Tackling Tough Questions…it is Tuesday!

thWelcome to our Tuesday discussion.  Today we will try to answer some of your tough questions.  We know that if one person voices their question and concerns, there are many more who have the same questions, but just don’t ask.

We thought this blog is the perfect place to answer them for everyone.

Questions:  How do you really get rid of doubt?

A few days ago I felt paralyzed with self-doubt about a big commitment I had made. After begging God to zap me with confidence, and then realizing it wasn’t going to happen, I asked Him to show me what made me feel so insecure and uncertain.

Immediately I remembered Gideon, a man who was called by God yet paralyzed by feelings of inadequacy. From reading his story in Judges 6, I knew Gideon overcame his doubts and fears by focusing on what God thought about him — instead of what he thought about himself.

But first he processed his doubts with God in a very honest way. Recent conflicts and defeats caused Gideon to doubt God’s presence and promises. When an angel of the Lord told him to go defeat the Midianites, Gideon asked, “How can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest … and I am the least in my family.” (Judg. 6:15)

His perception of himself made him feel inadequate. Damaged emotions and insecurities from our past have a powerful influence over how we see ourselves today.

I knew it was time for me to get honest with God, too. I needed more than a quick fix. I needed to figure out what triggered my self-doubts and led me into such a horrible place of uncertainty.

I remembered how a conflict with a friend this week made me doubt I should even be in ministry. After all, self-doubt whispered, if I can’t maintain healthy relationships at all times in all areas, how can I help others?

I also received feedback on a project this week. One harsh criticism overshadowed several positive comments and consumed my focus. And, I had been comparing my abilities to others working on a project with me. Self-doubt convinced me I wasn’t as gifted as they were.

Conflict, criticism and comparison had sent me into the shadows of doubt.

What about you? When conflict arises at work or at home, do you ever assume it disqualifies you from other ministries or callings? Does criticism ever paralyze you from believing you can do certain things? Or, has comparison ever convinced you that someone else can do it (whatever “it” is) better than you?

It’s not a quick fix but a powerful process of naming our doubts, identifying what triggers them and then learning to rely on God’s power to lead us into a place of living confidently in the security of His promises.

The next time you start feeling insecure, ask God what triggered your doubts. Then process the trigger point through God’s perspective. Ask Him to show you lies you’re believing and truths to replace them. Then let Him change your thought process by focusing on His thoughts towards you instead of your thoughts about yourself. For instance:

• When doubt tells you that you can’t do something because it’s too hard, remember God says you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13).

• When doubt tells you you’re not good enough, focus on the truth that God says you’re fearfully and wonderfully made; all of His works are wonderful and you are one of them (Psalm 139:14).

One thing I know for sure, Jesus wants you to live with a confident heart! Some days it will be about what He’s calling you to do but — even more than that — it will be about what He wants to do in you as you learn to completely depend on Him!

Tackling Tough Questions…

question-markWelcome to our Tuesday discussion.  Today we will try to answer some of your tough questions.  We know that if one person voices their question and concerns, there are many more who have the same questions, but just don’t ask.

We thought this blog is the perfect place to answer them for everyone.

Question: How Can We Know if Something is Sin?

Many sins are spelled out plainly in the Bible. For example, the Ten Commandments give us a clear picture of God’s laws. They offer basic rules of behavior for spiritual and moral living. Many other verses in the Bible present direct examples of sin:

Proverbs 6:16-19

There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. (NIV)

Galatians 5:19-21

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (NIV)

What Do I Do When the Bible is Not Clear?

Usually when we’re in doubt over sin, our first tendency is to ask if something is bad or wrong. I’d like to suggest thinking in the opposite direction. Instead, when you’re trying to determine if something is sin, ask yourself these questions based on Scripture:

Is this a good thing for me and others? Is this beneficial? Will it draw me closer to God? Will it strengthen my faith and my witness? (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)

The next great question to ask yourself is this…will this glorify God. Will God bless this thing and use it for his purposes? Will this be pleasing and honoring to God? (1 Corinthians 6:19–20; 1 Corinthians 10:31)

You can also ask how will this thing affect my family and friends. Although we may have freedom in Christ in an area, we are never to let our freedom cause a weaker brother to stumble. (Romans 14:21; Romans 15:1) In addition, since the Bible teaches us to submit to those in authority over us (parents, a spouse, a teacher), we can ask, do my parents have a problem with this thing? Am I willing to submit this to those in leadership over me?

Finally, in all things, we are to let our conscience before God convict us of what is right and wrong on matters that are not clear in the Bible. We can ask do I have freedom in Christ and a clear conscience before the Lord to do whatever is in question. Are my own desires submitted to the Lord’s will? (Colossians 3:17; Romans 14:23)

Pick-me-up-prayer…

Welcome to our mid-week pick-me-up.  Our leaders and prayer warriors will lift you up in prayer today.  Please leave a comment below with your prayer requests.  If you want to send them in ahead of time to make it inside the blog post, go to our prayer page and fill out the form or email your requests to: mary@thatchurch.com.  Prayer Warriors…when you see a prayer request below, please leave a comment with a eprayer or a shout out to let these ladies know they are being lifted in prayer.

Thanks again for the participation and let’s lift each other in prayer today.

Here are the requests:

1)  Please pray that my husband Rick would desire a closer walk with God, that he would start coming to church with me to worship and grow with God. Pray that I will stay strong and set a good example. (Barbara Rainey)

2)   Pray for Thomas who is stuck at Cairo airport. (Pam Mitchell)

You can always leave a comment on the prayer page to send your requests, or email me at: mary@thatchurch.com

Love y’all!

Pick-Me-Up Prayer.

Welcome to our mid-week pick-me-up.  Our leaders and prayer warriors will lift you up in prayer today.  Please leave a comment below with your prayer requests.  If you want to send them in ahead of time to make it inside the blog post, go to our prayer page and fill out the form or email your requests to: mary@thatchurch.com.  Prayer Warriors…when you see a prayer request below, please leave a comment with a eprayer or a shout out to let these ladies know they are being lifted in prayer.

Thanks again for the participation and let’s lift each other in prayer today.

Here are the requests:

1)  Please pray for my family as we burying my dad on Wednesday (today) Terri Valentine

2)  Please add to the prayer requests for Ericka walker. She recently was laid off and needs another job soon. Thanks (Beverly Berg Esau)

3)  I’m putting my house in the market. Pray that it sells and I get some profit off of it. It’s just too overwhelming owning a home by myself with 2 kids alone. (Sophia Andrade)

4)  My family the Rogers, my uncle passed in his sleep. This is my daddy’s little brother. Please pray for children and all my family and friends of the family. (Susan Piker)

5)  Please pray that my husband Rick would realize he should come to church, and join me to worship and learn. Pray for me to stay strong and not get discouraged with him. Pray that our marriage will continue to improve and not backslide into “old ways”. Thanks! (Barbara Rainey)

6)  Please continue to pray for Debbie Coleman (Bonnie Connelly’s sister in law) and that the chemo gets the cancer in remission. She is getting chemo every single day. Debbie’s son’s and brother all shaved their heads for her since she lost all of her’s.  Pray for her family as they deal with this situation as well.

7)  Also, please continue to pray for Ramona’s dad who has lung cancer and isn’t expected to make it much longer. (Debra Garrison)

8)  I recently got a promotiom at work, which is a great thing. But the transition has been extremely difficult. The level of stress and the amount of hours I am working is extreme. I so don’t want to lose ground in the relationships and conversations I have had with the people I work with because of my exhaustion and pressure. Please pray that I will represent Christ well in an extreme situation where I could easily be short and quick to answer. I know He has led me to here. I want to be very aware of him navigating me through this
. I feel pretty under qualified for a very big assignment. Thank you for the blog and reaching out to the Women of ThatChurch! It has been an encouragement to me! (Sheri Schlagel)

9)   I have two requests actually…I spend a lot of time in prayers of thanksgiving. I am so tremendously blessed; I can’t help but be in awe of our amazing God! The one thing I am really struggling with is pain. I suffer from migraines and I have Scoliosis in my lower back. Throughout the Bible we read countless examples of how Jesus healed the sick. He made the lame walk and the blind see. Why then can I not trust Him to heal my pain? My head knows He is more than capable. Is it my heart that doesn’t trust enough? I need prayer for healing, but also need prayer to shorten the distance between my head and my heart-for my faith to be strengthened.
My second request is in regard to my parenting. I struggle in my relationship with my mother because instead of asking me to do something, she tends to expect things that I am unaware of. I also get angry with my 4 year old daughter if she tells me to do something rather than ask. I expect my daughter to do something she hasn’t been taught. In order for her to respect me I have to first show her respect by asking her to do things rather than ordering her around. Pray for me to be a better parent, pray for wisdom and respect to flow from me as I expect it to flow from others. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share. And thank you for praying for me and my family. (Stephanie Stoltz)

 

Meet Lauren…

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Meet Lauren Suggs.  This is her husband Nehemiah.  They have been married for three years and attending ThatChurch for about a year now.  They just moved to Sherwood about three months ago to be close to work and their church home.

I have the pleasure to sit down and chat with Lauren Sunday.  She is a very sweet lady I am now glad to call friend.

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Lauren grew up in church and mentioned she was really involved in her Youth group.  She said she loved it so much she became a leader once she was a little older.  She led the youth...watch out Pastor Josh, we could have a youth worker on our hands!

th-1Lauren is building her business with her husband…which is also a ministry for her.  She helps others get out of debt.  It is a God-Centered business that she gets to work alongside her husband while helping others.  She refers to it as helping others with their financial wellness. When I asked her more about it, this is what she said, “I’m building a truly rewarding business with my husband. Normally, when we sit down with families they’ve never met anyone like us. Someone with the knowledge, the access, and the resources to the whole world of money, business, and finance. Normally that kind of access has been reserved  for the very wealthy, who can afford to have all of their financial questions answered. What we do is level the playing field so the middle class can have the same access as the wealthy. Because we believe that knowledge coupled with access is true financial power.”  Plus she mentioned, “We both work in our business full-time and are truly passionate about how we are able to help people. We can’t wait to see all that God has in store for our future together! “

When not working with her hubby, Lauren loves to spend time with friends and family.  Remember she just moved to Sherwood…so she could always use some more friends!

th-2The short time I sat with Lauren I found one of her spiritual gifts is encouragement.  She loves to empower and encourage women to be all they can be in Christ.  Lauren says, “Every woman needs to know they were created for a unique purpose in Christ.”

Lauren can be found in guest services greeting all our first time visitors and regulars alike each week…again, with her husband.  This couple was a pleasure to get to know!  You too will be blessed when you meet them also!

I asked Lauren what part of the women’s ministry she enjoyed the most so far.  She said Soul Sisters!  She would make a great soul sister that is for sure!

th-3Lauren looks forward to building relationships with you…the ladies of the church.  So, now that you got a peek into her life, why not stop by and introduce yourself to her and let her know you saw a little of her story on the blog!

Meet Me Monday’s is designed for you to meet a few of your ThatChurch sisters.  We will feature a lady or two each Monday.  Come back and see who we will highlight the next week.

Love y’all!