Posted in anger, anxiety, bitterness, christian living, christianity, church, Faith, forgiveness, grace, money, peace

Heartbreaking

So in my last post I talked about how Prevail Church was being taken to court by former members, saying they are due the money that comes from the sale of the building we once met in. These people LEFT when they decided they didn’t like the direction Jonathan was taking the church. (although they were a part of the unanimous decision to sell the church building and relaunch as a new church. )

Well, the hearing was this past Tuesday and it was….awful to say the least. How these people can do this and still claim to be a Christian is beyond me. I sat and watched in disbelief as Jonathan was basically attacked on the stand by their lawyer.

My anger rose and my heart rate was 116 as I sat there, tears streaming down my face. A couple of times I glanced over at their side and just shook my head. It’s so heartbreaking that these people are doing this.

It says in the Bible, in 1 Corinthians 6 that we are to avoid lawsuits with other believers.

When one of you has a dispute with another believer, how dare you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter instead of taking it to other believers!

I Cor 6:1

Further down in verse 6-7 it says,

I am saying this to shame you. Isn’t there anyone in all the church who is wise enough to decide these issues?

But instead, one believer sues another—right in front of unbelievers!

What was the result of the hearing? Well, unfortunately it has been decided for this whole nonsense to be taken to trial.

You know what’s really sad about all this? The fact that there are unbelievers watching this unfold. People we could be leading to the Lord who are no doubt not wanting anything to do with Jesus because His people are fighting over something as trivial as money.

My heart is breaking as I type this. It’s not fair what they are doing and it’s not biblical. I think the best thing at this point is to just split the money in half. Give them half and we take the other half and just go our separate ways. It’s clear they aren’t going to back down any time soon.

OH how my heart hurts. The way they are treating Pastor Jonathan is just downright cruel.

I’ve been struggling with my feelings since this whole mess began. I struggle with my attitude towards them. I struggle with wanting to tell them off. But that wouldn’t be very Christ-like. I don’t want to repay evil for evil. (Romans 12 tells us not to) I don’t want to hate them. Honestly, I don’t. It’s just so hard right now.

I’ve been digging into the Scriptures to find verses on bitterness, anger and forgiveness these past several days.

*side note* Because I suffer from bipolar disorder, sometimes it’s harder for me to let go of things. I am in no way trying to make excuses, however. Please don’t get me wrong. I am praying to God about my attitude and reading His Word daily.

It says in Romans 12:9-10

Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.

Then a little bit further, in verse 18,

Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone

That’s what needs to happen. We need to peaceably come to a resolution. And while right now it’s seems really really hard to love these people, the Bible says we should and that’s all that matters.

So y’all….please please continue to pray for this situation that it can be resolved quickly and peaceably.

Posted in bitterness, christian living, church, Faith, godliness, grace, Uncategorized

Be Civil Minded

23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

2 Timothy 2:23-24

I have so many thoughts racing through my mind right now. I’m struggling with fits of anger over a situation and I want so badly to open my mouth and voice my thoughts but I know I shouldn’t.

For those of you who have read my posts over the past year you know that I am a part of Prevail Church, formerly Hyde Park Free Will Baptist.  Our pastor, Jonathan, was unanimously voted in to be our new pastor. However, once Jonathan started making changes, many members became upset and left the church.

We had to find another location for our church unfortunately because the building we were meeting in started deteriorating and the roof had so many leaks and repairs that it would cost more to fix it up than it was worth. So the building was put up for sale.

Well now, these former members are taking us to court over the sale of the building. They believe the money should go to them. They are actually trying to “reform” Hyde Park.

*takes a deep breath* THEY LEFT THE CHURCH!

You guys, this whole mess has me heartbroken. I grew up in this church.

Tomorrow there is a hearing at 2pm. It’s a public hearing so all are welcome. My mom and I will be there to support Prevail and Jonathan. If you don’t mind, say a little prayer that God’s will is done and that we can all remain civil around one another.

 

Posted in book review, books, christian living, christianity, Faith, Jesus

A Fan or a Follower?

Kyle Idleman, pastor of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky has written several books that I absolutely love. The very first book I ever purchased of his is “Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus.” In this book, Idleman discusses the difference between being a fan of Jesus and a follower of Jesus. Here’s the synopsis

Are you a fan or a follower? The dictionary defines a fan as “an enthusiastic admirer.” Fans want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits, but not so close that it requires sacrifice. Fans may be fine with repeating a prayer, attending church on the weekend, and slapping a Jesus fish on their bumpers. But is that really the extent of the relationship Jesus wants? Jesus was never interested in having admirers. It’s not fans he is looking for. Not a Fan challenges you to consider what it really means to call yourself a Christian. With a direct frankness that you’re not likely to hear in Sunday school class, Kyle invites you to take an honest look at your relationship with Jesus. His call to follow may seem radical to us, but Jesus desires it for every believer.

I’ve read this book several times and get something new from it each time. Some quotes from the book include:

The biggest threat to the church today is fans who call themselves Christians but aren’t actually interested in following Christ. They want to be close enough to Jesus to get all the benefits but not so close that it requires anything from them.

Ouch. Idleman doesn’t mind stepping on toes, does he? But hey it’s the truth! There are plenty of so called Christians who want to experience the good things Jesus has to offer and that’s it. Following Jesus? No way. It’s too hard. Too much to ask.

Jesus doesn’t expect followers to be perfect but he does call them to be authentic.

No one is perfect. We live in a fallen world. The second Eve took that bite, perfection was something humans would never achieve. However, Jesus does expect authenticity from us.  We are called to be real, to be legitimate.

It’s much easier to talk about following Jesus when you are making general statements rather than specific commitments.

Easier said than done, right? It’s so much easier to SAY you’ll follow Jesus. Actually committing to Him? A lot harder…but it’s what Jesus expects of us. To commit.

I highly recommend this book. You’ll get your toes stepped on, definitely. But the book really makes you think.

 

Posted in anger, depression, Faith

Be Angry and Sin Not…

man in blue and brown plaid dress shirt touching his hair
Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

I was angry a LOT in high school. Back then I didn’t know I was bipolar. I didn’t get diagnosed until about 7 years later. But my mood swings were ridiculous. I sometimes wonder why in the world they didn’t catch it sooner. I was diagnosed with being clinically depressed. But boy, was I an angry person.

I was so bitter. I hated life.

Although I found Christ in 2003, I still struggled. It wasn’t until 2017 that I got serious about my faith. I had started this blog way back in 2010 and then forgot about it. But in 2017 I signed back on and made it a point that this would be a blog for Jesus. Was I still struggling? Well, yes. But I finally found Someone who I knew without a doubt would carry me through it. I finally nailed things down with the Lord and committed myself to following Him.

Do I still have bouts of anger? Do I still have bouts of depression? Absolutely. I’m human, after all.

So there is a situation going on with my church that I can’t go into details about but has been making me pretty angry at some people.  I ask that you please pray for this situation. And pray for me as I work through this anger.  Ultimately, God is in control and knows what’s best.

I use the YouVersion Bible app and if you don’t use it, I recommend you give it a try. There are tons of devotionals/plans you can read on different topics. I decided the other night to look up plans on anger. And I came across quite a few plans!

I have slowly been releasing my anger. With God’s help, the anger is being replaced with compassion. And sympathy. I am learning to look at things differently.

I do believe that there is righteous anger. I mean, Paul says in Ephesians to “be angry and sin not.” (Eph 4:26) There are situations where we SHOULD be angry. But in that anger, we must not sin. In that anger, we must not seek revenge.

It can be a bit confusing to many because Paul says in verse 26 of Ephesians to “be angry but do not sin” and then a few verses down he says to “get rid of all bitternes, rage and anger….” (Eph 4:31)

I believe that Paul is saying to get rid of any unrighteous anger. Anger that produces malice and brawling, anger that seeks revenge.

Do you have an anger problem? Seek the Lord. Release the anger unto God. You really will feel so much better!

Posted in adhd, anxiety, bipolar, church, depression, Faith, fear, mental disorders

The Church and Mental Illness

I was saddened to hear about the death of Jarrid Wilson..if you don’t know who he was, he was the associate pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California. Sadly, he took his own life on Monday. He was 30.

Wilson and his wife founded “Anthem of Hope”, a program meant to help people who suffered from depression and mental illness.

I sit here in complete disbelief. But I realize that mental illness does NOT discriminate. It can strike anyone at any given time. Christian or not. Pastor or parishioner.

It’s time that the church step up and help deal with this mental illness crisis. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nearly 43.8 million people experience mental illness in a given year. That’s 1 in 5 adults.

I believe that the reason the church doesn’t reach out is because they just don’t know how to handle it. But it’s time to change that. It’s time to start having meaningful discussions about the seriousness of mental illness.

There is a stigma surrounding mental health. It’s time to erase that stigma. Mental illness is REAL folks. Let’s stop pretending it doesn’t exist.

Its Not a Lack of Faith Issue

I have suffered from depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder for many years.  I was told by someone once that my faith was not strong enough and that’s why I was suffering. I’ll never forget that.

But it’s not a faith issue. What if what I had was physical? Diabetes, or cancer? We don’t question those illnesses so why is mental illness any different? According to Ed Stetzer,

We can talk about diabetes and Aunt Mable’s lumbago in church—those are seen as medical conditions, but mental illness–that’s somehow seen as a lack of faith.

Mental illness is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It shouldn’t be treated any differently from a physical illness.

My Thorn in the Flesh

Can God heal mental illness? Absolutely! He can do anything! For me, personally, I find my mental illness to be my “thorn in the flesh.” I have actually grown closer to the Lord these past several years. And I believe the verse that says, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Cor 12:9)


Warning Signs

  • extreme mood swings
  • talking about being burden to others
  • increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • talking about being hopeless
  • talking about having no reason to live
  • talking about being trapped and in unbearable pain

What Can You Do?

  • Ask–Talk to them.
  • Be There
  • Listen without judgement
  • Help them connect–create a network of resources and individuals for support
  • Follow up–continue to have contact with them

 

If you or someone you know is severely depressed and suicidal please contact

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

Posted in church, Faith, fear, love

18 Years

Some of this post is taken from last year’s post, I just added some new thoughts.

It’s been 18 years since America was attacked by terrorists. That day, the world stopped turning for just a little while.

They say when a big tragedy such as 9/11 occurs that you will always remember where you were. It’s totally true.

I still remember where I was on September 11, 2001. It’s been 18 years but I will always remember where I was.

I was a freshman in college, taking classes at the local community college. I had a late day that day so I was sleeping in when the phone rang. It was my mom calling from work telling me to turn on the TV right away.

I turned on the TV just to see the second plane hit the tower. I was in shock. What was going on??

I went to class as usual and was sitting in my psychology class when the professor stopped talking and just looked at us. He then told us that he couldn’t teach, that everything that was going on was just so surreal and that we were dismissed.

That day changed America, obviously. People were nicer, kinder. Churches filled up. People were scared and looking for answers.

It’s been 18 years. But I remember it as if it were yesterday.

People flocked to the church. Pews were filled.

America was hurt. America was down. Down but not out.

As a nation, we rose back up slowly. We became united as one.

Where were you that September day?

 

 

Where were you when the world stopped turnin’
That September day?
Were you in the yard with your wife and children
Or workin’ on some stage in L.A.?
Did you stand there in shock at the sight of that black smoke
Risin’ against that blue sky?
Did you shout out in anger, in fear for your neighbor
Or did you just sit down and cry?
Did you weep for the children, they lost their dear loved ones
Pray for the ones who don’t know?
Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble
And sob for the ones left below?
Did you burst out with pride for the red, white, and blue
And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do?
Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer
And look at yourself and what really matters?
I’m just a singer of simple songs
I’m not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I’m not sure I can tell you
The difference in Iraq and Iran
But I know Jesus and I talk to God
And I remember this from when I was young
Faith, hope, and love are some good things He gave us
And the greatest is love
Posted in Faith, fear, prayer

Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear

grayscale photography of people raising hands
Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

I need to confess something to you all. I struggle with praying out loud in a group of people. I get so wound up, fear grips me. I mean, it really grips me. I fear I’m going to say something wrong or stupid. I fear I’m going to stumble over my words. (I mean, hey, I do that in normal conversations, lol)

Like Moses, I’m terrible with words. (speaking them, that is) My tongue gets all tied up and a bunch of rambling comes out.

At Prevail Church, at the end of the service, we get into groups and we pray. We pray for boldness, for compassion. We pray for whatever needs to be prayed for. It’s a time to just pour our hearts out to God.

I listen to the words of those around me and wish I could pray like that. I wish I didn’t have this fear of corporate prayer.

Well, as we gathered into our groups, I could feel the Lord impressing upon my heart to pray. He did this several times. And several times I would open my mouth and then shut it. Open my mouth, shut it….and before I knew it, I had lost my chance. I let the Lord down. I just know He was up there just shaking his head at my fear of public praying.

Last night as I was just doing some reading and writing out my thoughts, I looked up and saw a sticker I have on a notebook that says, “Let Your Faith Be Bigger Than Your Fear.” And I realized I really did let my fear overpower my faith yesterday.

Fear doesn’t come from the Lord. It says in 2 Timothy 1:7:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Fear is of the world. Fear is not godly. When we feel that fear creeping upon us, we must fight back with our faith. Fight back with, not OUR strength, but GOD’s strength. Because if we try to do it all by ourselves, we won’t get far. We’ll succumb to the fear. Just like I did yesterday.

Like my pastor has said in the past….”we must step over fear to reach faith.” Faith OVER Fear!

What fear grips you? Give it to Jesus. He’ll never let you down. 

 

 

 

 

Posted in bible verses, christian living, christianity, Faith

I Will Rise

I Will Rise When He Calls My Name!
Hey y’all, I hope your Sunday is going well! Church was amazing this morning. We had a great message, a wonderful time of prayer and an awesome praise and worship time.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of the song, I Will Rise by Chris Tomlin but it is AMAZING! Please take some time to go check it out!
The lyrics are powerful and so very true!
There is a line that I love, “And my faith shall be my eyes”–Oh, how wonderful will it be to wake up in heaven one day! To see our Lord and Savior face to face!
One day there will be no more sorrow, no more pain! I long for this day, as I know any chronic pain sufferer would.

We Will Have New Bodies (Praise the Lord!!!)

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 says:

For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. 10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.

No More Sorrow

In Revelation 21:4, we read that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
I’m so excited for heaven, aren’t you? There will be nothing but singing and praising and worshiping the Lord!!

I Will Rise

(Verse 2)
There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes
Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead
(Chorus)
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise
Posted in Faith, fear, Jesus, quotes

Blogging For Jesus

I came across a quote the other day that really got me to thinking.

As a Christian blogger, you are a digital missionary.

I never thought about that before. But it is so true! As Christian bloggers, we have a duty to reach out to the lost. We have a duty to inform them of Christ’s love for us and what He sacrificed in order for us to find freedom.

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved! But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about them unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news?

Romans 10:13-15

Christian bloggers….we are blogging for Jesus! We should be wanting to see others come to know the Lord.  As bloggers we are the digital feet!

Does this mean we might offend someone? Unfortunately, yes.  But we still need to get the truth out there for the whole world to hear. We must not live in fear of offending someone.

Sometimes we will have to step out of our comfort zone in order to reach the lost. It will feel uneasy at first, we might be tempted to give up but if we just persevere, God will see us through the uneasiness.

We can’t live for the approval of men. Living for the approval of men will let us down. Living for the approval of men will most definitely disappoint us.

Living for the approval of people will keep you from living for the purposes of God.

Craig Groeschel

 

Posted in adhd, anxiety, bipolar, christian living, depression, Faith, fear, mental disorders

Yes, I’m a Christian and I’m Bipolar…

I touched on this topic a little over a year ago but decided to add to it in case a new follower needs to read it.

Yes, it is possible to be a Christian, to have the love of the Lord in you and still struggle with a mental illness. The two CAN coexist! Because guess what? Mental illness? It doesn’t discriminate. It can strike anyone at any given time. It’s a chemical imbalance.

It’s taken some time to get this blog post out because as soon as I sit down at my computer to start writing, I start losing focus. I become agitated because I can’t get my thoughts out the way I want them to.  Oh, I have many many thoughts racing through my head but they won’t come out on screen. It’s a bunch of jumbled thoughts, not making sense.

So what do I do in times like these? I wish I could say I always turn to the Lord to help me (and I do most of the time) but every once in a while I sit and have a pity party. “Why me? Why do I have to be like this? Why can’t I just be normal?” I cry and cry.

I realize having a pity party is definitely not the best way to handle it but try telling me that when I’m having an episode. It doesn’t work. I eventually find my way out of the pity party and then turn to the Lord. (I know, I know…..I should have turned to God first….and believe me…I try! But sometimes Satan is stronger than me and pulls me down.)

So why can’t I just turn to the Lord the second I feel myself slipping? I wish I had an answer for you. I don’t know. I honestly have no idea.

I’m getting better at turning to the Lord in these times. I haven’t had a bad episode in quite some time. The Lord is slowly working in me and I’m becoming stronger.

The other day I was doing my devotions and came across Psalm 27. The first verse is one of my favorites:

1. The Lord is my light and my salvation–so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

The Lord is ALWAYS with me even when I’m not with Him! He’s there for me when I’m suffering. He’s there when life is good! He’s my light! He’s my salvation!

The last verse has become a favorite of mine too.

14. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

If you’re suffering…if you feel lost and confused…turn to Jesus. He will never fail you.