Monthly Archives: November 2010

“A Proper Perspective On Thanksgiving”

Some were not here this past Wenesday night and some who were here asked for the detail notes of the message we delivered on The Porper Perspective On Thanksgiving so here it is.  I hope this is helpful.

Eph 5:19 7 20; 1 Thess 5:16-18

What has happened to Christians and our attitude?  We above all should be thankful but we often are not.  We complain, grip, grumble, and gossip about others, even our brothers and sisters in the family of Christ.  We grumble about the economy, the President, our jobs, our schools, our roads, our family life, and I could on and on. What has happened?  Yet on this one day at least we are more prone to being and expressing thankfulness. But we immediately go back to grumbling the next day because the shopping lines are too long, the stores are too crowded and prices are too high. STOP! Let me off.  Can I make a suggestion?  Let’s change things around.  Let’s have one day of Grumbling and complaining call it (Gripe Gut Day or Complaintgiving Day) and let’s be thankful the other 364 days a year.

The following proclamation was made by Governor Bradford in 1623, 3 years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth;

To all ye Pilgrims,

Inasmuch as the great father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the raids of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving t ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

This Thursday is Thanksgiving. One day in which we like those early Pilgrims set aside time in our busy schedules to give thanks to God. Now, there is nothing wrong with that but the word of God tells us that this should be a continual, daily, attitude.

Eph. 5:19 & 20 tells Christians to Ephesians 5:19-20 (KJV) 19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

“Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, ALWAYS giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

And I Thes. 5:16-18 says, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (KJV) 16 Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in
Christ Jesus.”

Paul’s main subject here is PRAISE, THANKSGIVING. Notice the other important words in these passages; ALWAYS, CONTINUALLY, and IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. It sounds as if Paul is talking about a church service here, especially in Eph. “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart…” But he isn’t. He is talking about a continual attitude for Christians – an attitude of the heart. How we are to be to each other.

But how, you may wonder, can we have this attitude continually, especially “in all circumstances?” I believe the answer lies in our perspective of thanksgiving. We need the proper perspective.

One young lady wrote home from college,

“Dear Mom: Sorry I haven’t written sooner. My arm really has been broken. I broke it, and my left leg, when I jumped from the second floor of my dormitory…when we had the fire. We were lucky. A young service station attendant saw the blaze and called the Fire Department. They were there in minutes. I was in the hospital for a few days. Paul, the service station attendant, came to see me every day. And because it was taking so long to get our dormitory livable again, I moved in with him. He has been so nice. I must admit that I am pregnant. Paul and I plan to get married just as soon as he can get a divorce. I hope things are fine at home. I’m doing fine, and will write more when I get the chance.


Your daughter, Susie

P.S. None of the above is true. But I did get a “C” in Sociology and flunked Chemistry. I just wanted you to receive this news in its “Proper Perspective!”

To be thankful in all circumstances, we need a proper perspective of our circumstances and of our God. Only then we will be able to give thanks to the Lord always.

Now, I believe there are at least three attitudes that steal away our gratitude. Three things that keep us from being thankful.

1)     One is our pride. This is the attitude that says, “Nobody ever gave me anything, I worked hard for everything I have.” For years you studied hard and now it is finally paying off. With this kind of attitude, we feel that we have no one to thank but ourselves.

2)     Another attitude that keeps us from being thankful is a critical spirit or constant complaining. Instead of being grateful, this person will always find something to complain about.

“A lady known as an incurable grumbler constantly complained about everything. At last her preacher thought he had found something about which she would be happy, for her farm crop was the finest for miles around. When he met her, he said with a beaming smile, `You must be very happy Mary. Everyone is saying how healthy your potatoes look this year.’ `True they’re pretty good, but what am I going to do when I need bad ones to feed the pigs.’”

3)     A third attitude that keeps us from being grateful is carelessness. Someone once said that if the stars only came out once a year, we would stay out all night to watch them. But they are there every night and we have grown a costumed to them.

The Israelites grumbled because they had no food so God miraculously sent manna (a crust-like bread) to cover the ground each day except the Sabbath day. Then they started to grumble because it was the same thing every day.

They had a miracle – straight from God every day but were no longer satisfied. Because of pride, carelessness or a critical spirit we will never be truly thankful for all that God has given us.

Rudyard Kipling was a great writer and poet whose writings we have all enjoyed. Unlike many old writers, Kipling was one of the few who had opportunity to enjoy his success while he lived. He also made a great deal of money at his trade.

One time a newspaper reporter came up to him and said, “Mr. Kipling, I just read that somebody calculated that the money you make from your writings amounts to over a hundred dollars a word; Mr. Kipling raised his eyebrows and said, “Really, I certainly wasn’t aware of that.”

The reporter cynically reached down into his pocket and pulled out a one hundred dollar bill and gave it to Kipling and said, “Here’s a hundred dollar bill, Mr. Kipling. Now, you give me one of your hundred dollar words.” Mr. Kipling looked at that hundred dollar bill for a moment, took it and folded it up and put it in his pocket and said, “Thanks.”

He’s right! The word thanks is certainly a hundred dollar word. In fact, I would say it is more like a million dollar word. It’s one word that is too seldom heard and too rarely spoken and too often forgotten. If we would all adopt an attitude of thanksgiving into our lives – our lives would be changed. We would savor each day.

If any nation ought to be thankful to God and grateful for his goodness, it ought to be America. If any people in America ought to be thankful to God and grateful for his goodness, it ought to be Christians.

I would like to share with you three things we learn about thanksgiving from the Bible.


One of the choruses we sing is found in Ps.100 which says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving in your heart.” David says in Ps. 107 “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good.” We should express our thanks to God and others.

In Luke 17 we read about ten men who were healed by Jesus of their leprosy. Out of those ten men only one came back to give thanks and Jesus said, “Where are the other nine?” He was the only one willing to take time to go back and say “thank you.” Because of that Jesus said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Have you ever wondered why Jesus said that? I mean like the others, the man was already healed of his leprosy from the time they went to show themselves to the priest. But when Jesus says to this one man, “Your faith has made you well,” he wasn’t just talking about a physical healing; he was talking about a spiritual one, a mental one. He was made whole.

We too are made healthier by our thanksgiving. Psychologists today tell us that sincere gratitude, thanksgiving, is the healthiest of all human emotions. Hans Selye, who is considered the father of stress studies, has said that gratitude produces more positive emotional energy than any other attitude in life.

And a thankful heart will endear others to us and us to others.
For you see thanksgiving is not only good for the giver but also good for the receiver.

God appreciates our thanksgiving. It lifts Him up and it glorifies Him. And thanksgiving endears him to us. It draws us closer. If we are not grateful, if we do not express our thanksgiving, then it can have the opposite affect. In Rom. 1:21 Paul says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

This passage seems to imply that people who are ungrateful to God will soon fall away – their hearts will become hardened. Here, we see pride keeping people from worshipping God and being thankful.

Before we leave this point that thanksgiving should be expressed let me list a few ways that we can say thank you to God.

You say thank you to God when you;

1)     Spend time with Him (not just 1 hr a week)

2)     When you forgive others

3)     When you serve in His church

4)     When you share His Plan of salvation

5)     When you reach out to hurting people

6)     When you give God the best of your TTT

7)     When you praise Him enthusiastically from the heart



And as our thanksgiving expands, it should include 3 things;

1)     The Blessings of Life.

You know, I really love my wife. She is a very special lady. She’s truly a blessing to my life. One thing that is really special is that each evening she stands in our kitchen and thanks God for our sink full of dirty dishes.

No, she doesn’t do that! Who does? But we should. A sink full of dirty dishes usually means that we have been blessed by God with daily food & water.

Do you realize that two thirds of the world goes to bed hungry every night?

Our prayers are often very general. We say, “Thank you God for all your blessings” but what blessings are we really thankful for? Count your blessings…name them one by one…count your blessings see what God has done.

Our Thanksgiving should also include

2)     The Burdens of Life.

This is a tough one. I Thes. 5:18 says, “Give thanks in ALL circumstances.” Eph. 5:20 says, “always giving thanks.” You may think, surely Paul made a mistake or even that this was easy for him to say. But it wasn’t. Paul suffered from some very difficult problem that he called a thorn in the flesh. He also had been run out of town, beaten, whipped, imprisoned, betrayed by friends, naked, cold, hungry shipwrecked, and stoned because of his faith. Yet, Paul never stopped giving thanks.

Paul said several things that really show he had the proper perspective of the burdens of life…

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us…” Rm 8:18

“That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong…” 2 Cor 12:10

“Now I want you to know brothers that what has happened to me has really served to advance the Gospel…” Phil 1:12

When we like Paul have the proper perspective we to can give thanks in all circumstances…

(Rhea Thompkins 35 yr old – just finished college – mother of 3 boys 4/15/18 – new job at GE – develops lupus – husband leaves her – oldest son in jail for dealing drugs – lost wt. couldn’t hold her head up or get in and out of bath tub by her self… One time said that this was really a blessing — it had allowed her to spend more time with the Lord – when in hospital may be some one here that God wants me to share with)

In our weakness God can make us strong. When we are struggling God is able to work in our lives. He helps us through times that we could have never faced on our own.

I never thought I would say this but I have learned to be thankful in the difficult circumstances my family has faced. Now, notice, I didn’t say I was thankful for them, but that I was thankful in this difficult time.

You see, Paul is saying that we are to be thankful for our problems and  – IN THEM.” And being thankful; in them allows God to use them for His greater good.

The Philippian Jailer was ready to take his life because an earthquake freed his prisoners but what saved him was the attitude of Peter and Silas during their difficult imprisonment. They were singing and praising God even though they were in chains. But, they knew God and that he would help them through. Because of their joy the jailer and all his household became Christians.

Understand others can come to Christ because of your example especially in the midst of difficult times.

Our thanksgiving should include

3)     The benefits of life as well.

When the Israelites focused on what they didn’t have, they failed to see ALL that they DID have. We are constantly adding to our prayer list but more than anything we should be adding to our praise list.

Geoff Moore sings a song in which, at the beginning of a new day, he says,

“Well, I wonder what today will see. Will I find my dreams OR stare in the face of tragedy?  Whatever may come, whatever may be, of this I am SURE, I’m forgiven and free and I will live like I believe – It’s good to be alive… It’s good to be alive, to feel the wind in my face, see the blue in the sky. It’s days like this, I realize what a gift it is – It’s good to be alive.

Oh, we have all had some difficult times. Maybe even times that we have despaired even of life itself. But, if we really look at all the benefits of life, I think we will find that it’s good to be alive. To feel the wind in our face, to see the sunrise, to fall in love, to see our new born child for the first time, to feel our child or parent or even a friend hug us and tell us we are special.

An experiment was done in New York’s Central Park where an advertizing firm dressed a man up as a blind man and gave him a cup to collect money. One day they put a sign around his neck that read, “I’m Blind.” On that day he collected about $4.00. The next day they dressed him the same way, placed him in the same place but changed the sign to read, “It’s Spring and I’m Blind.” That day he collected nearly $400.00. That day, those people realized how blessed they were by the beautiful flowers, birds, the sunrise and sunset.

And as Christians there are other benefits of life. We can be sure that we are forgiven and free. Oh, it’s good to be alive!

Not only should our Thanksgiving be expressed and expanded but also we learn that,


Paul says we are to “give thanks in all circumstances BECAUSE this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” This is God’s will for us. And he knows, if we will do it, that our lives will be changed.

1)     This is the mark of a Growing Christian.

For example, a baby is ungrateful. You can take a little baby when it has colic and walk the floor with them for hours and when you put that baby down – they don’t say, “Thank You.” More than likely, they will just yell a little louder. A child has to be taught to be thankful. It just doesn’t come naturally. Sometimes you have to almost force them to say thank you.

When we realize how blessed we are by others and by God and express that – we are growing.

2)     Our thanksgiving is also the mark of a Giving Christian.

When we realize how much God has done for us and how much he continues to do, we should be more than happy to give something back to him. This comes through our time and also our financial giving. Someone has said that for Thanksgiving to be real Thanksgiving, There must be “Thanks” and there must be “Giving.”

In the last year, our church has been truly blessed by God. We have seen people come forward and be baptized, we have seen many families place their membership here, we have seen our giving go up….

Just as our congregation has grown, so have our needs. And just as God has blessed us – so should we bless his work by our giving. James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift (do you have any good gifts in your life?) is from above, and comes down from the father of lights.”

When we go to a restaurant, we are more than happy to give a good waitress a 15% tip, but for some reason, many have a problem with giving God 10% of all the good gifts he has given us. We need to ask ourselves if we are truly thankful.

Remember God loves a cheerful giver…..

Thanksgiving is a mark of a growing Christian, a giving Christian and

3)     A Glowing Christian.

If you are thankful to God then you will be glowing. Your will not be constantly critical and pessimistic but eternally Thankful. Though the difficult times are just that – they will not break you.

Paul says in II Cor. 4:8,

2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (KJV) 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed…For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen.”

Henry Frost served for many years as a missionary to China. In his journal he wrote of a very difficult time in his life. He says, “I had received sad news from home, and deep shadows had covered my soul. I prayed BUT the darkness did not vanish. I summoned myself to endure, BUT the darkness only deepened. Then I went to an inland station and saw on the wall of the mission home these words: ’TRY THANKSGIVING.’ I did, and in a moment every shadow was gone, not to return.

Yes the Psalmist was right, ’It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord.”

Have you been going through some difficult times?

Have you prayed but they’re still there?

Have you told yourself to keep on going and it would someday disappear – but it got deeper?

Then why not try THANKSGIVING?

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Give Thanks

Greetings and HAPPY THANKSGIVING from your pastor and his family.  I would like to encourage you to encourage you to read the Pastor’s Pen online as well as the part you read here.  Often there is more to the story than what we can put in the limited space of the bulletin.  This week I have included a Thanksgiving Quiz in the online version.

Give Thanks

Sometimes it’s a challenge to convince children that Thanksgiving Day is really not all about the food. Sure there’s turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, and pie. Oh yeah, don’t forget the pie! But hidden inside this palate-driven holiday is an opportunity to teach the meaning behind the celebration. It is, after all, a day to remember God and give thanks.

The scriptures are filled with passages calling us to maintain a thankful heart. From Psalm 106:1, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,” to Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians urging them to “give thanks in all circumstances” (5:18). It was this latter verse that sustained the Pilgrims, venturing to the New World, who ushered in the Thanksgiving Day celebration.

In the winter of 1620, Pilgrims, traveling by sea, settled at Plymouth, Massachusetts. They came for religious freedom — a desire to worship God and live according to Holy Scripture. But the country they found was bleak and uninviting, with several inches of snow already on the ground. Of the 102 passengers aboard the ship, the Mayflower, nearly half died during the first winter of the “great sickness.” Yet, according to settler Edward Winslow, they were grateful to God for his provision in their lives. A year later, the group celebrated with a feast of thanksgiving.

So, this year as the guests arrive, in addition to a bountiful meal, try these fun-filled age-appropriate activities that will direct children, and adults, back to the true meaning of the holiday, and also create Thanksgiving Day memories that will last a lifetime.

Ages 0-3

For the very young, holidays are about the nurturing and extra attention received from grandparents and other close family and friends. Try to provide time for fun interaction, with songs and hymns that celebrate the season. Provide toddlers with some crayons and color books, and invite grandparents to color along. Be sure to include The Pumpkin Patch Parable, a picture book by Liz Curtis Higgs, for an after supper story time.

Ages 4-7

Make your young guests feel special when Thanksgiving dinner is served atop a custom-made tablecloth they designed. Break out the color crayons, or markers, and allow each child to draw their own artwork depicting a thankful day. Later, play a game of “Alphabet Thanks,” where children draw from a bowl of letters, and then tell God thanks for something that begins with the letter they picked.

Ages 8-12

This age group is ready to put the spirit of thanksgiving into practice by canvassing their neighborhood, collecting canned food items for those in need. For fun on Thanksgiving Day, have this age group use a video camera to film their own home movie about giving thanks. Guests can be entertained as they view the finished work on the TV during dessert. Or, for the more musically minded, have the kids borrow the tune from their favorite pop or rap song and replace the lyrics with a seasonal message.

Age 13-18

This age is perfect for hands-on community service. Visit the local rescue mission or nearby retirement home, and have them pitch in by serving the holiday meal. Another fun idea is to invite these teens to compete in a pie-baking contest, with Gram and Gramps deciding the winning recipe.

All Ages

Ice Breakers are a fun way to get everyone talking. Write something to be thankful for on a small sheet of paper and tape it to the back of everyone who comes in the door. They must ask yes or no questions from other guests to guess what is written on the paper.

This was produced from Focus on the Families Web site dealing with ideas for Thanksgiving.

A Thanksgiving Quiz

The following quiz will refresh your mind with early American history, the questions having to do with the Pilgrims and their associates. In each case, choose your answer from the three possibilities given.

1. When the Pilgrims left England seeking religious freedom, they found a haven in:

(a) Switzerland; (b) Holland; (c) France.

2. The name of the skipper who piloted the Mayflower safely across the Atlantic was:

(a) Christopher Jones; (b) William Jones; (c) John Paul Jones.

3. The Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts, a cold December day in the year

(a) 1520; (b) 1720; (c) 1620.

4. A babe was born on board the Mayflower en route to America and given an appropriate name, which was:

(a) Peregrine White; (b) Oceanus Hopkins; (c) John Billington.

5. The number of passengers arriving at Plymouth on the Mayflower was:

(a) 302; (b) 72; (c) 102.

6. An English-speaking Indian befriended the Pilgrims and taught them to plant and fertilize corn. His name was:

(a) Squanto; (b) Hiawatha; (c) Hobomok.

7. The Pilgrim who served as governor of the colony for thirty- one years, wrote an account of Pilgrim activities that was published, and delivered the first Thanksgiving proclamation, was:

(a) John Alden; (b) Cotton Mather (c) William Bradford.

8. The first Thanksgiving feast was held in the state of: (a) Maine; (b) New Hampshire; (c) Massachusetts.

9. To a lads’ goes much of The credit for establishing the last Thursday of November as a national Thanksgiving Day. She was:

(a) Nancy Hanks; (b) Sarah Hale; (c) Betsy Ross.

10. Plymouth Rock, which weighs more than seven tons has been moved several times. It reached its present resting-place in:

(a) 1880; (b) 1920; (c) 1774. 

—From The Sword of the Lord & God’s Revivalist

Answers to Mayflower Quiz

1. (b). 2. (a). 3. (c). 4. (b).5. (C).

6. (a). 7. (c). 8. (c). 9. (b). 10. (a).


You can take an online quiz about the Turkey Day by clicking on the following link:

Pastor Rick

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The Christian and Self-Esteem

I remember just hear recently having a head-ache. When I shared my condition, I also jokingly said, “I knew when I got big enough to look in the mirror I was going to have trouble with this head someday.” While I was joking, there might have been more of an internal reflection than I would want to admit.

During recent years psychology and religion have had a field day with self-image — imaging, positive thinking, possibility thinking, self- realization, fulfillment, and the like. In the process all kinds of bizarre ideas have received ventilation.

What you think of yourself is exceedingly important. You can think too little or too much. A person can denigrate himself or deify himself. What is the proper slant? How should one feel about himself?

I can remember when it was thought pious to run ones self down. “I’m no good. I’m just a dirty dog. I deserve hell. I’m the pits.” Many of the old hymns reflected this negative thinking. The problem is those Christians were focusing on the old life without Christ.

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” (Isa. 53:6). “There is none righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade away as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away” (Isa. 64:6). But these applied to us before we found our new life in Christ.

Ephesians 1 is an inspiration to the believer who is seeking a positive self-image. Here we are reminded, we are in Christ. Actually Paul reminds us of three things. 1.) We are in Christ; 2.) How we came to be who we are in Christ; and 3.) How to live like who we are in Christ. We need to recognize our Relationship gives us Righteousness we are saints in Christ. We need to look to Him for our help and rely on His resources because His resources are our resources.

Let me share with you some steps you can take to help you change your life and your image of yourself. Your own self esteem is so intricately woven into who you are that it literally controls your thoughts, which in turn, controls your actions. I don’t think there is anyone who can tell you scientifically how to gain self esteem because it’s not a scientific process.

Nonetheless, whether you realize it or not, you are always in the process of either gaining or losing self esteem. And by extension, you either tear down or boost self esteem in someone else just by the words you use every day.

The good news is that there are some concrete things that can help you learn how to gain self esteem in yourself and the people around you.

These steps can be life changing if you commit to them and make them a part of your every day life.

Step 1: Stop negative self talk. Self talk is the ongoing conversation you have with yourself. Every time you hear yourself saying and affirming negative stuff about yourself TO yourself, STOP IT. Don’t let one more negative thing about you get planted in your mind.

Step 2: The best self esteem help is to say positive things to yourself every single day. Every morning and every night make it a point to say nothing but positive, self esteem building stuff to you. You will be amazed how much better you will feel about yourself and your life. Remember, you have to teach yourself how to gain self esteem first, then you can teach others.

Step 3: Stop inflicting negative junk on other people. Every time you hear yourself saying something negative to someone else….STOP IT. Don’t be responsible for filling someone else with negative junk. Showing patience, gentleness, and kindness will go a long ways toward building up the self esteem in someone else.

Step 4: Don’t let yourself get caught up in tearing others down behind their backs. Some of the worst things you can do are gossip, tell negative stories about others, or break the confidence of someone who placed their trust in you. When people find out what you said about them it can be a devastating blow to their self esteem because they believe what they hear, whether it’s true or not.

Step 5: SET the example of right behavior to others. Don’t just tell them; show them by building other people up on purpose. Look for positive things to say by using God’s Word as a guide. Eventually people will get the idea that you’re not interested in listening to a bunch of negative junk. Self esteem improvement in others will only come if you help the process every chance you get.

Remember, you are God’s highest creation. Yes we are sinners. But after you meet Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, He makes you a saint and begins the process of sanctification in you. You are in Christ, and He is In You!

Pastor Rick

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The Christian and STRESS!

Dr. Adrian Rogers wrote in his book, Mastering Your Emotions, about a company which did a survey of its top executives relating to moral and stress. The report stunned the company owners. Twenty-one of the twenty- two-man executive committee were suffering from such illnesses as ulcers, high blood pressure, or depression, and their report pointed to one culprit—stress. “Stress can squeeze the life out of your years if you don’t know how to handle it.”

This is the day of the quick cash and the mad dash and what goes with them—stress.
Years ago we may have thought only executives were afflicted with stressful situations, but studies have shown that such unlikely professions as laborer, waitress, machine operator, miner, inspector, painter, hairdresser, meat cutter, plumber, and warehouse worker are fraught with stress. The clergyman is also considered to have a high-stress occupation. Even the housewives, who may not work outside the home, often have illnesses and breakdowns from stress.

These stressful conditions are leading to high blood pressure which can result in strokes or aneurysms, runaway heart disease, cancer, and mental illness—and death! The American Heart Association now estimates that fifty-five million American adults—and 2.7 million children—have high blood pressure. In 1985 only thirty-nine million were considered hypertensive.

It is not a sin to be stressed, not a sin to be weary, not a sin to run out of strength. It is a sin, though, not to seek a lessening of that stress which tears down the temple of the Holy Spirit, your body.

Now you may be stressful and weary for three basic reasons. Number one, you may be weary because of the plain demands of service. Even our Lord and Savior was weary. He understood what it was to be tired. In John 4, Jesus was worn out from His ministry in Judea.

Satan often waits until you are weary to oppose you spiritually. Many a Christian falls prey to the devil by neglecting his health, by burning the proverbial candle at both ends, by eating poorly, and failing to have enough rest and sleep. Maybe the expression, “I’d rather burn out than rust out,” sounds pious, but servants of Christ often use it as an excuse to abuse their God-given bodies.

I hope you know, stress does not need to defeat you. Now, in addition to the problem of stress, I want you to notice there is a promise of strength. (Isa. 40:31). The secret to wining over stress is waiting on the Lord.

I would like to give you some help as a Christian in dealing with the stress in your life. These are practical easy to follow ways for a Christian to reduce stress.

  1. Pray
  2. Go to bed on time.
  3. Get up on time so you can start the day unrushed.
  4. Say No to projects that won’t fit into your time schedule or that will compromise your mental health.
  5. Delegate tasks to capable others.
  6. Simplify and un-clutter your life.
  7. Less is more. (Although one is often not enough, two are often too many.)
  8. Allow extra time to do things and to get to places.
  9. Pace yourself. Spread out big changes and difficult projects over time; don’t lump the hard things all together.
  10. Take one day at a time.
  11. Separate worries from concerns. If a situation is a concern, find out what God would have you do and let go of the anxiety. If you can’t do anything about a situation, forget it.
  12. Live within your budget; don’t use credit cards for ordinary purchases.
  13. Have backups; an extra car key in your wallet, an extra house key buried in the garden, extra stamps, etc.
  14. K.M.S. (Keep Mouth Shut). This single piece of advice can prevent an enormous amount of trouble.
  15. Do something for the Kid in You every day.
  16. Carry a Bible with you to read while waiting in line.
  17. Get enough rest.
  18. Eat right.
  19. Get organized so everything has its place.
  20. Listen to a tape while driving that can help improve your quality of life.
  21. Write down thoughts and inspirations.
  22. Every day, find time to be alone.
  23. Having problems? Talk to God on the spot. Try to nip small problems in the bud. Don’t wait until it’s time to go to bed to try and pray.
  24. Make friends with Godly people.
  25. Keep a folder of favorite scriptures on hand.
  26. Remember that the shortest bridge between despair and hope is often a good “Thank you Jesus.”
  27. Laugh.
  28. Laugh some more!
  29. Take your work seriously, but not yourself at all.
  30. Develop a forgiving attitude (most people are doing the best they
  31. Be kind to unkind people (they probably need it the most.
  32. Sit on your ego.
  33. Talk less; listen more.
  34. Slow down.
  35. Remind yourself that you are not the general manager of the universe.
  36. Every night before bed, think of one thing you’re grateful for that you’ve never been grateful for before.

Remember God’s promises and know, GOD HAS A WAY OF TURNING THINGS AROUND FOR YOU.
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

Pastor Rick

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