Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Feeling Shame?



They suddenly felt shame. (Ge.3: 7)

I know that feeling and it isn’t great.  This feeling of shame may come in many forms.  One of many spiritual disciplines to help overcome shame is fasting.  Fasting can be full, partial or specific.  Adam and Eve could eat freely from anything in the garden but were to fast one specific fruit from one specific tree.  Genesis 25 describes a man named Esau who sold his future for an immediate meal of bread and lentils.

The way we interact with our food really does matter.  For one piece of fruit, and one meal of bread and lentils, people in our past history, made really bad choices.  What if, they would have continued to live a long-suffering life, choosing to not let a specific food be their downfall into a shame based experience?

Food disorders are not uncommon.  Being hangry, that combination of hunger and anger is also not uncommon.  Saying no within a willfully chosen fast can build one’s self esteem and experience the opposite of shame.

On Super bowl Sunday, together with others in our community of God’s people, we will end our self-imposed finite fast of 21 days.  I am not obsessing over it, but I am preparing for it.  Recent trips to the grocery store now include soda, chocolate and honey, all of which were the things I volunteered to fast. 

This time frame has passed fairly quickly because the focus is not on the fast, but on “every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:1-4)

Being able to continue my voluntary exercise program during the fast has also built up my self-esteem, my reservoir of grace and peace from God and some positive side benefits.  While losing 5 lbs., in the process of conditioning I experienced suffering, and that is a good thing.  All our life, we will suffer with all our choices whether good or bad.   We will suffer shame for the wrong choices, and/or suffer with the feeling of denying ones self a full meal, a partial meal or a specific food item.  On Sunday I am looking forward to sweetening my coffee with honey, drinking some Ginger Ale, and eating chocolate cake. I hope to share a few pieces of chocolate cake with my grand daughter who chose to fast chocolate for 21 days. Meanwhile, this time of total immersion in the Word has brought some glorious moments with the Lord.  This fast has helped me understand more deeply the Word of God and how to apply it to my life.

“The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:18(KJV)


Looking for a way to overcome a feeling of shame?  Join us in the journey to freedom.  Visit viennaag.com for more information.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

When a Person is in Need, they have Needs


Not too long ago, a multiple month sinus infection was experienced. This leaves a person, without the energy to do all the stuff that has to be done.   The other normal things like washing and vacuuming a car, cleaning up leaf debris, clearing gutters, deep cleaning of key areas of the home, are left for some time in the future, when a person “feels up to it”.

What a gift it would be for someone to give a half hour to help with the list.

The community of God’s people I am blessed to serve as Pastor has called all of us to a 21-day fast.  One of the side benefits of engaging in a biblical fast is that it is to empower to do these very things.

Consider people that you know are in need.  Maybe they don't need or want money, but a little help around the house or car.

Please stop making this comment. “If you need anything, just let me know.”  People in need have little energy to ask for help, and even less energy for a refusal.  Consider saying, “I have a half hour on Tuesday.  I can swing by and help with a few little things, confidentially.”  (Please don’t post a selfie of you doing stuff.  It is embarrassing for the person being helped.)

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? ...to undo the heavy burdens, ...? Is. 58:6

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Three Events Converge in D.C.


Three major events are happening in our area this week, in addition to all the high-powered normal stuff.

1.    Inauguration of President Trump: January 20
2.    Women’s March: January 21.
3.    March for Life: January 27.

The guiding vision for the Women’s March includes “open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion… available to all”


The Life Principles for the March for Life includes: “The life of each human being shall be preserved and protected from the biological beginning throughout the natural continuum of that human being’s life by all available ordinary means and reasonable efforts.” 

The two groups are traveling down two very divergent roads.

The organizers of the Women’s March and the March for Life have differing visions and principles, and we as a community of God’s people are called to love and respect both.  How can a person love and respect those who choose to travel a different road?

A million plus visitors will come to our area this week.  How will we throw out the welcome mat to the diversity of American Culture converging on us?

My feeling to want to leave town is overridden by “every Word of God”. (Mt. 4:4)


James 2:9 says, “If you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin.

James 2:13, “There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others.”

James 3:16 says, “For where strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”


Our president-elect is a polarizing figure, and there will be no end of opinions about him, his choices and his platform. 

If we allow ourselves to be manipulated by the devil to show no mercy to him, his opponents, the attendees of the Women’s March and/or the March for Life, and become filled with strife, then we have opened our own soul, to receiving NO mercy from God. Our heart will be filled with confusion and every evil work.

Becoming opinionated towards others is very close to becoming judgmental, and once you allow that into your heart, you have opened your heart to confusion and every evil work.

This is a time of testing from God and temptation from Satan.  Guard your heart from influencers and consider total immersion in the Word. 

Read for yourself the platform that President-elect Trump ran on, as well as the defining documents for the Women’s March and March for Life (links below).  We need to identify the tactic of Satan, and keep our souls free to evangelize without condemnation, judgment, opinions and being influenced by those with their own agendas.

Personally, I find it very difficult to not show favoritism, and so I need to deepen my resolve to Love God, Others and Life.  I have to recognize my human tendencies to be unmerciful to those I disagree with and show favoritism towards those I do agree with.

I find it difficult to remain neutral, and as a certified coach and an ordained minister (i.e. – I should know better), I can struggle to follow the Word of the Lord and not yield to the lust of the flesh.

I fall short, and if you also find yourself falling short of God’s best as revealed in His Word, then join me in admitting my need of a savior, and my hope in His soon return.

Come join us in our journey of faith at Vienna Assembly of God. Visit viennaag.com.

Craig

To get a sense of the worldview of the Women’s March, the March for Life and President-elect Trump’s platform, read their documents for yourself (Please don’t depend on the media to tell you what to think about a group. Read for yourself.)




-->
Republican Platform 2016: https://prod-cdn-static.gop.com/media/documents/DRAFT_12_FINAL[1]-ben_1468872234.pdf