Christian Joy Is Not Man-Made . . . .

Originally posted on hisglorysm:

There is a difference between “joy” as it is experienced in the world and Christian joy.

  • Joy in the world is much like that of happiness contained in a helium balloon.  Such joy can appear to be almost wondrous as it floats high into the sky.  However, the enjoyment is only temporary as it drifts out of sight and ultimately “pops” as circumstances change.
  • Christian joy is not tainted by adverse circumstances or the actions of others.  Christian joy is instead filled with the hope and wisdom of faith in Christ Jesus.

If you are struggling with circumstances that are out of your control, or are trying to make sense of the hateful ugliness being reported in the news, then I encourage you to stop and consider the wisdom of James.*   In his letter directed to, “the twelve tribes scattered among the nations,” James sought…

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Two Ways To Confront a Crisis of Faith

Originally posted on J.S. Park:

shatteredclay asked a question:

Pastor! I find so much joy, hope, truth, and God in your words on an almost daily basis. Recently, I started a new job that isn’t my *first* choice, but I needed work, God gave me work, and I am trying to honor Him by doing this job the best I can. Yesterday, a coworker asked me how he could confront his recent “crisis of faith”! He’s doubting God’s existence, etc. I’m honored he shared with me, and scrambling to help him without overwhelming him! I KNOW you’re the man for this question!

Hey dear friend, thank you so much for your trust with such a huge issue, and I’m completely humbled by your love for your coworker. You’re really doing a good thing.

May I first say: Every person in the world will run into a crisis of faith. It’s inevitable. We need to…

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TV CHURCH

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I’m going to Church every Sunday. Church for me, right now, is in my own living room because I’m watching Church on TV.

You see, I am in the midst of Church-Follower crises. You might think I am judgmental. I’m supposed to love others, realizing we all sin and forgive others.

I am a sinner.  I will be the first one to admit my flaws. Well, that may not be true, sometimes; it takes me awhile to admit my errors. Eventually, through reflection and prayer, the Lord helps me and guides me through the admission, repentance and forgiveness process; praise Jesus for His amazing Grace.

So, what’s the problem? The problem is ME. Believe me when I say I have prayed and read and contemplated this mind set.

My hubby and I have moved quite a bit in our life-time. We’ve lived in four different states and gone to church in each town. I don’t want to discredit any one Church or any person. I am reliving this Christian process of mine while trying to understand my current state of flux.

One Church secretary called me at home and stated we were in the wrong Church – she told us to go to the Church across the Highway. It seems this Church had parish boundaries.

One Church was dying literally. The Church was in a small town just celebrating its 50th anniversary. The first families of this Church were dying and the members would shadow any new persons entering the Church. The attendees were under the impression they were being welcoming but if you met these attendees in a local Store they would ask why you weren’t in Church on Sunday or why you were no longer attending. It felt more like an attack than a welcome.

One Church was so into volunteering that they literally sucked dry any person who volunteered. You were then “on the list” and called for every ministry ever imagined. Honestly, no was not an option.

Several of the Churches we’ve attended over the last forty-two years of marriage had a Minister crisis. One of minister split the Church with his personal issues and other Minister’s had burn-out which literally split the Church or even closed the Church.

We’ve all read about Minister giving up – burn-out at an all time high. Ministers must delegate otherwise their passion for the Lord slowly seeps out. These Ministers find themselves breaking down under the pressure of working the everyday issues of the Church. Instead of ministering to the people they find themselves listening to members argue about the Church’s next step.  We must have volunteers to help on the different boards because it is imperative the minister and assistant Pastors reach out to their hurting parishioners. We must have volunteers but not the same volunteers over and over.

I try to understand this process of building a Church, ministering to others and trying to find the perfect balance of Ministry and Volunteering. But you see I am burned out too. I am tired! I am tired of trying to find a Church that doesn’t disintegrate with me along with it. I’ve given up.

Like Paul, I know what I need to do and don’t do it. I know what I need to show others but I hold back. I know I should shower love on others but I look away, again, I am a sinner.

I am sixty-three years old. I have raised my family in the Church, taught Church school, volunteered and tried to be Christ-spirited through all the ups and downs.

PRAYER:

 Oh Lord, I know others have life circumstances so much worse. I am not trying to be ungrateful. YOU have blessed my life in ways I never thought possible.

Lord, this crisis is has left a deep hole in my heart which only YOU can fill. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit. Give me wisdom and discernment. Lead me! Show me the next step and guide me towards the path you have for my life.

 

 

Breathing Holes

Stumbling into GRACE:

Take a deep breath

Originally posted on Story of the Day--climbinghigher:

Story of the Day for Monday April 27, 2015

Breathing Holes

And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it’s good to be here. Let’s make three tents . . .

Mark 9:5

DSCN9966In October, 1988, an Alaskan Eskimo discovered three gray whales who were drowning. Surrounded by Arctic ice, the whales punched out a small breathing hole, but it was quickly icing over. The Eskimo returned with others who wielded chainsaws and pick axes to cut a series of holes in order to lead the whales back to open water.  The work was exhausting, but their story was picked up by the national news. Soon, oil companies and the military were donating equipment to help free Bonnet, Crossbeak, and Bone – the names given to the three whales. By creating a series of breathing holes, the rescue teams eventually led the whales to open water.

When we are overwhelmed by the…

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Spiritual Warfare… What to do When You Encounter a Lion

Stumbling into GRACE:

Fight for your life

Originally posted on Bring Bread:

“Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith…”1 Peter 5:8, 9

mountainlion

 There are very few sounds as frightening as the screams of horses, and mine were screaming–running for their lives. Hooves thundered across the pasture until I could feel the rumble in my body. Accelerating, they hurled themselves into a thick pole fence, crashed through, and raced away. I looked back and scanned the canyon rim. A tawny blur flashed across the edge of my peripheral vision and fear crawled up the back of my neck. Something was out there… hunting, stalking.

Living in wild country has its challenges; encountering predators is one of them. Concerned for the nearby unsuspecting rock climbers, I called the sheriff’s office to report a cougar sighting. A few days later, a pamphlet from the Dept. of Fish…

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Dear Papa,

Originally posted on disciplegideon:

waiting on the Lord

Introduction:

This post is from my heart. Most of my readers know that I fill my offerings with Scripture and base all of my teachings on the inerrancy of the Bible. This post is based in biblical truth, but rather like a tea bag infuses water to become tea, so will this post be infused with Scripture. I have had an epiphany. I won’t bother with Scriptural backing. If you need said proof, just ask in the “comments” section.

The Preface:

Today, as I sat and thought about my life and my relationship with God, I realized something very profound. God the Father has totally been ripped off!

What do I mean?

What I mean is that we are so dull of hearing, so hardened in our hearts, and so totally devoid of holy vision that we miss the whole point.

Most of us, and me included, point to Christ…

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Letting Our Light Shine

Originally posted on His Eye Is On This Sparrow, Heartfelt Thoughts by Elizabeth Yalian:

In Matthew 22:36-39 a Pharisee, hoping to stump Jesus, comes and asks: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 36 

The Pharisee thought Jesus should say all of the commandments came from God and all of them were great, right? I mean, that does make sense, doesn’t it? However…

Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’37-39 

Jesus gave the Pharisee those two commandments because they cover all the other commandments combined. That’s what made them so great. If we love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and mind, it should be naturally easy to also love our neighbor as our self. And if we happen…

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A Faith That Soars . . . .

Stumbling into GRACE:

SOARING FAITH

Originally posted on hisglorysm:

It was one of those rare moments when all the pieces fell into place in one full swoop.  We were in the Counseling Room talking about faith.  My Client, having grown up in a loving, Christian home, expressed her longing to regain the “warm fuzzies” of the faith she enjoyed in her youth.  Presently in her early thirties, and having made choices in her young adulthood she deeply regrets, I could see that she was at a spiritual crossroads . . . unsure of the direction she needed to go.

Suddenly, this question wafted out of my mouth and across the room before I even had time to think about it, “Lisa, tell me everything you know about eagles . . . how do they learn to fly?”  Looking at me quizzically, it took her a moment to begin processing the question that appeared to come out of nowhere…

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