How do you remember your story and your history? [Outlines below]

Always encourage. "The narrative of our church must always encourage and never discourage," say some church leaders. It sounds right. But in order to encourage those who come to church they may bend the facts and spin the story a particular way. They fudge, embellish or even fabricate the facts to make their church look good and holy and worthy, as this is surely what Jesus would want them to be. In time the church members believes this "positive encouraging" story of their church history, though the reality and the stuff that happens betray this nice clean story. You may ask, "How can a holy Christian church do this? Isn't this deception?" Interestingly, Israel remembers their own story and history with a positive encouraging spin, which makes them the good guys, but which betrays the truth of what the reality is.

Explain Ezekiel’s emotional state knowing that God took his wife--his joy and delight--in order to make a point to the people.

“Son of man, with one blow I will take away your dearest treasure (the delight of your eyes). Yet you must not show any sorrow at her death. Do not weep; let there be no tears. 17 Groan silently, but let there be no wailing at her grave…”  (Ezekiel 24:16-17a, NLT).