Monday, 29 April 2013

Acknowledge My Struggle

Acknowledge My Struggle
Part 2 of “Freedom is Possible”
April 28, 2013

Celebrate Recovery (Step One)  “I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.”

Why won’t I acknowledge it?
Fear of Consequences
Lying & Denying
Blaming Me & You
Acknowledge My Struggle

What causes it?
Genetic & Family History
Physical Conditions
Upsetting Life events
Spiritual Battles
Galatians 5:1 “Christ has set us free to live a free life.”
Ephesians 6:12

What are the consequences of it?
Confusion… v.15  “I do not understand what I do.”
Compulsion… v.17  “It is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.”
Guilt… v.18  “I know that nothing good lives in me.”
Frustration… v.18  “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”
Failure… v.19  “For what I do is not the good I want to do.”
 Despair… v. 24  “What a wretched person I am!”

What can be done about it?
Deepen my understanding of Jesus.  Romans 7:24-25
Deepen my dependence on the Spirit.  Galatians 5:16 
Deepen my connection with others.  James 5:16

Monday, 22 April 2013

Connect With Others (When You Feel Like Giving Up)

“Connect With Others”  April 21, 2013

Review: “When You Feel Like Giving Up”
Acknowledge My Struggle
Balance My Life
Connect With Others
Depend Upon Jesus

Connect With Others
With Whom?

Why connect with other?
We need each other!
Galatians 6:2  “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Romans 12:5  “In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”

How do we connect with others?
Open Up
Be a Friend
Be as honest as possible
Be as brief as possible
Be as caring as possible
Join a Group

Philippians 4:6-7  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Mark 9:29  He replied,  “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

James 5:14-16  “Is anyone of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to each another and pray for each another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”

How do I pray for someone?
“How can I ask God to bless you today?”
Be Brief
Be Specific
Be Confident
Be Sensitive

With whom should I connect?
Someone with whom you are comfortable.

When should I connect with others?
At any and every opportunity.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Facebook Bullying or Positive Peer Pressure?

I have often been miffed at messages I have received via email, or seen posted on Facebook which suggest I do something in support of a cause. Now, I'm all about supporting a good cause, especially when it would benefit from raised awareness and reduced stigma. However, when any post tries to bully me into support: "Post this... but most won't." "I'll know who my real friends are..." "Funny, how we won't stand up for..." I delete it out of principle. If I consider something worthy of my support, like mental health, or having great kids, then I will say so. I don't appreciate someone thinking they need to shame me into posting something that will result in shaming someone else, and so on. So, as Jiminy Cricket said, "Always let your conscience be your guide." I have included an example, which I have also altered for effect. I wondered why a post in support of mental health would also try to bully my response.

Monday, 15 April 2013

When You Feel Like Giving Up

“When You Feel Like Giving Up”

When you are struggling with some personal crisis, do you ever hear these words? Get over it. Suck it up. You’ll be fine. It’s not that serious. Don’t be a baby. You’re making a bid deal over nothing. If it doesn’t bother me, then it shouldn’t bother you. If you only had more faith, you would get better.

Depression means various things: downturn in the economy; dip in the road; overcome by sadness.
Melancholy: sorrow, anxiety, distress, guilt, paralysis, difficulty, anguish, feeling overwhelmed.

Acknowledge My Struggle
Psalm 88
Matthew 5:4
Romans 8:38-39

Balance My Life 
Matthew 6:25-34       
It’s not all about me. Focus on others.

Connect With Others 
Galatians 6:2
Romans 12:5

Depend on Christ
I can lose everything, (mind, health, money, loved ones) but I can’t lose Jesus.
Isaiah 61:1-3 (Luke 4:17-19)
Psalm 89:1-8

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Finding Hope and Power to Live

(Listen to the sermon at )

“I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection…” Philippians 3:10
Jesus died and rose from the dead. That’s the past. Jesus will take his followers to be with him in the presence of God. That’s the future. But, what about life here and now? Does Jesus have any bearing on that?
What God has done in the past and what God is going to do in the future must affect how we live in the present. God is a God of the “right now.”  God demonstrates his power in restoring the physical life of Lazarus, (John 11) but Jesus desires for us to understand the spiritual significance of being resurrected to new life. We can trust Jesus with both our death and with our eternity. And, we must trust him with our day to day life.
There are days when I feel defeated. There are days when I know the power of God at work in my life and those are the best days. As Jesus’ disciples, we are no longer living for ourselves but we are living for Christ and walking in him.  He promises to give us the power to be able to live a life of hope and victory! He can be trusted to provide that. It is up to us to choose to walk in that power.
There are a lot of things that die in our lives: dreams, finances, relationships…  God is the god of resurrections – of power to change us, transform us, to give us what we need to walk day by day in resurrection power.
In the Easter Sunday message, I talk about a “tear-off” to fill out. The top asks for your feedback on issues you would like to see addressed in sermons during the coming year. The bottom asks where you are in your relationship to Jesus Christ.
§  1.   I am reconciled to God and I’ve embraced new life in Jesus Christ
§  2.   Today I accepted Jesus’ offer of eternal life
§  3.   I want to join the baptism on June 16
§  4.   I cannot yet commit to following Jesus
Leave your comments here or send them to my email. I would enjoy hearing from you.