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Biblical Enneagram Types: EIGHTS

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THE CHALLENGER

Enneagram type Eights get a bad rap. I think they are treated more unfairly than any other type when teachers are explaining the types for the first time. People seem to be more judgmental and harsher toward Eights than they are empathetic and caring. Maybe it's because they think Eights can handle it. Maybe it's because they just don't understand them fully. Maybe it's because they meet perceived aggression with aggression.

I try my best not to do this. I happen to be married to an Eight, and I love her dearly. It's unfair to paint an overblown caricature of her or any other Eight as overly hostile and aggressive and mean. Any Enneagram type can be hostile or aggressive or mean or angry or bitter - not just Eights. And often, the anger and aggression of an Eight comes from a holier place than from other types.

Let me explain.

Eights are commonly known as "The Challenger." They have a deep seated need to be against. They do tend to be more …

That Time the Disciples Thought They Saw a Ghost

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I don't know if you've noticed, but the gospel writers seem to be very intentional with how they frame and order their stories about Jesus. I'm not saying they embellished or made any of them up. But the stories often seem to be grouped together for a purpose. They are definitely trying to make a point.

In Mark 6 we read two stories back to back that I had never connected until recently. Mark 6:30-44 tells the "Feeding of the 5,000" and 6:45-56 tells about Jesus' walking on the water. The miraculous feeding is one of the few stories told in all four gospels, and Jesus walking on water is one of the few stories recorded by Mark, Matthew, and John but not Luke.

So what I'm saying is that these stories are a big deal. They are important, and we should pay attention.

Jesus and his disciples were out in the middle of nowhere with a huge crowd. Thousands had gathered to hear Jesus teach and maybe witness a miracle. (Side note: putting all the accounts together …

You Can't Go Home

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Do you remember this Bon Jovi song?
Who says you can't go home? There's only one place they call me one of their own Just a hometown boy born a rolling stone Who says you can't go home? Who says you can't go back? I been all around the world and as a matter of fact There's only one place left I wanna go Who says you can't go home? It's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright, it's alright
I don't know that I agree with Jon. I think there comes a point when "home" doesn't feel like home anymore. I moved to Columbia, TN, in 1998, when I was entering 5th grade. I went away to college at Harding University in 2007. It was my home for about 9 years. It hasn't been my home for just as long now.
It's weird going "home." My parents still live there. A lot of my classmates are still there. My best friends from high school are still around there. But it's not home.
I've always been able to relate to the sto…

Biblical Enneagram Types: SEVENS

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Everyone needs a Seven in their life. Sevens bring a joie de vivre that is hard for some other types to come by. Sevens are commonly known as Enthusiasts, and they can be the most joyful, energetic, and optimistic people you know. I think one of the best portrayals of a Seven in recent pop culture is the character "Joy" from Inside Out. Take everything you know about a Seven, and it applies to her exactly. If you've never seen that movie, I HIGHLY recommend it. Just bring the tissues.

Enthusiasts live for the next adventure. The keyword is next. Sevens have difficulty living in the present. They are very future-oriented by nature. They live off that dopamine rush of expectation and anticipation. Sevens love planning events but can have trouble enjoying the event. They love ordering products online, but are always a little let down when it arrives. The problem with living this way is that Sevens develop a "more is better" mentality that can lead to serious commi…

Regional Rabbi Allegedly Controls Storms, Demons; Thousands of Pigs Killed

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Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be a journalist for the local Galilee Times newspaper in the days of Jesus...
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Regional Rabbi Allegedly Controls Storms, Demons; Thousands of Pigs Killed

Earlier today, reports poured in from around the Sea of Galilee. This lake, a hub of fishing and other industry in this rural area, has lately been at the epicenter of some amazing claims. The latest witness reports indicate that a stronger than usual storm sprang up overnight, stirring the entire lake into chaos. Several fishing vessels were caught in the middle of the intense gale and were nearly capsized. According to several witness accounts, a Rabbi named Jesus of Nazareth allegedly stopped the storm as quickly as it had arisen.

Peter, one of Jesus' disciples and appointed spokesman for the group, told reporters, "The storm came on us more suddenly than I've ever seen. One minute it was clear sailing. The next, everything was pitch black, and ou…

Biblical Enneagram Types: SIXES

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According to some Enneagram teachers, there are probably more Sixes than any other Type. The world needs Sixes, also called Loyalists, to ensure that the community is preserved and that we're prepared when disaster strikes.

Trust is a big issue for Sixes. If you have earned their trust - as a leader, friend, or spouse - then they will be with you through thick and thin. They won't jump ship. But Sixes can also be some of the more skeptical people in your life. Often Sixes find themselves playing "Devil's Advocate" - asking probing or even accusatory questions. They aren't purposefully trying to be obnoxious or derail the whole system. They just want to know that those in charge have everything under control and have planned for anything that can and will go wrong.
Sixes are worst-case-scenario thinkers. They live in the world of "mights", "coulds", and hypotheticals. If there ever is a real disaster or problem, you want a Six around becau…

Is He Ignorant or Just Plain Evil?

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Are you familiar with Godwin's Law? Back in the early 90s, American lawyer and author Mike Godwin developed a law of civil discourse. Basically, Godwin observed that the longer an argument raged on, the more likely it would be that at least one party would compare the opposing party to the Nazis and/or Hitler.

How much more true are his findings thirty years later!

There's something interesting that happens when we disagree with someone. When we think someone is wrong and we are right, then they must be 1) ignorant, because anyone who truly knew the all the facts would come to the same conclusion as us, or 2) blatantly evil, because if they know the facts and still disagree with us they must have some inherently corrupt worldview or agenda.

We have come to believe that no reasonable person would be X. We are reasonable people, so we believe X. That person doesn't believe X; therefore, they must not be a reasonable person - either ignorant of the facts or unreasonably evil…

Who Are These Guys?

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If you want to win the gold medal for basketball in the Olympics, you can't get much better than the 1992 USA "Dream Team."
This group of men would go down in history as "the greatest sports team ever assembled." After a disastrous 1988 run at the Olympics - losing to the USSR and settling for bronze - the USA recruited professional players for the first time ever. This hall-of-fame lineup included Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Charles Barkley, Scotty Pippen, Patrick Ewing, and Carl Malone. They were a force to be reckoned with, to put it lightly.

Needles to say, the Dream Team put the US back on top by winning the gold medal in 1992. And it wasn't even close - the closest game happened to be the gold medal game against Croatia and was won by 32 points (117 to 85).

The sheer dominance of this team, their performance and teamwork, cannot be understated. They took the world by storm and are now a thing of legend. They were the best…

Biblical Enneagram Types: FIVES

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Fives are some of the unsung heroes of the Enneagram. They don't like the recognition and the spotlight. They don't seek to be honored at banquets or showered with public praise. Fives know what they know and they do what they do - and they do it well. I've never met a Five who wasn't at least somewhat knowledgable in virtually everything. Fives are the researchers behind the project. They are the quality engineers making sure your new car runs perfectly. They are the chemists developing new, safer, more sustainable formulas and medicines.

If you have a five in your life, you know they are great to have around. They're like a walking Google search. Ask them a question, and they can probably give you an answer. If not, they'll disappear for a while and then come back with one.

Fives read the Encyclopedia for fun as children.

Fives, often called Observers or Investigators, are not typically very outgoing - which is interesting because they share a line with Seven…

Review: Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People

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Everybody, Always: Becoming Love in a World Full of Setbacks and Difficult People by Bob Goff
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bob Goff wears me out.

He is so high energy that he jokes about himself, "I make coffee nervous." He said at a seminar I recently attended, "Coffee drinks me to wake up!" Bob has a different spirit than anyone I've ever met. Most people look at difficult situations and ask "Why?" Bob asks "Why not?"

On the Enneagram, Bob is a Seven with a Seven wing. On the one hand I admire him and am a little envious of the sheer amount of energy he exudes, on the other hand living his life for a week would completely destroy me. I get that he's not calling us to live like he does. Not many of us can travel hundreds of thousands of miles a year across the globe, making multiple trips to places like Uganda every year. I'm never going to build a lodge resort in the back woods of Canada. But that's not the point. The point is to liv…