What’s Your Top Ten?

A Question To Ponder…
Recently a childhood friend of mine asked me to make a list of ten ways that I would want others to treat me. So here is my list. Top 10 ways: Lovingly, Respectfully, Seriously, Compassionately, Mercifully, Forgivingly, Gently, Kindly, Encouragingly, and Gracefully. After compiling my list of the top ten I was feeling pretty good about myself. Until he said something to me that I did not expect. He said with a firm voice; now ask yourself one Question. “Is that how I treat all people?” Wow I was taken back by this question. It caught me off guard. I wasn’t sure if I could answer yes to all ten or even to just a few of them. Because he wasn’t asking how I treat people who I love, but for the treatment of all people. The longer I pondered on this simple question, the more I realized that the first question was not nearly as important as the second one. My answer to all ten toward all people was; No, not always. At this point in my conversation with my friend I prayed these words.”God forgive me of this sin and help me to treat others how I want to be treated even when they don’t treat me the way I desire. Thank You Father for this insight and revelation In Jesus Name I Pray Amen.” The Bible tells us in Luke 6:31 (NIV) “31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.” So I’m asking each one of you to take time and write your own top ten ways that you want to be treated. Then ask yourself, is this how I treat all people? A Question that all of us need to honestly answer before God. How do you treat what God has created?

From Your Pastor’s Heart,
~G

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Stress Relief Part 4

When life becomes stressful, the Lord invites us to practice:

supplication,

stillness,

and finally…

III. SACRIFICE:
Psalm 4:5 (NIV)
5 Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.

Putting our trust in the Lord and behaving righteously while under distress,is the kind of sacrifice that is pleasing to God.
“Trust in the Lord,” is an essential part of the Christian life.

I heard a story recently:

A pilot was having difficulty landing his small airplane because fog had hidden the runway. So the air traffic controller decided to bring the plane in by radar. As the pilot received instruction, he suddenly recalled a tall poll in his flight path. Stricken with panic, he feverishly appealed to the control tower. A blunt reply came back, “You obey instructions, we’ll take care of obstructions.”

It’s difficult to trust when we can’t see what’s ahead, isn’t it?

The Bible urges, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. (6) In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6). We do not always know where the Lord’s path will lead us when we first become Christians. We may end up missionaries in a far land. We may become preachers (or married to preachers). We may serve in hospitals or Christians schools. We do not need to know at the beginning where God’s work will take us. It is enough to trust God with tomorrow. We get the details bit by bit as we learn the Word more perfectly, and see the doors of opportunity that God opens. To often, we worry about tomorrow instead of trusting God to see us through.

A television program preceding the Winter Olympics one year featured blind skiers being trained for down hill skiing, impossible as it sounds. Paired with sighted skiers, the blind skiers were taught, on the flats, how to make right and left turns. When that was mastered, they were taken to the slalom slope, where there sighted partners skied beside them shouting, “Left!” and “Right!” As they obeyed the commands, they were able to negotiate the course and cross the finish line, depending solely on the sighted skier’s word. It was either complete trust or catastrophe.

What a vivid picture of the Christian life! God delights in the “sacrifices of righteousness, and trust in the Lord!” That means believing and behaving in light of God’s promises, precepts, and principles. If we live our lives in accordance with God’s Word and fully relying on God, then we will be truly pleasing to Him,
and will have the guaranteed hope of eternal life!

Now, I don’t know what could possibly be more stress-relieving than that!

We all experience stress from time to time. Maybe you deal with it by getting a massage. Maybe you practice breathing exercises
or some other stress-management technique.

But, I think that we would all do well to follow the Lord’s prescription for stress:

Supplication: Take your worries and woes to the Lord, leave them at His throne, and He will help you carry your burden.

Stillness: Wait for the Lord. Meditate daily upon His Word and His will.

Sacrifice: Trust and Obey the Lord, and He will be pleased with your life.

May God Bless You,
Pastor G

Stress Relief Into

According to the experts, there are four types of stress.

Acute stress:
is what most people identify as stress. It makes itself felt through tension headaches, emotional upsets, gastrointestinal disturbances, feelings of agitation and pressure.

Episodic acute stress:
is more serious and can lead to migraines, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, anxiety, depression, serious gastrointestinal distress.

Chronic stress:
is the most serious of all. It’s the stress that never ends. It grinds us down until our resistance is gone. Serious illnesses such as diabetes, decreased immune system, and perhaps cancer are its hallmark.

Traumatic stress:
is the result of massive acute stress, the effects of which can reverberate through our systems for years. It’s commonly known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The type of stress that you experience is different for each person,but we all experience some form of stress.

Experts have come up with a number of suggestions for dealing with stress:
(1) Identify your triggers,
(2) get a massage,
(3) practice breathing exercises,
(4) do some aerobic exercising,
(5) develop a support network through friends, family, and co-workers.

While all of those may be useful suggestions, for Christians, we have a much better method of coping with stress.

In Psalm 4, David gives us the Lord’s prescription for dealing with the stress in our lives…

Psalm 4:1-8 (NIV)
1 Answer me when I call to you,
O my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
be merciful to me and hear my prayer.
2 How long, O men, will you turn my glory into shame?
How long will you love delusions and seek false gods? Selah
3 Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself;
the LORD will hear when I call to him.
4 In your anger do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent. Selah
5 Offer right sacrifices
and trust in the LORD.
6 Many are asking, “Who can show us any good?”
Let the light of your face shine upon us, O LORD.
7 You have filled my heart with greater joy
than when their grain and new wine abound.
8 I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell in safety.

Many scholars believe that David wrote Psalm 4 as he was about to retire for the evening. He couldn’t do much about the war around him, but he could do something about the war within him. Instead of lying in bed fretting, stewing and worrying, he committed himself and his situation to the Lord. Through David, God teaches us some important lessons about peace of mind during times of stress.

Come back tomorrow for part 2 of stress relief.

God bless you,
Pastor G

Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!  Psalm 118:24 reminds us, “This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” It is a beautiful day! We didn’t have to set any alarms because the kids don’t have school!!

Have you ever wondered what “Labor Day” is all about? According to Wikipedia, “In the United States, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.”

Thank you, laborers, for all your hard work, so we can enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Are you laborering for the Kingdom of God? The Bible reminds a few things about labor.

We must work hard for The Lord. We must live in such a way that our labor in not in vain. Remember, for some people you are the only Jesus they will ever see. Be careful in what you do and say. Someone is always watching!

1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

We must work hard to help others that need it. Help out your neighbor whose health may prevent him from working. Do it with a joyful heart. Always be on the lookout. It may just be helping an elderly lady put a watermelon in her car.

Acts 20:35
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

Do you ever work so hard that you are completely exhausted? Your whole body is tired. Your mind is running slow and there is still so much to do? Just remember:

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

I hope you make time to spend some time with The Lord this Labor Day! Seek the rest only He can give you!

Be blessed and be a blessing,
~M.