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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Deploying-a-patch-management-process

There are many positives to being a relational person and being a pastor. You get to partner with many in life with deeper relationships, and see how God moves in other’s lives.

One of the hardest parts though is when people draw close to you when they need help or are going through hard times but then bolt again once the life of this world gets a little easier. It is heartbreaking when people come for an ounce of hope in a dark season but walk away from a eternal spring of power that’s inviting them in Christ. So many people walk right back into lives of struggle, bad decisions, and/or loneliness (even though they found a boyfriend or girlfriend that they think is going to fix everything only to be dumped a few months later).

While the door is always open for them to come back, it still hurts to watch them go through more struggle they could avoid with Christ and Christian community in their life.

The point of this is if it breaks my heart, I am certain that it breaks our Savior’s heart even more. So many in this world come to Him for a quick fix when things are rough and then walk away again instead of following Him. We see it time and time again in Jesus’ life and far too often in our world today. It breaks His heart when we use Him like a parachute instead of falling into His arms as our salvation.

If this is you, know that He too keeps the door open and would love for you to turn around today. He too would like to give you a new life instead of just patching up a hole and walking back out the door. He is a relational God and He wants to have a relationship with you.

If I can help you in any way with that, feel free to touch base.

Pastor Tom Hypes
tom@theshepherdsfellowship.org

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As we wrap up the “Mountains” series, we come to talk about the key that moves us from fear of the struggles in this life to enjoying the freedom of Christ!
Each step of the way, we explored the Bible for key points and advice of how to move forward into freedom. However, for many of us, we continue to struggle in the same cycles as before. This is because there is one core truth that opens the door to moving forward that mere “best efforts” for change fall short.
Join us this week as we explore that truth that makes all the difference.

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Pastor Tom returns from his vacation in Alaska and brings some thoughts with him from God’s Word and His creation!

We all face different kinds of challenges in our lives that invite us to worry, stress, and fear. However, in Christ, there is a promise that we can have peace in the midst of the struggles.

Why do we find it so hard to hold on to this kind of peace?
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Many of us are dealing with different struggles and situations that overwhelm us. We try to pull ourselves up by our boot straps and forge on but some days are just tougher than others.

For those of us that are Christians (have accepted Jesus as Leader and Forgiver in our lives by acknowledging with our mouths and believing in our hearts that He is the Son of God who died and rose again for us and have repented of the old life and now following Him), there is some encouragement in those days in some writings of King David.

(If you are not a Christian and want the hope and forgiveness of Christ in your life, touch base with me and we’ll chat more…. 740-382-3500)

King David was not born royalty. In the early days, the rest of the world just considered him a nobody kid who, at best, had good potential as a shepherd. God saw much more and through years of trials and situations, raised David up to be king. As we learn more about David’s story, we know it wasn’t all money and power for him. There were many seasons of pain and persecution from others. There were days that would knock most of down but God saw David through.

It was in such a time that David wrote Psalm 56 and I wanted to show you what David found that might encourage you as well.

Psalm 56: 1-4 says “Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;all day long an attacker oppresses me;my enemies trample on me all day long,for many attack me proudly.When I am afraid,I put my trust in you.In God, whose word I praise,in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.What can flesh do to me?

At first glance, you might think just how strong David appears to not worry about his struggles. You might even be tempted to think you are so weak for not being like him . Look again.

He starts out with “Be gracious to me, O God”. To me, he’s struggling. It seems that he is saying I am hurting, I am afraid, and I am overwhelmed. I wish I was stronger Lord and I feel like I’m letting you down. Be gracious to me. Don’t be upset with me. I am but a mere mortal. He admits he gets afraid. Maybe you have been there.

But he doesn’t stop there. He goes into stating truths to recenter himself in God. I praise you God in midst of this trouble. I trust in you and what can flesh do to me? He goes from “when I am afraid” to “I shall not be afraid.”

Now that’s enough to make you feel a little encouraged and maybe even give you a second wind. A reminder to claim on to the promises of God and give it another shot. However, David goes on….

All day long they injure my cause;all their thoughts are against me for evil.They stir up strife, they lurk;they watch my steps,as they have waited for my life.For their crime will they escape?In wrath cast down the peoples, O God!

You have kept count of my tossings;put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?Then my enemies will turn backin the day when I call.This I know, that God is for me.In God, whose word I praise,in the Lord, whose word I praise,in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.What can man do to me?” (56: 5-11)

This is not a one time hit where you claim God’s promises and then life is all rainbows and unicorns. The problems did not change. This even hints that after claiming hold of God’s promises that David is struggling still emotionally at times. However, He keeps coming back. He keeps claiming the promises. He is not playing the victim card. He is holding onto the Victor.

If you are going through tough times and sleepless nights, don’t add to your burden by trying to be “Super Christian” and feeling like your failing. Keep coming back to the well for nourishment. Keep coming back to the promises for reassurance. Keep thanking Him for His grace and talk honestly with Him about where you are today.

And what else do you do as you walk through this path with Him?

I must perform my vows to you, O God;I will render thank offerings to you.For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before Godin the light of life.” Psalm 56: 12-13

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It just seems like there is so much to get done and nothing wants to go in the right direction, doesn’t it?

Life does not move at the pace we wish it would and the list of things we need to get done seems to grow larger all the time. Everyone has expectations above and beyond what seems possible. Sleepless nights and stress headaches seem more numerous than rest and peace moments that we need so badly. How do we experience Jesus in these circumstances?

In this study, we look at a time in Jesus’ life that fits the above description and find that His choices might seem a little odd to the norm. Is it possible that we can learn something from Him and the Word that can change the way we understand patience and peace? Of course we can! Dig into this with us!

This is also a great study for those wanting to know about the “Sabbath” and “Sabbath rest”

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Are you feeling overwhelmed? Things not going the way you thought they would? Wondering if you took a wrong turn someplace? Wondering if anyone even appreciates you?

What gauge are you using for you worth, direction, and happiness? There are many to choose but only one leads to maturity, peace, and power that can sustain you.  This is the focus of this study of John the Baptist as we look at the first area that blocks us from experiencing the fullness of Christ in our lives.

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I have explored in the last couple posts the fact that God calls His children (those who have accepted Jesus as Leader and Forgiver and who follow His way of living instead of the world’s ways) to live in freedom. We have seen that through salvation, we are released from the bondage of this world. The truth is being locked back up by guilt, stress, or fear are not His desire for us yet somehow we keep falling back into the trap.

The simple fact is this world will try to suck us back in. Satan will try to rob from the grace and deliverance that is ours in the Lord. On certain days, it can just be overwhelming.

Today’s Psalm invites us to see how David dealt with such a time. It gives a real time experience of one of the heroes of the faith and how he modeled to get “refocused”.

Here’s the Psalm….

Psalm 10

“Why, O Lord, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In arrogance the wicked hotly pursue the poor;
let them be caught in the schemes that they have devised.
For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul,
and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.
In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him;
all his thoughts are, “There is no God.”
His ways prosper at all times;
your judgments are on high, out of his sight;
as for all his foes, he puffs at them.
He says in his heart, “I shall not be moved;
throughout all generations I shall not meet adversity.”
His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit and oppression;
under his tongue are mischief and iniquity.
He sits in ambush in the villages;
in hiding places he murders the innocent.
His eyes stealthily watch for the helpless;
    he lurks in ambush like a lion in his thicket;
he lurks that he may seize the poor;
he seizes the poor when he draws him into his net.
10 The helpless are crushed, sink down,
and fall by his might.
11 He says in his heart, “God has forgotten,
he has hidden his face, he will never see it.”

12 Arise, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand;
forget not the afflicted.
13 Why does the wicked renounce God
and say in his heart, “You will not call to account”?
14 But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation,
that you may take it into your hands;
to you the helpless commits himself;
you have been the helper of the fatherless.
15 Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer;
call his wickedness to account till you find none.

16 The Lord is king forever and ever;
the nations perish from his land.
17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.”

You’ll notice I left the verse numbers in. This was on purpose to make the following easier to reference because I believe there is a pattern here from the man that God said was “after God’s own heart” that we can find freedom in.

Verses 1-11 – David calls out his concern with no holds barred. He knows God is a strong Father who can handle the load. He knows God is a caring Daddy who wants to hear his child’s heart. David unleashes the hurt, pain, and confusion of the unfair situation in front of him from his overwhelmed, human vantage point.

Verses 12 – 15 – David starts to refocus. He moves his attention off of the circumstances that are blurring his view to focus in on his Deliverer. He aims backs towards the One who has proven Himself faithful time and time again. He cries out for God to move as David also moves into the protection of his God.

Verses 16 – 18 – Here is the result of that refocusing…. PRAISE! There is no other way I can see to explain this last paragraph. David has moved from complaining about the circumstances to claiming the truths of the strength of his God! His perception has changed (even though the circumstances have not…yet) and He has a firm foundation of truth to stand strong on.

What are you going through today?

First, check yourself and make sure you are in a place of righteousness. If you are not a child of God through accepting Him as Leader and Forgiver in your life, that is the place to start to have his grace, mercy, and firm foundation. (Romans 10:9-10; John 3: 1-21)

If you find that your situation is the result of an area where you are not living in righteousness, get some forgiveness and change your ways to match God’s ways.

If you are living righteously, then it’s time to refocus like David did. It’s time to get into the Word and explore God’s promises. It’s time to dig into Christian community with people who will spur you on towards God. It’s time to have a talk with God like David did and let Him change your view.

Being blessed is having joy which is tied to your spirit walk in spite of your circumstances. Be blessed….

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Psalm 3: 1-2

“O Lord, how many are my foes! Many are rising against me; many are saying of my soul, there is no salvation for him in God.”

Are you going through some tough times right now?

– Bills stacked up high and bill collectors calling?
– Your marriage or relationship is sinking fast?
– Loss of job or can’t find a job?
– Your child has walked away from you?
– Seems like everyone is conspiring against you?

King David in the Bible fully understands. His life was full of all kinds of ups and downs including one time towards the end of his life where his own son had turned against him. Absalom had rose up, gathered the nation around him, and declared himself king. He wanted his father dead and David fled the kingdom and was hiding in the wilderness.

In the midst of this season of threat and betrayal, David started his psalm by stating the issue at hand. The whole world was crushing in on him and he felt alone. There is a possibility that you feel that way today. However, David never stopped right there in the midst of despair. He made the choice to focus on what really matters.
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