Every Day Is A Battle

conceptual-cover-covering-2224835I have found that to keep from sinking back into the dark abyss called depression I have to do maintenance every day.  Mornings start the battle, it would be easy to just pull the covers over your head and not put your feet on the floor.

Managing simple tasks seem to be overwhelming at times, you make something to eat, not really feeling that I want to, but, it is a matter of survival.

There are times when I see my doctor and ask if there are some meds that can be stopped, his answer is not that he can see.  Well, the blood pressure is good, but, I leave his office feeling slightly defeated.

Getting the energy to do grocery shopping seems like a big battle field that I have to navigate.  I ask myself, can I survive today without a panic attack.  I get through the cashier’s line without any minor or major developments.

When I arrive home it feels as if I have worked a double shift at a factory.  I grab a coffee and plop down on the couch to get a bit of rest.

Alcoholic Anonymous has the twelve step program, attending their meetings is a maor key in keeping their sobriety.  

The out patient group at the Mental Health Wing in the Hospital is available, the battle is getting there.  The bus service is so lacking.  It was so helpful while there as a patient and having a safe place where you can unload your fears and anxiety is so great.

It is the same with a Christian’s spiritual life, it has to be maintain.  Cannot allow the cares of life to overcome you.  It is essential to always have the armour of God on.

Eph 6:10-18 KJV
10  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Yes, every day is a battle, but it also is a opportunity to win and move forward on the battle field!

 

Overcoming Grief

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2 Samuel 1:17-18  (NCV)
17 David sang a funeral song about Saul and his son Jonathan,

18 and he ordered that the people of Judah be taught this song. It is called “The Bow,” and it is written in the Book of Jashar:

 

In 1999 I received a phone call with news that my mother was gravely ill.  It was the Christmas season and had just lost all of the joyous attitude that was in me.  Hanging up the phone I started making plans for a long bus ride from my home in Saskatchewan, Canada to Ontario.

Mom had suffered a stroke in the fall of that year with only minor effects afterwards, basically she lost some of her hearing in one ear.  Now she laid in a hospital in a induced coma.  Her diagnosis was her heart and her lungs.  The worst of the two being her lungs.  The specialist described her lungs like the plastic wrap with all of those little air pockets that we love to pop.  Her lungs were pressing against her heart.  They tried several times to move her to perform a CRT scan.  While in the progress of moving her, she would suffer cardiac arrest.

I finally reached Ontario and I rested for a couple of days before heading to the hospital in London, Ontario.  The nurses showed me to her room, I went in and had to turn around and leave due to the fact of how she looked.  She was three times her size due to swelling.  As I left her room and started to walk in the hall I felt someone push a chair against the back of my knees causing me to fall back into the chair.  I asked why the nurse did that.  The response was ‘I could tell you were ready to faint’.  I told that nurse he was correct.  He said that is a common reaction when relatives see their love ones in intensive care unit.  

That was around the second week of January.  We kept a vigil around her.  Finally the specialist called us together in a conferance room, showed us some x-rays of her lungs and said there was nothing more they could do.  Mom passed away February 11, 2000.  Her celebration of life was held February 14, 2000, I conducted it.

Jump forward four years and the news reaches me that my maternal grandmother had passed away.  Granny was there in attendance concerning my mother.  A mother she never have to outlive a child of their.  She was never the same those four years following the death of her oldest child.

This was the overflow for me realising my grandmother was gone.  I was very close to her.  My summer holidays usually was spent there.  Not sure why, there was no television, video games, really nothing that a child would want to do, yet, I loved being there.

Now, I am at the pinnacle of my depression, and more suicidal thoughts.  I withrew from activities that I loved.  Reading, working on my computer, even cooking and eating.  I would cry at the oddest times, anger would erupt over the minor words.

Thus, my journey of many admissions to the mental health unit to deal with depression and all of it’s tenacles such as, grief, anger, and much more.

I learned everyone reacts differently to all of the above.  It really takes working with the professioanls God has given us to begin resolving all of our issues in life.  For every issue God has spoken about it in the Scriptures.

The following verse now holds a greater meaning to me looking back on these past nineteen years.

Psa 30:5 MSG
5 [The] nights of crying your eyes out give way to days of laughter.

I now look back at the passing of my mother and grandmother and I smile.  All the things they taught me, the joys I had spending time with both of them.

Reader, do not allow grief to paralyze you.  Seek help, talk to someone, on the other side you will be much stronger as a person.

 

Why I Write

quill & ink & paperI have now written about my battle with depression and also dealing with opioids. 

It was a long arduous journey, one I finally sought professional help.  That answered a large amount of questions throughout my life.  While in treatment patients were asked to participate in “groups”.  I learned many coping skills there.

The one that has helped the most is what they called “journalling”.  Taking a quiet time to write how we were feeling, good and bad.  It wasn’t for others to see, it could be ripped up afterwards.  It was a coping skill that allowed us to express our feelings and emotions. It caused us to focus, and many times see a solution in how to deal with certain situations that caused us stress.  

When I was in active ministry I never wrote out my messages, instead I would study, make notes, then come Sunday deliver my message.  In high school for me.  I would study, know the subject, but, when it was time for the exam I would freeze.  If you were to orally ask me questions I was fine.

I started this blog as an attempt to express emotions that I was dealing with.  It started to lean towards sharing my findings of Bible studies.  It has been cathartic for me.  Writing however, does not come easy for me.  I have been learning over time from writing posts/articles on this blog.  Learning has been an upward progression.

Reader, if you are dealing with stress, depression, etc., I would encourage you to try to keep a journal of your emotions and feelings.  Write about what makes you feel stressed, angry, or what makes you feel peaceful.

Listen to what the words of the Prophet Isaiah said about peace:

Isa 26:3 KJV
3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

You don’t have to start a blog, but, put the pen to paper and write out your stress and anxiety.

 

Depression + Opiods=Downward Spiral

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First, I would like to thank those who liked my article on my battle of being bi-polar and my battel with depression.

I have decided for this article not to use any Scripture for I cannot think of one that would be appropriate for this topic.

In around 1987 I was a passenger on the back of a motorcycle.  The driver and I both worked at the same factory and also lived in the same little town.  We were on our way home in the month of August travelling on the major highway, the 401.  I am not sure where the driver’s attention was, but, he ran directly into the back of another vehicle.  The impact sent me air bound and I landed on my rear.  When I hit the pavement it tore away the muscles and such from my spine.  The next morning in the hospital I learned what the doctors thought about my injury to my back.  The nurse that came in that morning reacted to me moving around and dropped the tray she was carrying.  I asked why that happened.  She proceeded to tell me about the report that was given.  They were told I would be a quadriplegic.  After about a week and some therapy I was released from the hospital.

That was the beginning of a thirty year plus battle with opioids.  It started with minor pain relievers eventually in around 2004 I was taking the highest dose of oxy allowed here in the province I live in.  On top of that I was given fentanyl patch.  Now let me say I cannot recall if I was using both at the same time or separately.

The oxy started on a journey I wouldn’t wish on anyone.  I was going through some weird things.  My best friend would tell me about a conversation we had, but, I would not have any recollection of it.  He would come over in the mornings and find me in the weirdest places.  Once laying under my sewing machines.  I would wake up in the mornings and would have to look in my kitchen sink trying to figure out what I ate the day before.  This continued for the longest time.  The problem was I wouldn’t remember taking an oxy, so, I would take another one.  I was double dosing.  In Canada and the province I live in you cannot double doctor, or, have a prescription filled several times by going to different pharmacies.

Finally, I followed my best friend’s advice and spoke to the psychiatrist and I said I wanted off these heavy meds.  The psychiatrist, family doctor, my friend and myself came together with a plan.  On my request I asked to be admitted because I truly felt it would be the best place.  Also, the plan included that I would no longer have control of any of my prescriptions.  They would be handled by my best friend.  Today, I am totally free from the opiods.  The strongest pain killer I take now is Tylenol 3, those also are managed by my friend.  This is going on now to be fifteen years.

What kept me on track was all involved helped me by encouragement.  I had some truly rough times for about a year.  Here is the problem with opioids.  They are given for pain for a short time.  My new family doctor, my current one at the time was retiring, told me about these pain killers that when you are on them for longer periods of time, they quit relieving pain and start doing the very opposite.  It becomes like a never ending circle.

My best friend never once tried to shame me about my issue.  That is the key.  If you know someone who is addicted to any opioids do them a favor and do not try shaming the person.  This will only cause them to shut down and keep out you and everyone else including the professionals who needs them to be honest and open about what they are experiencing.  Sometimes, they don’t need for you to speak, it may be that what they need more than anything is a sympathetic ear.

If you are a pastor there are probably some in the congregation that are battling these opioids but are suffering in silence.  Please, get educated about this terrible epidemic in North America.

I am aware of most in the United States the costs of being hospitalized is a factor.  Many probably do not have coverage. Let me be honest, I do not understand the system in America, so I really cannot comment.

I pray that if you are reading this and are going through your own battle, do not keep it to yourself.  Talk to someone you trust, call a help line, and most definately seek professional help.  Do not feel shame about your issue with opioids.

It Is The Mind & It Matters

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 Php 2:5 KJV
5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

Col 3:1-3 KJV
1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

I want to tackle a subject that I have strong feelings about, for me it is personal.  This subject among Christians is the elephant in the room.  At one time some preachers would have called it “demon possession” .  I do not!

For those who at one time followed me on social media know that I have spoken about mental health many times.  You see, I am bi-polar.  In the early nineties I fell into deep depression and I tried to overdose on sleeping pills.  If someone around me when I was a teenager/young adult that had some knowledge about this disease they would have recognized that I needed help.  For those years I went through manic swings of emotions. I could be feeling tremendously great and within minutes almost raging mad.

Pastors need to aquaint themselves with this subject, it would benefit them greatly in counselling parishioners.

In the King James Bible if you have access to the Strong’s Concordance you will notice that the words ‘mind’ and ‘your affections’ are exactly the same word

God created us in His image, thus like Him we are a triune being.  Body, Soul, and Spirit.

1Th 5:23 KJV
23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now let me say, I am not a professional counsellor, or an educated psychiatrist, or a psychologist.  However, I am speaking out of experience and hope that maybe someone who is experiencing mental health issues will take a step and seek out professional help.

These mental health issues are treatable.  I take prescriptions and they have done a world of good for me.  Gone are the extreme mood swings, days of not talking to anyone, to feeling like a could conquer the world.  Those around me never knew which I would be.  

Also, I suffered with panic attacks.  One instance a supermarket opened just one block from where I lived and was opened twenty four hours a day.  I was having panic attacks so I decided I would wait until after midnight to do my grocery shopping.  A very good friend accompanied me.  I was almost done my shopping, cart full of food, I had a panic attack so bad that I left the cart and my friend running all the way home. 

Panic attacks feels like everything and everyone are closing in on you.  I still have mild ones, usually it is when I am slightly tired.  I sought help and was admitted to the mental health ward in the local hospital here.  Now, I realize for those living in America that this option is not available to you because of costs.  While in the hospital over several stays for several years I learned from the doctors and counsellors things I can do to get me through these attacks.  One other area that sometimes makes me panic is just riding in a car as a passenger.  I know that there are those who think these things are imaginary. Friend, I am saying here, they are very real and they need to be treated.

Maybe you are reading this and you know someone who is having difficulties with depression, panic attacks, suicidal, do everything within you first to understand this problem, give them your support, and if at all possible encourage them to seek help.  Maybe, offer to go with them for moral support.

Now, there is a myth out there about suicide that if the person is talking about it they won’t do it.  That is so far from the truth that I have no words to bring it home to you.

It is not sinful to seek professional help.  Some preachers have not helped the cause with their rhetoric.  They talk about faith and that if we have enough faith God will do it for us.  Yes, God did it for us by giving some the desire to become physicians, psychiatrist, etc., and they are placed here on earth for our benefit. I have heard some rail against even taking an aspirin that it is a sign that we have weak faith.  If you are listening to those, you need to run in the opposite direction.  There is no need to suffer needlessly! When we are saved and filled with His Spirit no where in Scripture did God command us to check our brains at the door.

It is a spiritual battle also and the Scripture gives us wisdom and knowledge about these Spiritual laws.  Here is what the prophet Isaiah wrote:

Isa 26:3 KJV
3  Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Please, this is mind and it matters!

I know someone with more training than myself, a high school drop out, could go into the meta-physical about how are minds have chemical balance.  When it becomes unbalanced then we start to have our problems.

So, lets kick out the elephant in the room and let’s have a conversation about our mind!

Focus Church, Focus

Mat 14:22-32 KJV 22  And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. 23  And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. 24  But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. 25  And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. 26  And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27  But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28  And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29  And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32  And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

When I want to study I always choose a time when I know that it will be quiet and most likely no interruptions like the phone, etc.,. I find those things cause me to lose focus on the subject or passage of Scriptures I am studying.

In today’s fast pace of living it is hard to keep your mind on anyone thing for more than a few minutes. Work, children, domestic chores, etc., keeps us going from one activity to another with little down time. Even our sleep can be disruptive, maybe worry over how to pay the bills from month to month, and now study’s show that the blueish light that cell phones emit int erupt the levels of melatonin that we need for quality sleep. All these things cause us to lose focus on the major things in our life.

Now take notice of the above portion of Scripture. Christ needs time alone to pray, so he sends the disciples away to cross over to the other side of the sea. While on the sea the waves became boisterous and started tossing their boat around. Finally, Christ comes to their rescue, how, by walking on the water.

I am sure the look on the faces of those in the boat was pure shock thinking what they are seeing is a spirit, an apparition. Peter, however, thinks differently and cries out “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.”.  Christ gives him the approval to leave the boat.  To those left on the boat they probably couldn’t believe what they were seeing, not only is Christ walking on the water, but, now Peter is also. Peter is going towards Christ and doing quite well when he takes his eyes of Christ and notices the wind how boisterous it was.  The minute he loses focus on Christ, Peter immediately begins to sink.  Realizing this Peter cries out to Christ, Christ takes Peter by the hand then asks Peter, ” O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”.  They both walk to the boat and climb in.  Immediately after they were on the boat the winds ceased roaring. Ask yourself, “what is my focus in life”?  The answers are innumberable. Please forgive me, but, I must share this thought here in this article. There is something happening behind the pulpits of North America that I cringe when I see it or hear about it.  Call me ‘old fashion’, but, I just cannot find it acceptable whatsoever. That one thing is this, politicians behind pulpits giving a stump speach to the congregation.  For me the pulpit should have a respect and those who stand behind it should be the servants of God.  I realize being involved in politics is admirable for some, maybe even noteable, but, this former pastor sees this as a mixture.  Our mission is not political, nor is it to change who is seated on the court benches across our nations.  These should not be our focus! Our only focus is one and only one thing, the command that Christ spoke to the eleven disciples just before He ascended into the clouds with the angels. Mat 28:16-20 KJV 16  Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17  And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. 18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The Upcoming Storm

Luke 17:22-27 KJV
22  And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it.
23  And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them.
24  For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.
25  But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.
26  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
(emphasis mine)

Wall Street seems to be on a run away train of sucess with the markets basically rising higher and higher. Also, companies are seeing their profit margins grow, companies such as Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet the parent company of Google. Now, a slight rise in the minimum wage. Everyone seems to be living as though this party will last forever.

The world has seen this before during the late 1920’s when Wall Street market crashed leading to the world’s greatest depression. Millionaires were left penniless, some even committing suicide. No one predicted or saw this event coming.

So will it be for the final storm on the horizon. It may be party time in most democratic countries but this party is about to come to a complete devasting stop.

The known world laughed, mocked, and ridicule Noah for building an ark and saying that God was going to send great rains and cause a great flood. He warned the people for one hundred twenty years. Finally, God spoke to Noah to gather his family into the ark and close the door. The rains came and the waters began to rise and flood the entire lands.

Students of eschatology know that there is coming a one world, religion, and economic system led by what the Scriptures call him, the anti-christ. We know that he will make a decree that all should receive a mark either on their right hand or in the forehead. Without this you will not be able to buy or sell, take the mark and lock yourself in to hell.

The headlines around the world are shocking to those who follow Biblical end-times prophecies. Israel and Palenstine in conflict, Syria in the middle of a civil war, warships of the United States order to the Mediterranean Sea ready for war with the middle east countries such as Iraq and Iran. Russia meddling in the affairs of all those countries and in Libya, Yemen, Syria.

Then the Pacific Rim(the kings of the east) readying themselves to gain more influence power with the development of nuclear weapons.

All these events Christ warned us about in Matthew chapter twenty-four.

I am in the middle of a deep search to come to a better understanding on where the body of Christ will be when things take a definite turn for the worst. In past postings I have voiced my thoughts about where America is in end-time prophecies, I do believe that it is not found in Bible prophecy.

Scripture is sure about certain countries which will have a major role during these turbelent times. Russia, the bear; the former Persian countries now known as Iraq and Iran. As mentioned earlier the countries of the Pacific Rim, the kings of the east. And it goes without saying the country God turns His focus again to the tiny country of Israel, the apple of HIs eye.

The one thing that is certain in all of this is, God is in total control. We do not need to worry or be frustrated about those things happening around us. God will take care of you. We have His assurances.

Rev 22:20 KJV
20  He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Peace, Be Careful What You Pray for!

Mat 24:3-14 KJV
3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.
10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

1Th 5:1-3 KJV
1  But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2  For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3  For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

1975 was a landmark moment in my life. It was Easter weekend, Sunday night the pastor stood up and announced that it was laid upon his heart to bring a very strange message, “Prepare to meet Your God”!. Remember, it’s Easter Sunday night a night where most Pastors subject would have been concentrated on the story of Christ’s resurrection.

The next morning, Monday, I woke up and went downstairs and found it was late in the morning. My parents were no where to be found. Within moments they walked in along with my aunt, mom’s sister. I looked at them and none of them looked well. I found out that morning my grandfather died of a massive heart attack while at work during the night. I cannot explain of how I felt, except that, my whole world was gone.

My grandfather was my world, he was the only musician in our little church, he played the guitar. He was the one that taught us kids how to sing songs without any words written down. To a thirteen year old boy this was my first up close taste of death of a close love one. To say I was angry was an under statement. You see I did not know what God had planned for me several years in my near future.

It was tough going at that little church, no musician, and I was learning to play the accordian, so try as hard as I could I would try to play for the song service. I wanted to play the piano, a piano then that was worth nothing, a piano that when I would try my grandfather would tell me ‘don’t touch it it is out of tune’. Many Sunday nights I would leave that piano in tears because all I could hear was the words of my grandfather. Eventually, through many circumstances I was given a piano of my own from my girl friends parents because they were moving. That was the start of my miracle.

I have never really shared this story in this part, but, I feel I should share this part to bring home my thought. My grandmother was a praying woman, there was much turmoil in the family at that time and it was starting to wear on my grandmother. After all was said and done quite sometime later she shared this. This turmoil was getting worse, my grandmother one night prayed a very simple prayer, “Lord, remove the stumbling block”. You know the story for I had just shared it.

There is a movement around the world, on the surface it feels good, sounds good, and there really there is no upfront argument against it. The word “Peace”. On the big picture when you say it everyone is for it.

Yet, the outcry around the world for peace according to Scriptures brings about a world wide calamity, destruction.

We know that a man, the son of perdition, arrives on the global scene, makes a peace treaty with the nation of Israel, but, will break in the middle of the seven years. This is the beginning of the ‘great tribulation’. Christians know the rest of the story.

So, peace, be careful for what you pray for!

Guard Rails

 

 

 

 

 

2 Timothy 4:(NCV)
1 I give you a command in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, the One who will judge the living and the dead, and by his coming and his kingdom:

2 Preach the Good News. Be ready at all times, and tell people what they need to do. Tell them when they are wrong. Encourage them with great patience and careful teaching,

3 because the time will come when people will not listen to the true teaching but will find many more teachers who please them by saying the things they want to hear.

4 They will stop listening to the truth and will begin to follow false stories.

5 But you should control yourself at all times, accept troubles, do the work of telling the Good News, and complete all the duties of a servant of God.

6 My life is being given as an offering to God, and the time has come for me to leave this life.

7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

8 Now, a crown is being held for me–a crown for being right with God. The Lord, the judge who judges rightly, will give the crown to me on that day–not only to me but to all those who have waited with love for him to come again.

 

Doctrine (from Latin: doctrina, meaning “teaching”, “instruction” or “doctrine“) is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the essence of teachings in a given branch of knowledge or in a belief system. The etymological Greek analogue is “catechism”.

Doctrine – Wikipedia
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine

If you are a parent you will recognize this picture. Accordian style gates on all stairs going to the basement, locks on the lower cabinet doors, hide all electrical cords, and special covers on all exposed electrical receptacles. All these actions are to provide guard rails for a crawling baby, or even a young toddler curious about all things around them.

Recently while on a social media platform I posted some background and context to some Scripture. I thought it would be straightforward for all those that read it. Within minutes the response from that posting was shocking. They claimed that I was going against the Word because as they said I was adding to the Word of God. That set me back on my heels and led me to cancel my account with that platform.

As a young teenager I did not have the means to buy commentaries or even a very good study Bible. All I had was a Bible given to me by my grandmother. At that time the big thing happening around Christians was “Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance”. I would have loved to have such a study tool as that for my convenience. My parents both worked out of the home, but, they did not have the ability to buy such study tools. It was all they could do to put a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our backs.

I did not know much about the ‘basic tenets of the faith’, ‘the Trinity, and the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus’. It was after I started to evangelize that I learned those tenets. Yet, in other areas I had the basics, so I thought at the time, eschatology (study of last things). I didn’t understand the basic way to deliver a sermon, it was trial and error, but I eventually found a pattern that worked for me. It included my music ministry of playing the piano and singing. All these things I soon found out have what I will call ‘guard rails’. Stay within in them and you will be fine, step over them and you may not be invited back.

In the above portion of Scripture the Apostle Paul lays out to the early Christians in the province of Macedonia guard rails for the five fold ministry first, and also to the believers in Christ.

There are guard rails for us today, always be ready, instant in season, out of season, reprove, rebuke, exhort with longsuffering and doctrine. Most of these today seem to have been placed on the sidelines, they argue that it is organized religion.

Paul writes a couple of chapters prior to the above Scripture:

2Ti 2:14-16 KJV
14  Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

Again, more guard rails. Parents need to provide structure for their children. The Apostle Paul gives structure to the early believers which is the foundation we must build upon. Ignore them and it leads to a complete collapse of any structure.

Mat 7:24-27 KJV
24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

So, we need all these things we may not like them at first but they are necessary for a sound, solid and fruitful Christian life.

 

 

 

 

Misplaced Faith

The Fight of Your Life

Luke 18:8 (NCV)
I tell you, God will help his people quickly. But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find those on earth who believe in him?”

Things Temporal

2Co 4:18 MSG
18  There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

Life seems to have a way of keeping us from things that would be more fruitful. There are times when it would seem like we are just going through them motions of daily living. Up at a certain hour, arrive at work or school. Then home to fix a meal for yourself and the family. All things that keep the body functioning, but very little time for that which nourishes our spirit and soul. We expend our resouces of energy with little to nothing that we can point to as an everlasting accomplishment, causing us to misplace faith in things temporal.

Misplaced Faith – Prosperity

Most work forty hours of more to earn a meager living to pay rent/mortgage, food on the table, and clothes on our back. Then anything that would be consider extra for something relaxing, while hoping and praying there is not a major emergency to tend to.

Everyone has given over to the pursuit of prosperity, putting and misplacing our faith in what satisfies the desires of our soul.

Misplaced Faith – Politics

There is an alarming movement within evangelical groups in that they are locking hand in hand with politics.

Now, just to be clear, I am a citizen of Canada, I am old enough to vote, so, I vote in elections.

As a pastor I held the office seperate from my political views. I was taught that this was an ethical conflict. Yes, during times of elections I would encourage my parishoners to go to the polls, but not once did I voice any candidate to vote for. My calling was to win souls and provide spiritual guidance to those under the sound of my voice.

I am calling out to those in the pulpits and other ministries to stop with the politics and get back to what Christ told us to be, fishers of men. You would not want the government telling you what you must teach or not teach in your pulpit. The same is true, followers of Christ need to leave the politics to the politicians. Turn your energy back to winning souls. You have misplaced your faith, and placed it in politics

There is much more that I would love to elaborate about, but my objective is to point to what I see happening at this time and at this place.

Let’s stop misplacing our faith in things that are so temporal and there is no everlasting fruit to lay at the feet of Christ..

Mat 6:19-21 MSG
19  “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars.
20  Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars.
21  It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.

Jud 1:3 MSG
3  Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.