Monday, January 1, 2018

Life’s Healing Choices

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30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. Psalm 119:30 (ESV)


173 Let your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. Psalm 119:173 (ESV)

Pastor Ponder’s New Year’s Eve message was a powerful call to make good choices in 2018 so that we would not have regrets as we may, over bad choices made in 2017. If you missed it watch for it to be posted at the church web site. Click
HERE.

Life’s Healing Choices by John Baker is an excellent follow-up read for those who are struggling with unhealthy choices made in years gone by. The title alone is worth the price of the book. It is available at christianbook.com for $10.49

Do you live with hurts, habits, and hang-ups? There is a safe place to deal with them once and for all. It’s called Celebrate Recovery; we meet every Tuesday night for a meal at 5:30 and the meeting starts at 6:30. More information is available in the
Healing Choices page of this website. Come see us.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Life’s Healing Choice
#1 - Admitting the Need

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In Life’s Healing Choices, Rick Warren calls this “The Reality Choice.”


This goes against the grain for all those who have thought of themselves as self-made, or the fiercely independent. The reality is that we are God-made, in His image, and we are totally dependent on His grace, mercy, sustenance, and guidance.

It has been hard for me to come to the realization that my life is not all about me. But God made me, God saved me, God and gave me His presence and purpose.

Denial tells us we don’t need anybody, especially God. We don’t have a problem, we don’t struggle with hurts, habit, and hang-ups. We can quit any weakness (alcohol, drugs, over eating, grieving, anger, etc.) any time! Such thinking is a denial of the facts:

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 (ESV)

There are also those who deny a need for God because God won’t do what they want when they want it. But the god they want is no more than a good luck charm, to be used at convenience and then put on the shelf until needed again. That god is not God.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Life’s Healing Choice

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#2 – Getting Help
The Hope Choice

The Truth about God

God Exists

6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Heb 11:6 (ESV)

We Matter to God

3 the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Jer 31:3 (ESV)

Christmas just past is a celebration and reminder of the fact that we matter to God a lot.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 (ESV)

God Will Help Us if We Seek Him

7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim 1:7 (ESV)

The indwelling Christ brings power so that sin cannot have dominion over us, love so that removes all condemnation, and self-control so that we can be free from our brokenness and free to serve Him with gladness.


Thursday, January 4, 2018

Life’s Healing Choice #3 Letting Go
The Commitment Choice

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Consciously choose to commit all my life and will to Christ’s care and control

A believer is to Jesus as a sheep is to a shepherd.

A Psalm of David. 1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Ps 23 (ESV)


Christian principles are solid, workable, and filled with blessing and hope. But they do their best work when Christ is Lord in those who embrace them. We must commit to the Prince of Peace then we can truly commit to His principles and teachings. Then we can walk with the Good Shepherd.


Friday, January 5, 2018

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Life’s Healing Choice #4
Coming Clean
The Housecleaning Choice


Openly examine and confess my faults to myself, to God, and to someone I trust.

8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matt 5:8 (ESV)

Guilt destroys our confidences, damages or relationships, and keeps us stuck in the past. Coming clean sweeps out the guilt moves us toward purity of heart and soul. Confession to Christ is about forgiveness.

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Confession to one another is about healng.

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16 (ESV)


Monday, January 8, 2018

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Life’s Healing Choice #5 Making Changes The Transformation Choice
Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects.

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matt 5:6 (ESV)

Where do character defects come from:

Our Chromosomes
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— Rom 5:12 (ESV)

Our Circumstances
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:15–16 (ESV)

Our Choices
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. James 1:13–15 (ESV)

We may not be able to change our chromosomes or circumstances. But by God’s trace we can change our choices.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018


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Life’s Healing Choice #6
Repairing Relationships
The Relationship Choice

Evaluate all my relationships. Offer forgiveness to those who have hurt me, and make amends for harm I’ve done to others, except when to do so would harm them or others.

7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Matt 5:7 (ESV)

9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Matt 5:9 (ESV)

If we are unforgiving to others we block God’s forgiveness for us.
14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matt 6:14–15 (ESV)

But loving is the great motivator for forgiveness.

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And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 (ESV) ‘

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34 (ESV)

Anger and bitterness drain the joy, emotional strength, peace and sense of well-being out the soul
9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. James 5:9 (ESV)
31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Eph 4:31 (ESV)

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See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; Heb 12:15 (ESV)

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Life’s Healing Choice #7
Maintaining Momentum
The Maintenance Choice

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Reserve a daily time with God for self-examination, Bible reading, and prayer in order to know god and His will for my life and to gain the power to follow His will. Spiritual formation is not a 12-step program, it is a life time of following Jesus one step at a time, one day at a time.


23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. Luke 9:23 (ESV)

His call to follow Him has proved to be the most important thing that has ever happened in my life. It has become all the world to me:

I have non reached my goal yet, I am far from perfect, but I continue to move forward with Christ. It thank God that I am now like I used to be, and am looking forward to they way I am going to be by His grace!

12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 1 Cor 10:12 (ESV)

40 Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! Lam 3:40 (ESV)

8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8–10 (ESV)

23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matt 5:23–24 (ESV)

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Life’s Healing Choice #8
Recycling Pain
The Sharing Choice

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Yield myself to God to be used to bring this Good news to others both by my example and by my words.


10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matt 5:10 (ESV)

Persecution and pain are part of life. It’s what we do with it that counts. We all suffer pains of many sorts in this life. Using it to comfort others and to model God’s grace is is one of the most holy things we will ever do.

It is a holy thing to come alongside a broken soul and show forth our own brokenness with a testimony on how God makes all things new.

1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Gal 6:1 (ESV)

Genuine faith will cause us to move beyond our own hurts, habits, and hang-ups to minister to others.

17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17 (ESV)

And so we have freely received and freely give.

8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Matt 10:8 (ESV)