The Rest of Your Life

Who are you? Who do you aspire to be, or not to be? Develop who you are.

What will you do? How will you live your life? Who will you be? How will others describe you or remember you? Will you simply go along, or will you be mindful, intentional, purposeful? At the end, will you regret time wasters? Will you be frenetically busy? Will you see, not just look; listen, not just hear; enjoy, smile, laugh, cry, allow the feels, not dwelling excessively (whatever that means to you) wallowing in them?

A good listen, this. https://youtu.be/Lw1KEsJ9eKo

In Your Storm

Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them.
Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost.
They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
Mark 6:47-50

Even though the disciples had been with Jesus for a long time, they didn’t recognize him as he approached in the storm. The story reminds us that we may not recognize the Lord when He comes to us in the middle of our own personal storms.

[Adapted from “Lessons in Religion”]

Mental Health and Faith

Inspired and adapted through an article in “Rethink Church”

Depression… anxiety… inability to concentrate… mood changes… trouble relating to people… low energy… feeling hostile towards others… excessive worry… feeling unable to cope with stress… excessive drug or alcohol consumption…

An inability to deal with mental health symptoms is not always an indication of sin in your life. In some cases it might be an indication of illness–and may need to be treated as any other illness gets treated (with a doctor’s help).

“in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, “Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; until the destroying storms pass by.” [Psalm 57:1]

In many ways, we are bound to one another. So when one person suffers, we all encounter suffering. This passage is just one of many that remind of our connectedness: “If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it.” [1 Corinthians 12:26]

If you or a friend need help, please take that step and reach out to someone you trust.

Psychology Today offers a referral site. If you have suicidal thoughts call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat on suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.

Bible in One Year 2022 Nicky Gumbel

Jesus healed a man who had been an disabled for thirty-eight years (John 5:5). The man must have been desperate: he had been putting his hope in the healing powers of the waters of Bethesda, which would bubble up periodically, and it was thought that the first person in after the waters bubbled up would be healed. But this man had no one to help him get in first (v.7).

He had no friends, no close family. Nobody cared for him. He was alone and abandoned. Nobody loved him, but Jesus loved him.

Jesus says to him, as he says to each one of us, ‘Do you want to get well?’ (v.6). For thirty-eight years, this man had learned to survive as he was. Now he has to rise up, make choices, find new friends, find work and become responsible for his life.

Joyce Meyer writes of this incident that, in effect, Jesus said to the man, ‘Don’t just lie there, do something!’ She continues, ‘Being sexually abused for approximately fifteen years and growing up in a dysfunctional home left me lacking confidence and filled with shame. I wanted to have good things in my life, but I was stuck in emotional torment and despair.

‘Like the man in John 5, Jesus did not give me pity either. Jesus was actually very firm with me and He applied a lot of tough love, but His refusal to let me wallow in self-pity was a turning point in my life. I am not in the pit any longer. I now have a great life. If you will reject self-pity, actively look to God and do what He instructs you to do, you can have a great life too.’

Jesus as Shepherd

A lesson paraphrased from Ministry Matters:
To understand this passage, it helps to learn that multiple shepherds often kept all the sheep of their village in one fold (fenced area). When it was time to separate the flocks, each shepherd called their own sheep, using a unique call. The sheep from each flock recognized their own shepherd’s call and left the sheepfold only with that shepherd.

John 10:23-30
Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.
What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”