At Least 10 Things Great Churches Are For

By Sermoncentral on Apr 20, 2021

The church has often, intentionally or not, been branded as a community of people who are angry and therefore are against everything not church-y. This is especially true when we so vocally voice our protests and gang up to boycott every business that doesn’t look conservative-Christian-friendly enough. I’ve listened to too much lately. From all sides. Some opinions I agree with and others I don’t, but what I’ve concluded is ultimately this: If I’m going to be known or listened to, I want it to be because of what I’m FOR, not what I’m against.

Is it just me, or has the Internet and social media seemingly been flooded lately by a whole lot of vocal people expressing just how many things they’re against?

There’s a culture war going on, and it isn’t just the right versus the left. Society seems divided into all kinds of tribes and micro-communities, but issue after issue keeps dividing those micro-communities further. It’s very easy to join the fray – to get drafted into a war we don’t really feel is ours, but in which our emotions have become entangled, as if every major trending topic will most certainly determine our fate if we don’t speak up.

The church has often, intentionally or not, been branded as a community of people who are angry and therefore are against everything not church-y. This is especially true when we so vocally voice our protests and gang up to boycott every business that doesn’t look conservative-Christian-friendly enough.

I’ve listened to too much lately. From all sides. Some opinions I agree with and others I don’t, but what I’ve concluded is ultimately this: If I’m going to be known or listened to, I want it to be because of what I’m FOR, not what I’m against.

Please don’t misunderstand. There are lots of things that Christ-followers should be ardently against. We should be passionately against slavery and human trafficking, genocide, persecution, and oppression. We should be against doctrinal error within the church when it confuses or obscures the true message of the gospel. And we should even be against sin, especially in our own lives. After all, where sin thrives, humanity doesn’t.

My fear, though, is that the church is often branded, fairly or not, as the people who are against people. The church is against gay people, liberals, addicts, and sinners of all kinds. We’re against Target or Starbucks or Hollywood. We’re against pregnant teenagers, rock bands, and anyone who is inked or pierced. I realize I’m feeding into some of the stereotypes about the church that certainly don’t apply to even a majority of Christians. But some of this brand has been earned.

When it comes to my own ministry, and the way I lead the church I love, I want to major on the things that we’re for. I want to put down the weapons of the sarcastic juke and judgmental stab and instead take up the tools that are constructive. I would rather have a ministry of building people up with truth than tearing them down with it. For example…

1. We’re for truth – absolute, eternal truth in a world of uncertainty.

2.  We’re for love – showing love in practical, tangible ways in a self-serving world.

3.  We’re for life – imparting life in a world dominated by death and tragedy.

4.  We’re for human dignity – every person is a precious soul, and every soul matters deeply to God.

5.  We’re for healing – offering physical, emotional, and spiritual healing for the broken in a broken world.

6.  We’re for grace – the radical, Jesus-like kind that offends the religious and saves sinners.

7.  We’re for community – life-giving relationships between people who bear each other’s burdens.

8.  We’re for prayer – prayer that calls on an active and living God to move heaven and earth.

9.  We’re for faith – the kind that moves mountains, that expects God’s best.

10.  We’re for hope – that the King will return, rule, and reign in peace forever!

We’re for YOU! We’re for you because God created you, loves you, lived for you, died for you, rose for you, and draws you to himself in love no matter your background, no matter your sin, and no matter what your story looks like.

https://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/sermoncentral-at-least-10-things-great-churches-are-for-2536

VIDEO ‘America Lost’ Documentary Explores How Families Overcome Cycles of Poverty

Five years in the making, ‘America Lost’ offers perspective on the decline of once-thriving U.S. communities — and how they might find rebirth.

‘America Lost’ Documentary Explores How Families Overcome Cycles of Poverty

By Josh Shepherd

Bursting into their small home kitchen in Memphis, Tenn., the ten-year-old girl found her mom cooking. Her observation came out of the blue: “Mama, you need a husband.”

Contrina Luckett, today age 41, spoke in a phone interview and recounted this conversation from four years ago. “Who’s talking about me? Who told you to tell me that?” she recalled her sharp response. “For my child to say that, it was like salt on a wound.”

Yet her daughter had uttered the remark innocently. “I’m just saying it because of my grandparents,” said the girl, recently back from visiting one of few married couples in her life. “Grandma takes care of Granddaddy, and Granddaddy takes care of her. Mama, that’s what you need.”

A mother of two and a small business owner, Luckett has overcome many barriers to succeed and inspire those around her. She grew up in a public housing project in Memphis. Her father was incarcerated for much of her early life. Both men who fathered her daughters have spent time behind bars. And, in recent years, her previously unexplained health issues were diagnosed as multiple sclerosis.

Her story is one of several vignettes about family, poverty, and economic upheaval presented in the documentary film “America Lost,” which airs nationwide on PBS World Channel on October 27. Director Chris Rufo, a research fellow at the Discovery Institute, told me that “Contrina is the most inspiring person that I met” during his years working on the film.

“It would break many, many people to fight those circumstances,” said Rufo in a phone interview. “Despite all these obstacles, she has a remarkable way of always trying to improve her life and an unbelievable conviction for helping her two daughters.”

The documentary presents a holistic picture of a changing America through accounts of three different cities. In the southern city of Memphis, black families work to better their children’s lives despite trends in inner-city neighborhoods. Closed steel mills define the Rust Belt landscape of Youngstown, Ohio, with a predominantly white working class. Finally, Rufo journeyed to Stockton, California, an area where Latino culture reflects the majority.

Initially, he planned to film for only a year and come away learning what policy decisions could be improved. “But that missed a deeper dynamic,” said Rufo. “Because the problems that plague America’s poorest cities are no longer just economic or political. They’re social, cultural, and personal in nature.”

Master Chef Beats the Odds

During our call, Luckett juggled preparing meals for her loyal take-out lunch crowd and checking in on her teenage daughter busy with virtual learning. She said the last thing she is looking for is pity, especially regarding her medical diagnosis.

“Don’t doubt me because of multiple sclerosis,” said Luckett. “I don’t let anybody feel sorry for me. I look at this as the walk the good Lord gave me. Maybe it’s to help somebody else who may not be as strong. I learned it from my mom, who always worked hard.”

She does not dwell on the difficulties of childhood, with her father out of the picture, though it’s a backdrop Rufo brings forward in the film. “Because of tragedies that had come her way at a young age, social science tells us she had little chance of success,” he said. “What we hear from Contrina is a kind of hidden knowledge, which I believe we need to listen to closely.”

Five years ago, a low point in her journey compelled Luckett to start her meals-to-go business. One night, she visited the local E.R. due to excruciating internal pain. When she had no fall or traumatic incident to report, she said doctors assumed she was seeking pain medicines — “that I just wanted a fix.”  A series of tests revealed she had multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease affecting the central nervous system.

On the heels of decades of family difficulties, this diagnosis sent her into an emotional tailspin. Her oldest daughter, today age 20, soon had two part-time jobs to make ends meet for the family. “I’m not going to lie, I still feel embarrassed,” said Luckett through tears. “She took on responsibilities that she shouldn’t have had to. But that’s what made me start cooking.”

Finding the good in her family heritage — her mother’s years in the hospitality industry — she was able to build on it. “Though my mom made only minimum wage at first, eventually she had her own restaurant,” said Luckett. “It’s something I realized I knew a lot about. So I started fixing plates of food and selling them from my home, which became a blessing to the girls and me.”

Although the new income was not much, Luckett stretched it farther than just her family. “My daughter made the swim team and I was able to buy her swim kit,” she said. “I also blessed another mom, helping her get all the swim stuff her little girl needed.”

The Hidden Value of Human Capital

Luckett and her family in Memphis serve as a centerpiece example in “America Lost.” The narrative shows how some families overcome many strikes against them, including in communities like Youngstown and Stockton that appear nothing like the South.

“These three cities represent collectively the geographic and racial diversity of the country,” said Rufo. “You have north, south, and west. You have white, black, and Latino. And they’re all struggling with the same phenomenon of poverty.”

While it spotlights success stories, the film does not gloss over ingrained devastating trends of these communities. Generational cycles of insecurity and job losses multiplying over decades raise questions on the role of government assistance in anti-poverty initiatives.

Rufo brings up one telling statistic. “In Youngstown, roughly two-thirds of all household income is transfer payments and benefits from the federal government,” he said. “When the majority of funds circulating in a city is dictated by federal policy, essentially in perpetuity, that can create long-term harm.”

The filmmaker can quickly put on his policy-wonk hat. Citing Heritage Foundation research, he speaks of how the Great Society programs initiated in the mid-1960s attempted to “reduce human beings to a factor in a variable equation” — resulting in expensive programs with dubious results. “We’re spending now more than $1.1 trillion a year on means-tested anti-poverty programs,” said Rufo. “Yet the poverty rate hasn’t changed since the Great Society first got up and running, about 50 years.”

The film addresses welfare policy with nuance, recognizing the role of a societal “safety net.” For instance, in addition to a small amount of public assistance her family receives, Luckett recently was approved for Medicaid to help defray some costs of her MS treatments.

“It would be shortsighted to say: ‘It’s all bad, and if we cut everything, it will all be good,’” said Rufo. “But we should really grapple with how anti-poverty policies haven’t worked at their stated objectives. The federal government has a role in helping people, but the system we have now doesn’t do that.”

Most policymakers view public assistance in terms of dollars and budget categories like ‘mandatory spending.’ By contrast, “America Lost” brings social capital to the forefront — including how churches and faith communities help individuals through practical outreach and training.

Marriage and Social Capital

In the film, a pivotal scene shows Luckett giving life advice to her two daughters. “I just want to break that generational cycle,” she states. “First, I want y’all to finish high school. College is a must. And get married before having kids.”

The single mom voices a countercultural message, particularly in her community. “America Lost” cites how, in South Memphis, 93 percent of family households are headed by a single mother. “Academics in social science talk about the ‘success sequence,’” said Rufo, referring to policy research on family structure. “In the film, Contrina points out that same path as the way forward.”

Today, Luckett uses her culinary and hospitality skills as a resource for local couples. “Look, I’m not even a married woman,” she said. “But I love to get a couple together and teach the wife or husband simple foods to prepare to make a happy home. You can go all the way around the world in the kitchen. If I want to go to Paris, I fold napkins a certain way and do a little décor. When you make the pasta dish yourself, you’ll like it even more.”

Rufo notes that “perverse incentives” in current policies, such as the marriage penalty in some assistance programs, have often held back economic opportunities for those most in need. While the film speaks to all Americans, he hopes one message gets through to policymakers.

“Have some humility when you’re thinking about poor communities,” he said. “Don’t feel like you can ‘engineer’ them to health. Because if we keep going with the status quo, cities like Youngstown, Stockton, and Memphis are only going to get worse.”

Produced by the Documentary Foundation, “America Lost” available at  airs nationwide ran October 27 on the PBS World Channel (see station listing).

Josh Shepherd covers culture, faith, and public policy for several media outlets including The Stream. His articles have appeared in The Daily Signal, The Christian Post, Boundless, Providence Magazine, and Christian Headlines. A graduate of the University of Colorado, he previously worked on staff at The Heritage Foundation and Focus on the Family. Josh and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area.Photo Christopher F. Rufo / YouTube

https://thefederalist.com/2020/10/27/america-lost-documentary-explores-how-families-overcome-cycles-of-poverty/

How Does Death Rule Over Us?

December 9, 2019 hepsibahgarden

Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. Psalms‬ ‭119:77‬

We need GOD’S TENDER MERCIES TO LIVE CONTINUALLY.

He did not call us to death. Rather, God called us forth from death and brought us into Life so that we may live eternally. We need to always keep “sin” in a dead state, and to do this we need God’s mercy. What does keeping sin in a dead state mean? It means to forsake the works of death immediately in our lives.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans‬ ‭6:23‬

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians‬ ‭5:19-21‬

To be carnally/fleshly minded is death, therefore this also needs to be kept in a dead state. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

If we hate our brethren, he is a murderer. The Scriptures says there is no eternal life for such a person. Where there is no Life, there death is present. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John‬ ‭3:15‬.

For mercy to remain upon us, we must perfect our works before God. If not, we are good as dead to Him. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Revelation‬ ‭3:1-2‬

If we aren’t found in the first love, we are in a dead state. Falling away from First Love is referred to being asleepHence St.Paul writes, Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Ephesians‬ ‭5:14‬.

If we are not in the Spirit, we are in God’s sight dead. This was why God asked prophet Ezekiel to prophesy to the wind looking at the Valley of Bones. When the prophet did so, breath came into them and in no time the Valley of Dead Bones revived into an exceeding great army.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Ezekiel‬ ‭37:7-10‬. May God help us to preserve His mercies in our lives!

Be blessed 💕

Original here

‘Grinch’ group bullies elementary school into canceling live Nativity

Judge: Artistic performances don’t ‘establish’ a religion

December 11, 2019

A live Nativity scene in Stuart, Florida (Photo by Joe Kovacs, used with permission)

A “grinch” organization that flexes its influence each year during the holiday season, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, has “bullied” a school district in Oklahoma into canceling a live Nativity scene that had been part of the school’s annual Christmas celebration.

Liberty Counsel said it’s prepared to represent the school if officials decide they want to restore the holiday display.

LC said FFRF not only was wrong to insist such displays aren’t allowed, it mischaracterized a court ruling on the dispute.

FFRF wrote to Supt. Bret Towne of Edmond Public Schools in Edmond, Oklahoma, declaring “the Chisholm Elementary School Christmas program may not include a live Nativity scene in the performance.”

Liberty Counsel, which has handled many such disputes, said that while FFRF cited a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, the atheist organization failed “to accurately describe” the decision.

“The 7th Circuit simply did not make the sweeping ruling claimed by FFRF. FFRF has once again selectively related what actually happened in a suit, in order to frighten a school district into compliance,” Liberty Counsel explained.

The ruling stated clearly, “We are not prepared to say that a nativity scene in a school performance automatically constitutes an Establishment Clause violation.”

FFRF had said, “While a public school can hold holiday concerts, religious performances and instruction that emphasize the religious aspects of a holiday are prohibited.”

It continued, “Please note that including a live nativity performance in a school’s holiday concert remains illegal even if participation in the nativity scene is ‘voluntary.'”

FFRF cited a previous dispute in which it wanted to ban a 20-minute Nativity within a program that covered about 90 minutes.

The appeals court said: “The district court found that the Christmas Spectacular program. … A program in which cultural, pedagogical, and entertainment value took center stage – did not violate the Establishment Clause.

One judge wrote: “It is not sound, as a matter of history or constitutional text, to say that a unit of state or local government ‘establishes’ a religion through an artistic performance that favorable depicts one or more aspects of that religion’s theology or iconography. [The school] would not violate the Constitution by performing Bach’s Mass in B Minor or Handel’s Mesiah, although both are deeply religious works and run far longer than the nativity portion of the ‘Christmas Spectacular.’ Performing a work of art does not establish that work, or its composer, as the state song or the state composer; no more does it establish a state religion.”

“Liberty Counsel therefore stands ready, along with our affiliate attorneys in Oklahoma, to provide assistance at no charge to Edmond Public Schools, if the district desires to resume a live Nativity in a school Christmas program,” the organization promised.

 

Original here

How you Can Become a Better Person Starting Now

Can you Really Change?

Most people wonder if it’s possible to become a better person after maturity. The answer is a resounding yes. There’s actually room for change at every stage of our life. With a willing spirit, you can transform your personality. Once you figure out the best and easiest approach to take, you can decide the most important personal aspects to work on. Taking into account the best interest of others and your well being, below are some of the most important things you’ll need to work on, in order to make the changes.

Photo by Freshh Connection on unsplash

Help Others:

Good people support and encourage others to do and become their best selves. I believe one of the greatest responsibilities we have is to support ourselves and others to live as close to their unique potential as possible. Because everything we say and do has a negative or positive influence on others. We should always take into consideration the words we speak to and about others.

How you can show Support?

  • Have some faith in others.
  • Hold high expectations.
  • Be encouraging.
  • Be honest.
  • Share yourself.
  • Set the best example.
  • Challenge them.
  • Be mindful of your questions.
  • Invest your time in them.
  • Acknowledge them.

Let go of Anger:

Your relationships can create a haven from stress as well as help you become a better person. But if you walk away from unresolved conflicts, they can become a significant source of stress. Let’s face it, conflicts are common in our society. They happen with our families, neighbors, friends or colleagues. You have to face them in the right manner and come up with a fair solution. The best way to improve in this area is to learn conflict resolution strategies. Let’s take a look at 5 of this tools that are more effective:

Conflict Resolution Strategies:

  • Recognize that all of us have biased fairness perception.
  • Avoid escalating tensions with threats and provocative move
  • Overcome an “us versus them” mentality.
  • Look beneath the surface to identify deeper issues.
  • Separate sacred from pseudo-sacred issues.

You can also identify what your anger triggers and eliminate them as much as possible. Also learn to let go of any grudge and residual anger.

Be a good Listener:

Listening to others and is one of the best things you can do for another person and yourself. It shows them that you value their opinion and allows you to develop closer connection with others. You also get to hear perspectives you might otherwise dismiss. It is important to engage in active listening with the people in our lives. Being an active listener can change your life for the better. It fosters deeper relationships and exposes you to thoughts, ideas world wide views beyond your own experience. You never know what you might learn from someone.

Self Care:

Self care is vital for building resilience when facing life’s unavoidable stressors. Making sure that you get enough sleep is important for your physical and emotional wellbeing. Less sleep can make you less able to brainstorm solutions to problems you come across. I don’t know about you, but when l don’t sleep enough, it makes me very edgy the next day.

Eating a proper diet is also essential in keeping your body and mind healthy. When you eat healthy, problems like bloating and constipation are never going to be on your worry list. That means you will be in optimum shape for handling stress – which gives you added resilience to manage those challenges that come up unexpectedly.

Be Polite:

Being polite is an act of kindness. We can show politeness to everyone we come across. It is not a trivial thing. This little act instill positive feelings in the people around you. Maintaining a certain level of politeness and civility is appreciated because it shows thoughtfulness, considerations, and kindness.

Live with Integrity:

Personal integrity is a cornerstone of whom we really are. It also shows what we stand for. Integrity is part of our mortal foundation. Integrity shapes the person you become with time. Living with integrity means being true to your ideas. It means that your outward actions reflect your inner beliefs and values. It means making necessary changes to live up to your standards. Take time to understand what integrity means to you and how your decisions align with your values. These things can help propel you towards becoming a better person.

Original here

 

VIDEO A Christmas Story

December 7, 2019   By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

 

 

The Christmas Story is story of a hero. The greatest evil the world has ever known made the greatest hero the world has ever known. Crucifixion was the cruelest form of torture and execution man devised or used.

Not every hero since has given up his life for another. Heroes generally take no concern for their own life while trying to save the lives of others.

The acknowledgement and veneration of heroes has existed for centuries. It was the ancient Greeks who are accredited with first coining the designation.

A very recent tragedy brought to light another hero.  A young graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, whose dream was to become a pilot, is a hero after he reportedly related crucial information about the identity of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola shooter to first responders, despite having been shot several times, a family member revealed.

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, was confirmed as one of the three victims who were killed Friday morning when Saudi national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani opened fire on a flight training program for foreign military personnel, Adam Watson revealed in a Facebook post. (1)

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, was confirmed as one of the three victims who was killed Friday morning.

“Today has been the worst day of my life. My youngest brother gave his life for his country in a senseless shooting. Joshua Kaleb Watson saved countless lives today with his own. After being shot multiple times he made it outside and told the first response team where the shooter was and those details were invaluable. He died a hero and we are beyond proud but there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. When we were little I gave Kaleb the name little poot and it stuck. It eventually evolved into pootis and finally uncle poot. Just wish I could talk to him one more time or wrestle with him one more time even though he could probably take me now. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. “(2)

Simply put, the key to heroism is a concern for other people in need—a concern to defend a moral cause, knowing there is a personal risk, done without expectation of reward.

Philip Zimbardo: What Makes a Hero?

 

Christians who helped Jews during the Holocaust were in the same situation as other civilians who helped imprison or kill Jews, or ignored their suffering. The situation provided the impetus to act heroically or malevolently. People choose one path or the other.

Some choose a path to meet the needs of others. For example there is New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson will use his custom-made “My Cause, My Cleats” cleats to bring attention to his One More Foundation. H e created the One More Thing Foundation to spread the love and hope of Christ to one more soul.

“And, we do that by following the three charges that are given in Micah 6:8 when it talks about doing justice, loving-kindness, and walking humbly with our God,” he explained.

Watson said that, for the last decade, the foundation has given him the opportunity to meet people with “real needs” and “to know the one who can meet their needs forever and ever.”

“Whether it’s promoting and giving food to those who are hungry, doing events around the holidays, promoting education, standing against injustice — whether that be sex trafficking, abortion, or racial injustice … and also, just bringing kindness to people,” he continued. (3)

Courtesy of Eric J. Adler and the New England Patriots

Heroes | Restoring Faith in Humanity | 2017

 

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” — Arthur Ashe, professional tennis player.

There have been thousands of unnamed and unknown heroes over the centuries. Heroes include those who stood ready, who fought and who died for the cause of freedom, first responders, those who served others, and the many that have helped someone without regard to their personal safety,

The true Christmas Story is an everyday story.

The real reason for the season was born to die and save us all.

——-

(1) https://www.foxnews.com/us/naval-academy-grad-shot-5-times-hero

(2)  https://www.facebook.com/adam.watson.397/posts/3471855006187806

(3)  https://www.foxnews.com/media/patriots-benjamin-watson-one-more-foundation-my-cause-my-cleats

——-

Below are a handful of links to heroes

https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/2019/11/14/sons-american-revolution-honor-first-responders-heroic-acts/4193217002/

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/08/05/soldier-praised-for-heroic-act-at-el-paso-shooting-what-i-did-was-what-i-was-supposed-to-do/23788523/

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2019/09/17/hero-westchester-cops-honored/2354177001/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bradley-plane-crash-heroic-acts-saved-lives-in-deadly-b-17-bomber-crash-official-says/

https://www.usla.org/page/HEROIC

https://publicholidays.la/anguilla/national-heroes-and-heroines-day/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/a-christmas-story/


VIDEO 100+ volunteers serve community in ‘Church Has Left The Building’ event

 

By Joyce Philippe | September 22, 2019

 

MOSS POINT, Miss. (WLOX) – Instead of holding a typical Sunday service, Safe Harbor United Methodist Church decided to switch things up with its first “Church Has Left the Building” event.

At 9 a.m., about 120 members walked out of the sanctuary and split up to work on one of 17 projects. The service area ranged from Escatawpa to Pascagoula.

“There’s something for everybody no matter how old or how young, no matter how talented or gifted you are with working with your hands,” said pastor Robbie Murden.

The projects included a free car wash, a cemetery clean-up, school beautification and helping people at local businesses with everyday tasks. One group helped organize shopping carts at Piggly Wiggly in Moss Point.

“People are really shocked, they’re like, ‘what are y’all doing?’” said volunteer Jerica Hudson. “They’re trying to give us donations, they’re trying to pay for the water. We’re saying no, please just let us help you with your groceries. It’s a blessing to us, so we’ve enjoyed it.”

Others cut and tied blankets to give to the homeless. When finished, they blessed each blanket with a prayer and an uplifting message.

“It’s needed and it’s really fun to do to help other people and your community,” said volunteer Gracie Coleman.

One team was dedicated to preparing the night’s supper. After an eventful day of service, volunteers reassembled and broke bread while sharing their experiences with helping others.

“We’re just worshipping God in a different way. We’re not staying inside the building to worship God because God is everywhere, and we want to be able to do that as well,” Murden said.

Copyright 2019 WLOX. All rights reserved.

https://www.wlox.com/2019/09/22/volunteers-serve-community-church-has-left-building-event


Mobilize: The Church has Left the Building!

VIDEO What Is Going On?

 

 

 

 

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II  September 7, 2019

 

I admit sometimes I forget, and sometimes I can’t remember, and I don’t remember which it is. I tell the kids don’t get old and that I don’t know how that can be done, just don’t get old. Yes, they just look at me.

Where does one call to find out the offense of day, moment is? Is there a central clearing house? It sure seems like you can turn TV stations to find the same words and the same outrage coming from different talking heads. I figure someone is passing out words to say. Would someone please give me the phone number of who has a list of the current offense words, hats or whatever? This growing list is giving me a headache.

When I grew up our news came from newspapers where opinions were found in the Editorial section. News contained facts not propaganda.

Newspapers were printed once, maybe twice a day, or weekly.

There were no computers, cell phones, texting, emails, twitter, facebook or other such things that instantly post pictures and information to people worldwide.  When someone needed or wanted to pass along information or pictures if they didn’t meet in person they put them in the mail.

TV news was on early in the morning, at noon, 6 and 11pm in black and white. There were no twenty four hour TV stations. AM radio was mostly music, FM broadcasts were rare.

No one was shot up into space yet. President Eisenhower had not yet warned us of the dangers of the military industrial complex.

In others words people looked each other in the eye and spoke to each other.

Yes, in some ways you could say life was slower compared to today. In some ways life was more relaxed than today.

There actually is a way to support my statement that life was more relaxed then.  The amount of people suffering from anxiety, which is the activation of the Fight or Flight System, rose in response to increase to the strains of everyday life from the 1950s on.

“The common psychological features of these problems include a mélange of symptoms involving nervousness, sadness, and malaise. The typical physical symptoms consist of headaches, fatigue, back pain, gastrointestinal complaints, and sleep and appetite difficulties, often accompanying struggles with interpersonal, financial, occupational, and health concerns. These complaints account for a large proportion of cases found in outpatient psychiatric and, especially, in general medical treatment.” (1).

Am I suggesting we go back in time, not quite? There are very many good uses of modern technology. The biggest downside I see to modern instant communications is the lack of interpersonal communications.

Interpersonal communication is the process by which we exchange information, feelings, and meanings through verbal and non-verbal messages through face-to-face communication. It is not always what is said, but how it is said and the expressions used.  The absence of interpersonal communications can lead to a misinterpretation of what was said which today could lead to quite a flurry of tweets.

My suggestions include: count to ten before sending an instant message, perhaps you’ll change what you want to say;  text less; meet as many people as you can in person to talk face to face; and take walks.  You just might find your quality of life will improve as will those around, doing your part to make the world a better place.

 

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888013/


Original here

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2019/09/08/what-is-going-on/