Saturday, March 28, 2020

understand the anxiety you're feeling

Hi everyone,

I learned many of the ways of success from people who were depressed at the time, or working through trauma or anxiety. While they still had issues to resolve in terms of individual growth, they had attained the wisdom of what these patterns can do for us. Sometimes their simple drive for survival dictated the need for higher wisdom. I have often been amazed at how noble some people can be when suffering significant emotional pain and distress. They inspire by their transcendent ways through which they succeed in life, even while in pain.

I realize many of you are struggling with anxiety, feeling overwhelmed and may be in distress. I hope this conversation helps you understand your feelings right now.

Until next time . . .



P.S. If you're missing church again this week, I'll be posting another special message for you at 11:30 a.m. Sunday on Facebook, and I hope you'll take the time to join me! These videos come from my digital message library from Church OnDemand. Whether you're serving in ministry or want to grow in your walk with Christ, these messages are designed to help you become healthier in your spiritual life.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Finding the Good in the Bad

"Finding the Good in the Bad"
By Rodney Holmstrom, National Field Director, March 23, 2020

"In your relationships with one another, have the same attitude of mind Christ Jesus had
I was walking out to my car the other night to leave the office after a crazy day of juggling all this COVID-19 madness in our community and ministry.

To be honest, I was pretty exhausted, not just physically, but spiritually and pretty discouraged seeing all the bad happening around me.

As I walked out to my car, there it was. I saw a sky that looked like a painting of brilliant colors. I was struck to stand there and just take it in. What an amazingly creative God we serve.

Thinking this morning how easy it is in the midst of difficult times to overlook His beauty in those things around me. I am reminded this morning that it is important to slow down to stop and "live" in the moment. Sometimes that living in the moment means being honest about where I am emotionally and how I am thinking and expressing that to God and others. When I can be honest about my own heart, it is then that I begin to hear His voice for His truths. When I saw that beautiful sky it was as if God was saying, "Rodney, don't miss the good things around you in the midst of this chaos son."

This reminds me of a quote I heard, "Life isn't measured by the breaths we take but the moments that take our breath away."
With everything happening around you have you stopped to see the good things?What takes your breath away?

A few for me...
*Hearing my kids and grandson laugh.
*Seeing my family pray, sing and laugh together.
*Listening to brothers and sisters share victories in their life.
*Seeing so many people posting to social media inspirational and God-inspired truth in the midst of chaos.

Or how about that moment when you see the turning point in a friend that leads them to finally take action toward healing and freedom in their life.
Today I am grateful for a changed heart that no longer responds to pain in those old unhealthy and destructive ways that were once my coping mechanisms. God has given me a new heart that has the ability to see things as a gift, to love and appreciate what the Lord paints in my life now. I am grateful for the vision to see value in even the smallest things in my life now. That wasn't always the case.
A word of encouragement to you in this time of struggle,
"In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love."  
Mother Teresa

Let's face today's challenges with a heightened awareness of the smallest gifts given to us by a loving Father. What gifts and blessings can you face today with the greatest of love?

Hang in there forever family. We love you and are here for you every step of the way! We are going to get through this together! 

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Draw Close

By Carol Holmstrom, National Communications Director, March 2, 2020

And when you draw close to God, God will draw close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and let your hearts be filled with God alone to make them pure and true to him. James 4:8 TLB

What does it mean to draw close to God?
I know for me, drawing close to God means I cannot split my desires between doing what I think is best (because it's usually self-serving) and what God says is best for me. I have to spend time with Him and I have to ask Him what He wants for me. As I draw close, that becomes more clear to me.

When we surrender our own pleasures and our pride, we can have oneness of mind with God, because we are no longer consumed by our own selfish desires. True repentance means acknowledging our brokenness, washing our hands of our sin, and filling our heart with God's desires. It doesn't mean we are perfect or that we don't make mistakes, but it's the attitude in which we acknowledge our mistakes that is important. Are we simply managing our behaviors or is our heart making the changes necessary for true life change? The question I have to repeatedly ask myself is:

Am I pursuing my own desires or am I pursuing the heart of God?

Saturday, March 14, 2020

When it's ok to trust again...

Hi everyone,

Basic trust is the ability to invest oneself in a relationship. We must first experience many instances of trustworthiness before we can truly trust others. We aren't born trusting; trust is learned. Trust enables us to reach out, to depend, to need and to see others as the source of good things. We can depend on our caretakers -- when we reach out, he/she will be there, and he/she will respond to our needs.

When we trust someone, we invest something of ourselves and hope for a good return. If we invest our money, we want safety and dividends. With a good relationship, we invest our hearts and our being and find a good return, which leads us to invest again and again in relationships. Trust nurtures our ability to need and to depend, which allows us to grow and develop relationally. We need to need, and we need to feel comfortable with dependency. Healthy people let themselves need and depend on others without fear.

Let's talk more about when it's ok to trust after trust has been broken.

Until next time ...