Connect-Disconnect-Reconnect

 by Joe Rodriguez

There are quite a few lighthouses built on remote islands and cays. When I came across the above image, I was immediately transported to it in mind and spirit. This looks like the perfect place to escape from it all, don’t you think? Unless, of course, you suffer from aquaphobia (fear of any source of water), agoraphobia (fear of being in unescapable places), or monophobia (fear of being isolated/alone). I am an only child. Born and raised on the island of St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands), I was pretty much at the beach every other weekend. I was also a home-body until I left to go to college in the U.S. mainland where I lived as a bachelor on my own for about 10 years. That would explain why I have none of the above-mentioned phobias and why I would have no problem whatsoever in spending some time on this island even if by myself. Come to think of it, a mini solo spiritual retreat at this lighthouse would actually be perfect right now!

But of course, not too many of us have the luxury of traveling to a secluded island to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. Nevertheless, we can all use an occasional time of personal retreat/refreshing. After connecting with family and friends (relationships), work, school, and home (earthly cares), and even with church life (ministry/fellowship) for an extended period of time, we all need a “me time.” Time to disconnect from daily activities and routines and allow our minds and even our bodies to recharge.

This may mean giving up our not-so-healthy diets in order to detox, or putting on hold specific tasks in order to catch our breath. It could also mean that although we may have a “spiritual” life, we may have to stop and truly reflect on what we think, say, and do. In other words, we may need to analyze how much our faith-based convictions have actually affected and changed our lives for God’s glory and not ours.

So, if you have been busy just connecting with everything and everyone, perhaps it’s time to disconnect. Time to rest. I mean truly rest. Remove the batteries from the “I have to do” clock and take time to truly practice the words that renew and give life to the soul!

““Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I [Jesus] will give you rest.”” – Matthew 11:28

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” – Psalm 23:1-2 

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31

“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.” – Psalm 127:2

“What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.” – Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

“Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest!” – Psalm 55:6

Then, after you have disconnected for a little while, you’ll be more than ready to reconnect!

How to Set Up SNOO – Happiest Baby

A Word From A 2700 Year Old Pastor

By Lance Witt on Apr 16, 2021

Replenish Ministries

Pastors listen to other pastors.  We listen to other people in ministry who are down in the trenches doing the hard work of leading others.

Jeremiah was one such person.  And he was given a very tough ministry assignment.  God let him know in advance that he would not pastor a megachurch. 

Pastor Jeremiah has a good word that is timely for those of us leading the church in the 21st century.

This is what the Lord says…
Stand at the crossroads and look.
Ask for the ancient paths
Ask where the good way is and walk in it
And you will find rest for your souls
Jeremiah 6:16 (NIV)

STAND AT THE CROSSROADS

If you’re going to take the road that leads to spiritual health, you have to stand.  Implicit in the word “stand” is that you have to “stop”.  Stopping and standing go hand in hand.

This is a critical word for people with healthy souls.

Jesus regularly took time to stop, to be quiet, to spend time with his father.  You can’t live life at warp speed without warping your soul.  It is so easy to fill our lives with frantic activity only to lose our bearings in ministry and forget “why” we do what we do.

It’s healthy for us to regularly stand and look at our lives… and consider where we are headed. We are so pre-occupied with everybody else’s sanctification that we forget that our sanctification is still a work in progress.

You have to stop running long enough to make an informed decision about which road you will travel.

Proverbs 14:8  says “the wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways… but the folly of fools is deception”

Give thought to your ways.  Are you living the life God intended for you?  Or, are you so busy, you have little time to stop and reflect and consider the roads that are in front of you.

An old Chinese proverb says, “If you don’t change the direction your going, your likely to end up where you are headed.”  Look ahead. If you stay on the road you’re traveling today, where are you going to end up?

Let me ask you a question… “if we could plot the trajectory of your soul, where does it end up?”

Maybe right now you’re at a ministry crossroads. Perhaps ministry and life haven’t turned out like you’d hoped. Maybe today you find yourself empty and drained from the demands of ministry.

There is hope. There is a different way . . . a better way. But you are at a crossroads and you have to make a decision about the path from this point forward.

ASK FOR THE ANCIENT PATHS…

The past is a friend. Many people have walked the road before us, and we can learn a lot from them. This isn’t about something new but rather something ancient. It’s about following the footsteps of those who’ve gone before us.

There are some disciplines and practices that people have used for generations to stay connected to Jesus… things like fasting, solitude, reflection, scripture memory, Sabbath keeping, prayer, confession, personal worship.  How are you doing at integrating these into your life?

Your highest calling is to love Jesus… not pastor a church. 

Just a few chapters later in Jeremiah, we read these words…  9:23-24

23 This is what the Lord says:
“Don’t let the wise boast in their wisdom,
or the powerful boast in their power,
or the rich boast in their riches.
24 But those who wish to boast
should boast in this alone:
that they truly know me and understand that I am the Lord
who demonstrates unfailing love
and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth,
and that I delight in these things.

What if we really believed that?  How would it change our ministries and our churches?

ASK WHERE THE GOOD WAY IS AND WALK IN IT.

It’s not the fast way. It’s not the busy way. It’s not the successful way.  It’s not even the leadership way that Jeremiah tells us to ask for. It is the good way. God wants you to have a “good” life—a life that is emotionally healthy, relationally satisfying, and spiritually life-giving.

But it’s not enough to identify it, know it, teach it, or preach it.  We must walk in it.  There have been seasons in my life when I was so focused on “leading” that I neglected my own “living”.  We must live well so that we can lead well.  And the order is important.  My leading must flow out of that which I am living.

Then, there is a surprising punch line to the verse.

AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.

I thought Jeremiah would complete the verse by saying “and you will find success for your ministry” or “you will prosper in all your ways”.  But the goal of standing and asking for the good way and walking in it is that I would find rest for my soul.

This week I have been reflecting on the word “rest”.  What does it mean to operate from a place of “rest”?

Rest is…

  •   relaxed trust
  •   low control
  •   calm in the midst of chaos
  •   recharging
  •   not striving… not stressed
  •   not frantic

So many of us in ministry are in need of rest for our soul. Could it be that this is what I really need most and even most deeply long for? Could it be God’s first priority in my life is a connected and joyful and refreshed soul? Could it be true in my ministry that his “yoke is easy and [his] burden is light”?  Could it be possible to find the kind of rest for my soul that leads me to say, genuinely, “Jesus is enough”?

Scriptures: Jeremiah 6:16Proverbs 14:8

Lance Witt (website: Replenish Ministries)

Lance is the founder of Replenish ministries and is often referred to as a Pastor’s Pastor.  He is also the author of the book Replenish, which is dedicated to helping leaders live and lead from a healthy soul.  Before launching Replenish, Lance served 20 years as a senior pastor and 6 years as an Executive/Teaching pastor at Saddleback Church. 

https://www.sermoncentral.com/pastors-preaching-articles/lance-witt-a-word-from-a-2700-year-old-pastor-2550

VIDEO Entering the Rest of God

 

“For we who have believed do enter that rest… Hebrews‬ ‭4:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

A great man of God told me today that Rest is the highest level of faith. When we truly believe, we enter into that Rest. Complete trust and confidence in God regardless of our circumstances. God has given peace in the midst of a chaotic world. It’s in The Bible! 👇🏻

“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Can we have such faith in Him? Complete trust that He is God and He loves us? Because He truly does. Deeply. He will climb the highest mountain and swim the deepest ocean for us.

For me, this is something I have been struggling with all my life. Abandoned as a child and living with a foster family has caused me to depend on no one except myself. I pay for my own education by working part time job and giving tuition so that I do not need to use anyone’s money. I rejected help from people at work because I want to prove that I’m independent. I can make it on my own. Letting go is extremely hard for me.

But surrendering and letting go is a huge part of our Christian life! Not my will but His will.

“Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
‭Luke‬ ‭17:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Our good good Father has orchestrated events in my life to bring me to a point of complete surrender. The last 3 years of wilderness has helped me to realize the futile of my own strength and efforts.

I was so afraid of letting others be ahead of me. So I strived and fight to be better. So that I won’t be bullied or despised. My friends’ victories made me fearful and feel unworthy. I placed my worth and value in my performance and material possession. I have no peace even when I am doing well because someone can overtake me tomorrow. My heart was full of idols. I love and crave for praises and I meditate on them to give myself a sense of worth which will be taken away the next day when someone did better than me. What tiring way to live! I hate that life.

I am thankful that at the end of these 3 years, I finally gave up striving and toiling. By stripping away what I used to cling on to, I came face to face with my insecurities and fear. And God still loves me. Where I am. He accepts me. He loves me unconditionally. He gave up His life for mine even before I knew Him.

My failure became my greatest blessing. To embrace the love and acceptance of my Creator. To know that even when I have nothing, yet I am enough. Even when I failed, I am still good. Even when I can’t give you anything, I am worthy. Even when nobody is with me, I am loved. Even when the world rejects me, I am accepted.

““You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:3-4‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Because I know He loves me. I can rest in His love for me. His love never fails. His love always hopes. His love always strengthens. His love always provides. His love always leads and guides me.

I immerse myself in worship. It’s a song of how amazing is His love for us. Instead of rejecting it, I receive His love for me. And I allow His love to fill and washes me again and again. It’s a divine exchange. I come to the cross and leave my anxiety, fears, and burdens at the foot of the cross. Then I receive His peace, love, righteousness and joy. The Love of my life and the One I cling on to. ❣️

Lets us depends on Him today and tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.. Cease from dead works and ungodly competition. Let us not be fearful of the future because He is already there.

Now, let’s us open our bible and immerse in His Word.

Entering the Rest of God

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/


How Christians Can Experience Deeper Rest

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

by Pastor Ray Patrick

 

As I come to the end of a 2 week revival at Reading Central, preaching each night and then driving an hour and a half home, I’m shattered and in need of rest. Then I read today’s verse and shoutedhallelujah! In principle it says, God wants to give you rest. He wants to refresh and restore your soul—your mind, your will and your emotions. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “busyness” of life, and before long, your mind, will and emotions are so “tiredand weary” that you can barely think straight! But even in the hustle of life, you can find rest, ease and relaxation.

Friend, God wants you to enjoy your life. That’s why He tells us to come to Him. God wants to take care of everything that concerns you, so that you can find rest in your innermost being. Imaginehow you would feel if someone came up to you today and said, “give me all of your monthly bills; I’m going to pay them.” You’d get pretty excited, wouldn’t you? But it wouldn’t happen until you did your part to actually hand that person your bills. They can’tpay them for you if you never release them. In the same way, when we release our cares and concerns to God, He promises to take care of them.

Today, stop holding on to things you need to release. Things that are zapping you of your spiritual energy. Things that are making you weary and heavy, and choose to release your cares to the Lord.Let Him fill you with His peace and joy. Receive the rest that He promises, and enjoy the fulfillment and blessings He has for you!

“Then Jesus said, ‘come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’” (Matthew 11:28, NLT)

Pray With Me 
Yahweh, today I humbly come to You. Father, I cast my cares on You so that I can live in Your rest. Thank You for caring and loving me. I am in awe of Your goodness to me. God, help me find waysto rest in You and release my burdens into your hands, so that I can share Your goodness with those around me in a powerful and effective way, in Jesus’ Name! Amen.

Life is tough, and the burdens it hands you can be so hard to bear. But you don’t need to carry them alone. Read the promises of God …

1. “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). God is glad to carry your burdens and give you the daily strength you need.

2. “Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6). It’s not God’s will that you should be crushed down with excessive burdens; let Him free you today.

3. “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28–30). Jesus will remove your heavy burden of guilt and hopelessness and give you true rest in Him.

4. “For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you’” (Isaiah 41:13). God promises to support and help you through every trial.

5. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6, 7). Just knowing your heavenly Father cares about you personally can make any load seem lighter.

6. “Even to your old age, I am He, and even to gray hairs I will carry you! I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:4). The Lord desires to constantly support you throughout your life, with the intention of saving you eternally.

7. “He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom” (Isaiah 40:11). The Good Shepherd will gladly bear you in His gentle arms right now.

8. “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17). If you belong to Him, God will always listen when you call to Him for help.

9. “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). Through faith His strength becomes yours, and He reaches out to keep you from falling.

10. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). When God has lightened your burdens, He asks you to do the same for others.

Why not come to Jesus today and allow Him to relieve you of your heavy load?

https://godinterest.com/2019/09/20/how-christians-can-experience-deeper-rest/

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/

Rest in the Lord

July 29, 2019 by Jack Flacco

There is no greater feeling than knowing God is there waiting and willing to help when we stumble and fall. Trials happen to all, but not all turn to God for rest. Jesus commanded us to look to Him for that rest:

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Whatever we might be suffering, we do not have to go through it alone. The Lord God will rescue us from our tribulation. All we have to do is ask. If we sincerely open our hearts to Him and want Him in our lives, He will surely not allow us to suffer beyond that which we can bear.

The good news is that his son Jesus suffered so that we could live. Salvation is ours now. No other comforting thought gives us more hope than that of the day we will rise to our Heavenly Father with everlasting life.

Before then, let us lay down our trials at the foot of the cross and spread out our hands in thanks. Let us carry our burdens to our God and lean on Him for strength.

Most of all let us rest in the Lord.

Rest in the Lord