Tag Archives: anxiety

A Road Map To Lasting Contentment

Can you honestly say you are “content” both, inside and out?

What is “Contentment”?

Where do we find contentment?

Should fleeting environmental circumstances affect our contentment?

Should we rely on personal pleasures or perishable possessions to fuel our contentment?

Apostle Paul seems to share the answers to these questions in Chapter 4 of his letter to the congregation at Philippi.

The secret to un-wavering contentment can be found in Paul’s statement:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” Philippians 4:4

The key word in this scripture is: ALWAYS. Here the word always is used to mean “completely and infinitely rely upon” the LORD (Jesus).

Just as we all made the decision to have faith in and believe upon our Lord (Jesus), we must also remember to rejoice (or find our Joy) in Him at all times. No matter the environmental or emotional circumstances that happen often and inconveniently in this earthly life.

Rejoicing (to have joy or be joyful) is not a right nor a privilege; it is a choice. I think my personal relationship with Christ is what allows me to be joyful in all circumstances; pain, and suffering included.

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Sifting Through Social Media Opinions

When I was a kid, I often watched my Mom bake bread. One part of the process I really thought was neat was when she dumped the clean pure bleached flour through a sifter.  I asked her, Mom, if the flour is already clean pure and bleached then why do you need to put it through the sifter? She said, “It makes the flour lighter and it blends better.  Plus, it removes any potential non-palatable hunks, chunks, or impurities.  When it comes to baking a “Great” loaf of bread, I never assume the machinery that spits out the finished product is flawless.”

Wow! What a lesson. Today, I think about social media and how it has the potential to produce non-palatable hunks, chunks, and impurities.  Now, I am not attacking it (Social Media); I use it.  At first, I despised social media, I somehow thought I was subject to every opinion I read. News Flash:  I am not and neither are you.

What is an opinion?

Opinion Definition: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

How many opinions do you think you sift through on a daily basis?

How many of those opinions do you understand to be truthful?

Does the act of opinion sifting cause you unnecessary stress, depression, worry, anxiety, and/or fear?

I asked myself these questions as well. And, because I was truthful with myself I discovered just how much the opinions of others, if I let them, attempted to mar my identity.  I then thought about my Mother’s flour sifter. I wondered, how can I sift through the junk, hunks, chunks, and other impurities found in social media?  Then all of a sudden it hit me:

  1. I have the power to question any and all opinions before I accept them as truth.
  2. I have the ability to educate myself on the truth of the matter before I consider absorbing what I have just read or witnessed.
  3. I have the strength to bypass those opinions or comments that in no way uplifts me or any other human being.

Oh yeah! And because I am Christian I can recall the words of the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:8-9):

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

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The Cure for Political Anxiety

(The comments below were spoken by Matt Chandler and Kyle Worley from “The Village Church” in Texas).

The problem with an unhealthy involvement in politics stems from expecting too much from politics, Worley contends.

“If our hope is in Christ and the kingdom of God then we’ll be able to expect from modern politics what it can deliver and not expect more than what it can deliver,” Worley says.

Ultimately, if we’re putting too much hope in the next president rather than Christ and his kingdom, we’re going to be disappointed and disolusioned, the church leaders agree; politics will never be able to deliver the hope that God can.

Chandler adds to this argument, suggesting that Christians can use their “faithful presence” to shape their culture and therefore shape politics.

It’s also important for Christians to remember that ultimately, God is in control of the political process. “The Lord’s at work in this political process,” Chandler says. “He’s not panicked or nervous – He already knows who our next president is.”

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A Refugee is My Displaced Neighbour

How did Christ define the word “Neighbour (Plesion Grk.)? “According to Christ, any other human irrespective of nation or religion with whom we live or whom we chance to meet” is our neighbour. By the very nature of the word “Refugee” I would say we all, Christian or not, stand a chance to meet our displaced neighbour.  The meeting itself, where it is or when it is, is not the issue. How we act toward our neighbor when we meet, is.

When Christ implored me to “Love my neighbour as I loved myself” it caused me great pains. Why?  The biggest reason, I didn’t love myself, therefore loving my neighbor wasn’t possible.  The other reason, I had no idea who my neighbour was.  Oh! I knew the couple that lived next door to me and those living on my block.  But, does the “human neighbourhood” really stop there?  Sometimes I find myself thinking so small, like I am in my own little world.  For the longest time I defined my “Neighbor” as someone who liked me, thought like me, liked what I liked, someone that believed how I believed, and of course my neighbor had to make me feel safe. What a narrow and fearful mindset. In order to overcome my fearful mindset I heeded the words of the Apostle John. John said, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear is by suspicion, but he who fears is not grown up in love.” (1 John 4:18 AB)

My relationship with Christ, and after having spent months imbedded with Muslims as a Military Advisor has helped changed the narrow and fearful paths my mind used to travel. Loving our neighbor, a human being made in God’s Image, may not be convenient and may not be easy.  However, I do not think Christ would have commanded us to do so if it wasn’t worth it.  Christ never hesitated to accept and love me.  When I came to know Him I was a refugee from a nation of unbelief. Now, as I glance over the media’s usage of the word “refugee” the love of Christ (Perfect Love) blocks out those letters and replaces them with “Neighbour.”

As a Christian the directive, right, and privilege to love perfectly is inherently ours. The decision to allow fear to overpower perfect love is generated by the opposite of Grace.  Yet both are still a decision.

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