The harsh reality is this - there is no perfect healthy congregation - not until we pass on to the other side of the veil. In fact, what makes a truly healthy and vibrant congregation of believers? One that has individuals on their own spiritual journeys and growth. Mature members who are strong in the faith meeting with those who are new to the faith and are just starting out their own spiritual journey and growth. Investigators and visitors who are coming in to see how we worship and what we teach.
Our priority is not to defend the Church or the Gospel. Our priority is to minister to them. Validate that they are hurt and broken. Understand that they are wounded. This is accomplished when we humble ourselves and meet people where they are at. To actively listen to what they are wanting to share. Give them space to sit with being vulnerable and raw. Because that is what they are seeking - to be heard, validated, and to have some kindness and compassion while they process and work through the things that brought about the crisis of faith, the wounds, and the discouragements.
My own spiritual journey and recovery has shown what true masculinity is all about. The character and integrity. Finding joy, since happiness requires right circumstances, means to come to a place of experiencing life - regardless of the good, bad, and those ugly moments.
Photo by Zac Durant on Unsplash From Hazelden's Touchstones Daily Meditations for Men Anyone who lives art knows that psychoanalysis has no monopoly on the power to heal...Art and poetry have always been altering our ways of sensing and feeling - that is to say, altering the human body. ~ Norman O. Brown A man can lead a healing life … Continue reading Recovery leads to Healing and Genuine Love
True discipleship is one of great cost. It requires us to take up our cross and abide in Christ by keeping his commandments (Matthew 16:24-26 and John 15:10).
Charity is the heart and soul of service and ministry. Without compassion and mercy, no other spiritual gifts have any purpose or meaning - not even our own faith in God. The Apostle concludes that there are three important things in our lives: Faith, Hope, and Charity. His conclusion is that Charity is the greatest of the three.
When we turn our thoughts and minds over to Exodus 14:13-15 - there is a reason God wanted to bring Israel out of bondage. To bring them out of a foreign land. To no longer experience the burden and labors of Pharoah. It runs much deeper than God preforming miracles as great signs and wonders unto Pharaoh. Goes even deeper into the blessed hope of bringing the Children of Israel into the land of promise. The simple truth is that the salvation of the Lord we shall see unfold is about reconciling us to Him.
For me, I had to learn to be patient toward myself because I realized there was much healing needed to take place. Healing because I had not realized that much of the reason for being impulsive, compulsive, seeking approval of others was due to my self-invisibility and survival mode that had brought much dissatisfaction within my own life. My self-esteem was quite low.
Last year, the theme was Focused. Making 2019 a year of focus entailed understanding how to grow spiritually through mindfulness. This year will be centered on the theme of Impact. The goal is to further our spiritual growth as Christians in order to make an influential and spiritual impact in our lives and the lives … Continue reading A New Year for Spiritual Influence and Impact
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. ~ Romans 6:4, KJV ~ ~ January 6, 2020 Devotional ~ When we come unto Christ. When we come … Continue reading Christ Empowers Us
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11, KJV ~ When we encourage one another - we build each other's character and integrity ~ January 11, 2020 Devotional ~ We are called of God to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. We are called to reach out and say unto … Continue reading Encourage One Another
There are those oft days of light and happiness that dispel the sadness. Yet, they are fleeting. As fleeting as the summer days we've so far experienced here for June. Inevitably, the rain comes, the darkness swells, and the days grow gloomy and despondent. We either allow ourselves to sink deeper and withdraw further into our suffocating sadness; or, we do the courageous and difficult task of pulling ourselves out of despair by focusing on the hope and light of God's love, mercy, and grace.
If we view our lives as being too busy to concern ourselves with the welfare and well-being of those around us, we miss out on an opportunity to be a light in their lives.
We show kindness toward others. After all, isn't this what Jesus taught us to do? Show kindness and mercy to others? Is not what his teachings centered on - showing mercy, grace, kindness, and love toward others? How many more souls are we to save and add to the way when we show the same level of compassion, kindness, grace, and mercy toward others who are downtrodden, hopeless, and crumbling faith?
Recovery is a dark journey for most of us. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, we come to full knowledge of His light, love, and truth. Do we forsake others struggling in their own darkness and journey? God forbid. This is the heart and foundation of recovery support groups.
Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. ~ 1 Peter 3:9, ESV ~ We have a propensity to return insults with insults and evil for evil. We desire some justice when a sense of wrong has occurred. … Continue reading Repay with blessings
Let all that you do be done in love. ~ 1 Corinthians 16:14, ESV ~ The Gospel of Jesus Christ is based on the foundation of love. It is the feeling of attachment, being related, and of caring. The hallmark is compassion and charity. Prior to coming into recovery and faith, we may have feared … Continue reading The reward of love
...those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: ~ Matthew 15: 18-20, KJV ~ A person, more than likely, may look outward than inward … Continue reading What defiles a man?
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. ~ Colossians 3:12, ESV ~ Developing compassion means we have a deep feeling of sympathy and sorrow for ourselves, and others, who are hurting, in pain, or has misfortune. It is also a strong desire to help … Continue reading Clothe Ourselves with Compassion
Today's reading: Genesis 41-42; Ps. 10:12-18; Prov. 4:7-9; Matthew 14:1-21 God's provision during times of famine Spiritual maturity and growth is established with our trust and faith in God. His grace is sufficient for us in all seasons. As we walk in sincere obedience, faithfully devoted to God, we will experience peace of mind. Today, … Continue reading When God delays for the greater purpose