

We go on in the angelic reality of ‘reaching’ high, choosing for eternity. We hold out for a place in the stars, where the Spirit joins with our souls and we celebrate a better set of facts.

What the world tarnishes, the Spirit restores.

What people deride in us, eternity engenders via a more urgent sense of God’s promised completion in us.

When we’re knocked back or disappointed time and time and time again, the world might seek to defuse us. But not God; we’re being made in this, if we remember to reach up and praise God even in our darkest moments.

In these very times is the achievement of God’s favour.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Restoring the Love of Respect

There is a sanctity of respect found in courting days that’s so quickly lost when the relationship ‘settles in’ to the groove of companionship. For men, those sacrosanct areas of their woman partner’s body become home ground — not that she’s that rapt in that — and for women, hubby’s now expected to provide in many unsaid ways. These are just salient examples.

What’s lost is respect — one for the other, and for the marriage union itself.

Another way of seeing it is the safety of marriage is taken advantage of. It’s not honoured as it was intended, initially, to be honoured. To go this way, unfortunately, is a default-of-complacency; we’ve learned to take each other for granted.

But restoring the love of respect is just as easily learned.

An Idea of Intention

Going against a myriad form of relational complacency is about intentionality.

Can love be defended more positively or effectively than via respect — a matchless honour, one to another?

It starts as an idea, then something is communicated; an ardency of candour — a regal wish. Respect is a thing bringing meaning to love. It gives it safe, positive, and behavioural direction.

A respectful intention is a note of honour bestowed on another person.

This intention, however, needs to be taken beyond intention to actuality; a re-commitment.

A Re-Commitment

Once a decision has been made, a commitment decided, action is planned, and execution is commenced. A new day can now dawn — a revisitation to those times when our partners were truly special and little effort was ever really needed to be expended.

Love was intended to grow, not shrivel, and now love — fuelled by the hallowed nature of respect — takes on new meaning in the re-commitment.

Accountability measures are designed in, to make this new power of respect stick.

Re-commitments are fine, but they need to be backed up in a plan for fruition. Plans can comprise:

1. Soliciting from the other the behaviours that are felt personally respectful and disrespectful.

2. The giving of permission to our partners to gently hold us to account.

3. The establishment of “go” and “no go” zones which are agreed together, bringing delight to both at mutual acceptance.

4. Regular dates to check on progress.

5. The giving of feedback for encouragement purposes.

Re-invigorating our marriages is appreciating the sanctity of life itself. This is never more directly done than via the love of respect, which is the language of honour — the apportionment upon which every marital partner deserves.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Face it, you can’t fix it – so, now, just listen

We can’t fix everything.

When we delude ourselves, believing that we can, the other person who wants us just to listen to them starts to wonder if they’re speaking some unintelligible language.

Sometimes the only thing we can ‘fix’ is the sort of attention this other person we dearly love needs.

That’s enough... more than enough.

It takes a big heart — not to mention, trust — to share a burden. It’s an even bigger heart that can save a collective insanity to allow a collective acceptance; the meeting of minds.

To just listen can be the greatest gift.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Transforming Guilt by Guiding-In Love

“My guilt has overwhelmed me

like a burden too hard to bear.”

~Psalm 38:4 (NIV).

Guilt has us doing many wonderfully silly things; all based in a perverse form of love — a love making amends but in the wrong ways.

My most constantly manifested guilt surrounds my children, and how fallible my parenting has been. These days I can conform the guilt more through love, owning it, and moving on past it.

Yet, it can still look like guilt so I’ll submit to the searching power of the Holy Spirit to contend in grace for my real motives.

Guiding-In Love to the Assuaging of Guilt

Guilt conformed (i.e. surrendered) to the will of God always places us closer to him; to pray akin to the psalms, particularly Psalms 51 and 32. Guilt, here, is an ally, not a foe. It rests in the tension of times wronged in the past. It’s God’s grace swimming through us in real and powerful ways.

The practice is simple.

1. Ownership

First, as mentioned above, we own it. We’ve done wrong things — all of us. And even when we didn’t do the wrong thing, we circumstantially underwent things that claw at us in guilt or shame for what these things did to us and/or others (and continue to).

Our consciences bear witness, furthermore, to the truth. There’s no getting past it but to accept. Ownership always leads to acceptance, as far as we’re personally concerned.

2. Awareness

Ownership breeds heightened awareness.

The light of the Spirit has come and illuminated for us, our lives.

3. The Choice to Love – Ironically, Powered by a Morphed Guilt

The simple awareness of our guilt — melded with all-conquering love — is a strong positive motivator to set all future things right (not that we’re after, or could ever achieve, perfection).

Love this way colludes with guilt, cooperating in a friendly way, meaning no harm and not scaring it off.

As they befriend each other — love with guilt — love goes to work to mentor guilt. It transforms it into something very useful; it becomes a motivating ally and the power and ‘energy’ for learning and, none-less-so, action. For love is always comprised in virtuous action.

Guilt Belongs

We didn’t live through the harassing times for nothing. We bore them for a reason; it’s a natural conclusion, then, that we’re best not avoiding the subject, denying it against ourselves.

We take it on and God loves us through it!

How good, honestly, is God?

Practically, guilt that never leaves us — attended in love — is our guide. It’s always informing us gracefully concerning our acts, bringing us gently — though always — to account.

To account is to love.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seriously Sorry... Really?

In so many instances of class action there’s one party — usually an organisation, a government, or nation — that’s taken unfair, even abusive or neglectful, advantage of other parties. Sometimes to the point of criminality.

It’s amazing, then, how often these massive entities have shirked their moral responsibilities, not owning up to their mistakes — not apologising when they should.

As a result they find themselves at the sharp end of dispute, bad press and legal action.

They still refuse to admit they did anything wrong. Damage control ensues.

The ‘victims’ don’t really need (or possibly even want) compensation, but they do need justice and closure. That’s the reparation and restitution they require.

The morally adroit conglomerate will earn the respect of the masses; the lesser-so organisations will fall to a woeful peril.

The General Lesson of Apology

Insincere apologies are fraught with danger.

Trust that is so abused won’t be so easily persuaded the second time around. It’s going to be wary, sceptical, even cynical.

Apologies are necessarily swift and meaningful — with full depth of ownership taken for the negligent, thoughtless or vagrantly caring action.

Such a depth of ownership assumes, in the matter of taking it, an essence of vulnerability. In other words, it trusts the aggrieved party with the substance of the apology, even giving sufficient room for it to strike back to even the score — which rarely happens.

The Blessedness of Vulnerability

There is an unconventional wisdom involved in the idea that vulnerability — the courage to be openly vulnerable, in this case by admitting error — attracts grace.

It runs against the grain of the litigious world.

Such a world is always running in fear from the truth it cannot control. Such a world seeks to gain control over everything it can. Then it denies the presence of the little it can’t.

Such a world doesn’t understand the power in the economy of trust.

The honest and quietly-confident-in-contrition vulnerable person, however, accept in courage whatever will come from their dealing in truth.

They somehow know that safety is known at higher ground — the lapping waters of the tsunami just out of reach before they flow back from whence they came.

The Freedom in Being Ruthlessly Honest

There’s nothing to be afraid of so far as the truth’s concerned.

Being able to be entirely truthful in our apologies is a massive freedom, for we’re quickly able to be ourselves. Some of us, I venture to say, may’ve forgotten what truly being ourselves, in this way, is about.

Living in fear is a one way ticket departing from the real self; there’s no promise of return.

Yet, being humbly and vulnerably honest is that return — to ourselves and to God.

It will be blessed.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, April 25, 2011

when all else fails, endure

Waking with joy or calamity... endure

For the entire day ahead, besides time to hideaway... endure

Though things seem to go bad and stay bad... endure

For your children and with your children... endure

With ‘helpful’ family, who do their thing because they love us... endure

On the odd day where things go serendipitously wrong... smile... endure

On the day when all goes right, remember times you had to... endure


For that small but highly significant area of your life that is a struggle right now... endure

Because of (and not in spite of) your loved ones, friends and colleagues... endure

When you have too much on... endure... just an hour or a day longer

For the aged-parent in the nursing home... endure

When everything within you wants to give up... endure

When your prayers are all at sea and the world seems all too messy... endure


In the quiet... endure

In the flurry of chaos and misadventure... endure

When nothing makes sense... endure

And if sorrows boil over you... endure

At a time when you do give up, and you then commit every sinew to starting over again, afresh... endure... God’s grace is sufficient

When you come to your very last step... endure

In the light of the truth, take courage... endure

When you’ve lost all sense of hope... endure (somehow)

Simply... patiently endure all things as far as you can — then accept your best is good enough.


“The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever.” (Psalm 37:18)

“Let those who fear the LORD say: ‘His love endures forever.’” (Psalm 118:4)

“Woe to me because of my injury! My wound is incurable! Yet I said to myself, ‘This is my sickness, and I must endure it.’” (Jeremiah 10:19)

“When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly.” (1 Corinthians 4:12b-13a)


“Whoso loves believes the impossible.”

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

All Scripture verses New International Version.

Graphic Credit: BlueBee~Karen on flickr.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Invisibly Hurt

For all the people we know we’ve hurt — the ones no longer fraternising with us, and we know why; those refusing to forgive — there are perhaps as many who we don’t know we’ve offended. This is especially true over social networking sites. The invisibly hurt have left our stead for some reason.

Is this to cause any lasting concern to us? Perhaps it should to a point.

The only points worthy of our ongoing attention are: 1) Why the hurt? ~and~ 2) Is there anything we can do to change it now or for the future in the light of prospective acquaintances and liaisons?

Self-condemnation is Nonsensical

There is no good in feeling condemned about it having hurt others. Stewing rotten fruit is senseless and a waste of time. It is best just disposed of, but never disparagingly so. All that can be done is forgiveness sought.

It is good to be aware that the invisibly hurt might be veiled by those who come into our lives but for a season, and vice versa. It’s true.

Not everyone who no longer fellowships with us is hurt — they (or we) just went a different way, that’s all.

All we should be interested in — for the future’s benefit — is locating traces of personal falsehood to prevent possible harm from occurring to current and future relationships, as well as dealing in forgiveness for those past ones that are reconcilable.

Keeping Close in Mind the Hurts of Others

Knowing that other people in our midst have been hurt, or are hurting, is enough to help us have empathy towards them. This facilitates humility, for we’re placing them over our hearts and not simply our met or unmet needs.

Having the heart’s eye open for existing and potential hurts of others feeds the wisdom of heavenly vision.

It’s seeing one aspect of life through the God-scope.

Then, and only then, might we begin to see the invisible hurts as they surround or take place. Then we’re a channel for listening and encouragement, as well as being a gentle word of insight to the perpetrator where the opportunity allows.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Respecting Individual Differences

Energy levels, passions, deep-seated values, and traditions — these are just some of the things that couples will find separates them, pragmatically, from the oneness of marital bliss.

It’s imperative to predict and cater for these differences.

If we don’t, and as early on as possible, then we allow divisive forces to intermittently undermine what is good and functional about the relationship.

We know of too many couples who’ve endured pain for these unreconciled differences, as we too have been affected perhaps, personally.

Identifying Differences

Similarities are what draw a couple together. But every couple soon finds differences are what most define their mutual being.

Still, differences are not hard to identify.

Certainly we delve into each other’s families-of-origin, and how they operated. Whether we liked these or not, chances are we’re following in these ways. Our families have more influence than we’d readily acknowledge. They characterise us.

Identifying differences is about understanding the worth of formation — an inescapable force for every one of us.

Resolving to Make Them Void-of-Effect

These differences we have cannot be resolved unless we’re intentional about them.

We should remember that these negative effects were never supposed to define us as a couple. We can quickly lose sight of this.

Differences needn’t be eradicated as much as they need to be voided of vexatious effect. They can’t be allowed to disrupt the positive dynamic anymore than they create a negative dynamic.

This is not ignoring the issues. It’s compensating for them.

Appreciating Differences

There has to be room in every relationship for both individuals to be right.

To be right is to enjoy freedom. The best part in being single is the freedom in autonomy. Most coupled partners happily sacrifice this attribute of singleness to be a partner. Yet, appreciating differences is giving up want of control over the other. Suddenly, a safe sense of autonomy is available again.

The best of both worlds — single and in relationship — is known when two people will happily agree to laugh about the other’s quirks.

This is, presumably, what marital status is all about. The best of life in relationship is possible when unnecessary ‘noise’ between two people is quieted.

How Important Is It?

This is the poignant question.

Winning is not the point. Being right isn’t either.

When we’re happily able to enjoy our partners’ differences, in the mode of the solidity of respect, we find a new level of satisfaction in the companionate love we share.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Outlasting Change

When we desire and come to expect change — and, indeed, as it becomes imminent — we hardly expect things to actually get worse. But often they do.

Whether we welcome the change or not, change is never fully comfortable or satisfying. It’s work.

As the change unfolds and all people subject to it are given time to adapt, we settle into the new reality and it hardly appears as we perhaps preconceived it. The important thing is, is it operating as it was designed?

A useful M.O.:

Endure the change. Outlast it. Try not to have a perspective. Why suffer delusions when they’re so unnecessary? Get beyond the fatigue of it all.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Undoing Those Condemning Voices

The voice of condemnation runs officiously in many of our minds. It accuses, then condemns.

It is never the voice of God that does this. Instead, the devil within our flesh pounds and tenderises us, often to the point of vacant submission; nothing more do we have to add at our defence.

No matter what we’ve done we’re never condemned by God beyond our will to accept Divine grace.

We must learn that the vociferous voice of the enemy can, and should, be challenged.

We’ll learn that God sides with such challenges; for we challenge in truth.

Grace abounds; forgiveness is ours at our faintest request.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Blessedness in Mistakes

The blessing’s not in the mistake, but in the opportunity the mistake gives us to apologise — later on, and sincerely.

Pride too easily protects us from this vulnerability, but relationships require vulnerability for trust to be built.

Mistake makers are fortunate. They have time, the means, and the will (it’s hoped) to make amends. Not including those hurt beyond our reach, others will receive our penitence with grace and, then in time, esteem will be ours that we trusted them with our vulnerability — when we didn’t have to.

Glory in this: there is reconciliation in all things and, there, love abounds.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How to Love, ‘Suspiciously’

Felt guilty afterwards for having laughed at a crude joke, or sided with another person’s coercive power, but under your own duress? Our ‘love’ comes at a cost when we appease the immorality of others.

Love is best sown into things appropriate, or fitting, for love. Something as beautiful and majestic as love shouldn’t be trawled through the bog.

But that’s where we find ourselves, having sought, mainly, to people-please.

The Role of Prudence

This most coveted of Proverbial virtue is the part-jewel in the crown of Wisdom, with diligence.

Prudence is the quintessence of self-control.

It enables us to be appropriately suspicious. That is, suspicious enough to guard the ‘instant’ tongue or unthought-of action; one we’d later have cause to regret.

Suspicion sounds heinous. It’s thought to be unloving. But, no, it’s protecting love. It’s actually holding love up high; a thing to attain, but not by occlusion.

Because love’s a high bar to meet — and because we’re all so prone to missing love’s mark — suspicion is the momentary tool of the Holy Spirit keeping each moment to account.

Prudence is the name we attach to the process of checking our thoughts before we act, and pausing in our reactions to the actions of others.

The Other Side of the Coin – Love Abounding

Love is a thing that richly desires to be unrestrained.

It wants to be voluminous. That would be fine, not a thought reproached, in a world like God first intended us to have. That’s no longer the case.

There are times, though, when we can love in unhampered fanfare; situations where heaven comes to earth, and the will of God flourishes.

Let these times run freely, we say.

But, with realism, that’s a rose-coloured-glasses view. Appropriate suspicion is supplementing our approach.

Achieving the Blend – Suspicious Love

Suspicion, here — it’s hoped we understand — is a good type of temporary distrust.

It’s augmenting our love; enhancing it in the purity of God’s Spirit.

It’s balancing the ledger, particularly for those — especially extroverted people — who love enthusiastically. Such faith is so bold, at times, it compromises wisdom. The blend is required.

The blend is prudence; a study never wasted.

This is not about a restrained love, but a love measured for its time.

Love like this reaches perfection the moment it’s unveiled to the world. It comes across seamless, adroit, and a blessing to all. It’s simply beauty discharged upon tasteful relational landscape.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, April 18, 2011

How to Feel When We’ve Been Overlooked?

Everyone, we can assume, has tasted the ignominy of putting their hat in the ring for higher honours, only to be overlooked when it came to selection time. Resentment ensued.

As I reflected recently over three circumstances like this that have occurred to me, I was surprised (though I shouldn’t have been) as to the similarity of the pattern. Each time I hadn’t expected to be overlooked.

I’d given myself a reasonable chance of claiming the coveted position — not understanding, at an accepting level, that only one person can win.

In truth, we give ourselves up to one of a million guises of success when we deny the harsh realities of the cut-throat world that’s somewhat against us — certainly as far as the odds are concerned.

Dealing with the ‘Betrayal’ and Resentment

In the final analysis, it’s no good us getting bitter and twisted about it. Perhaps we even know this in our heads, but our hearts are still stung?

Transforming the theory into a practiced reality is our goal — so we no longer harbour resentment toward those applying change.

The truth is we’re hurt; we feel underappreciated, let’s be honest about it. Being honest with ourselves helps us process the enormity of what we feel. It’s far superior, as a coping mechanism’s concerned, than resentment.

Blessed Are the Honest-with-Themselves

The quickest way through the choppy waters of disappointment is the direct route. As plain as we can be, we take ourselves to their truth, and we seek first to understand.

There are all sorts of rational reasons this event or series of events has turned out the way it has. We have to wish for their insight — to see like they’ve seen.

It’s easier to be honest with ourselves when we know and accept the lay of the land — how we fit into the overall scheme of things.

We can tell it wasn’t so much a witch-hunt, but an orchestrated attempt to improve for good reasons. No improvement at the larger level comes without compromise for the greater good.

The Cherished Process of Time

One of the hardest things to learn and, therefore accept, is the grieving process — and adjusting to being overlooked involves grieving — takes longer than we like. We ‘arrive’ ‘adjusted’ later than we’d wish.

Disappointments are placed in our lives so we can learn patience; to abide with time, because time has no master but the Lord.

© 2011 S. J. Wickham.