Sunday, November 24, 2013

Good Grief: What's Healthy; What's unhealthy
There are all kinds of losses where there is no funeral. You get kicked out of the family business but there is no funeral for that.
Our world has been turned upside down.
Could be loss of a job or not getting the job you want.

Grief is a process of:
Orientation 》 Disorientation 》 Reorientation
Grief is fatiguing because it takes up a lot of emotional and mental space inside as we attempt to find a new normal after the old one has been lost. It is only as we digest emotional happenings.
Sometimes there's more than just grief. It can be traumatic. Consider the 2 layers. Trauma adds anxiety, avoidance, nightmares, flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, fatigue, brain freeze, nausea, guilt, should haves, the feeling of I'll never get better......

Unhealthy grieving includes:
Denying or suppressing the cocktail of feeling
Doing a spiritual bypass jumping to God knows. You can't take a spiritual bypass. God gave you the ability to feel
Becoming anxious or depressed for more than a year
Engaging in numbing self medication
Staying stuck in one of the stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression
Avoiding places or people that remind us of the loss

Take care of yourself. Stress of loss will deplete your energy and emotions.

Face your feelings. In order to heal acknowledge and express the pain or you'll kill yourselves. Not everyone is weepy. That's OK. Talk with people you feel safe with. TALK.

Express your feelings. Write a loss journal. Write a letter to the one who passed. Read it at the grave. Make a scrapbook or photo album. Get involved in a cause.

Don't let anyone tell you how you feel or should feel. Your grief is your own. Let yourself feel whatever you feel. Let yourself grieve without embarrassment or judgement.

Plan ahead for grief triggers: Anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, .. Be prepared for an emotional wallop and know it's normal. Give yourself permission to me cranky. Agree on strategies to honor the person you loved.

I so want to say something to take your pain away but Mr Fixit in me just can't. I must learn that the most important thing is to sit and listen.

Does the church help people who grieve? I would love to be out of business but I'm not.

We know Jesus is the answer but sometimes we are too superficial. The deep corners of the soul don't get touched.

An accepting congregation is a beautiful thing. People need to be open to each other's junk.

Getting angry at God is part of grief. God does not need defending. God can take it. It doesn't make you a bad person. Just read the Psalms. Your feelings need expression. I get it. That's a strong feeling.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God knows us in the deepest places.

How do you help children grieve? Language appropriate. Diluted to their level. Prayer is not a slam dunk. You may not eat dessert before you eat your vegetables.

What's mental health got to do with the church?

Mennville EMC north of Riverton.

Scripture reading by Roger Friesen:
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon.
Privileged to be here this morning. Beautiful drive this morning from Landmark.

Deals with people issues. Jesus has understanding about mental health.
Bullying and postpartum depression news is all around us.

1 of 5 people will have serious mental issues. All of us are touched by mental issues. Costs $51,000,000,000 in Canada.

Jesus speaks to us.  Romans 8:22 Creation is groaning. Great crowds came to Jesus with all kinds of issues.

In the beginning no one had mental issues.

In the end Jesus will make everything right again.

We make sense of it because we live in a fallen broken world.

Don't just sit and wait. Do something. Don't say the dreadful phrase: it is what it is.

We treat mental issues like they used to treat leprosy. Jesus has something to say about it. Leave something for the poor. Be extra gracious to the disadvantaged in society. We need to draw the 'thems' into our circle of friends. That includes the gay. If Jesus came to Steinbach would he shoot hoops with the cool jocks, or would he find the bullied? What did he say to the prostitute in John 8? What was Jesus writing when the self righteous wanted to stone her?

When clients talk about depression, I say I get that.

Shame bad is bad. Adam and Eve were not ashamed to be naked. The fall created shame. But now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. Rom 8

There are bad simplistic answers that hurt
1. Mental illness is demonic.
2. Psychobable
3. Medical problem.

We are fearfully made. Spirit. Body. Mind. Mental illness impacts all 3 areas of the person.

Exercise improves the body and mind.
Talk about it. Open the conversation. Love and acceptance goes a long way. It makes it far more manageable. Know where to find resources. Be the bridge.

So can I help myself?
Reach out. Ask for help.
Practice mental hygiene. Anchor yourself in biblical truth.
Practice spiritual disciplines. Read Ephesians. Practice gratitude. That is mood altering. Just as good as any drug.
Dialog with God. Talk to him about your crankiness.
The Lord is near. With thankfulness present your requests to God. Focus on the good.

Started an anger management group some years ago. One person dropped out. Then he came back after spending time in psych ward. They used to call them asylums. A safe place to rest. Not doing anything. Just resting.

Make the church an asylum. A place to rest.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Marvel of Earth's Canopies

The Marvel of Earth's Canopies
by Professor C. Theo Schwarze
A fascinating book on the harmony of science and the Bible
This book is out of print
Click on the image to read it on line
 The Marvel of Earth's Canopies

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Choices are OPTIONAL. Consequences are NOT.

Malachi 3
There was a small group who feared the Lord. God wrote their names in a Book of Remembrance. The Book of Life.
V17. They will be my people. My own special treasure my jewel. Recorded by name.
Do you know that you are the special treasure of God? If not, get right with God today!

Baptism and new member's Sunday:
Val has 7 grandkids. Wants to be baptized. Attended an Anglican church. Married 40 years. Lived in Flin Flon and Selkirk. Went to Roman Catholic church. Sherry was baptized at EasTview. Husband was diagnosed with cancer 20 years ago. Ted was doing well. They had an accident. Then she had cancer. Tough times brought me closer to God. God loves me and he has a perfect plan. The struggle is to learn to trust God.

Kelly was raised in a Christian home. Never got baptised. Got married very young. Moved to northern Manitoba. Forgot to attend church thinking she had spirituality. Mom got sick and wanted to go home to heaven. After 6 months she got better. Started to attend EasTview 6 months ago.

Scott grew up in Selkirk in a Lutheran church. Worked 6 days a week before having children. Had a tough time getting pregnant. Thought they lost that 1st child. Carter was born. 3 years later our second son was born.

Greg born in Winnipeg. Baptized as a baby in a united church.

Kelly always considered herself a Christian. United church. Then EKMB. Now wants to be join EasTview. Attended NK Alliance and got baptized there.

Cindy married 21 years with 2 children. Accepted Jesus at camp and war baptized there. Jesus is my rock and salvation. EasTview is now our spiritual home.

A Mighty Fortress is our God. A really good musical arrangement.
Praise the name of Jesus.
He's My Rock in Him will I trust.
His kingdom is forevermore

The baptismal water is too cold. Val God has never left you. I baptize you in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit.

Today is the right day to be baptized. This is the day that the Lord has made.
Do you confess that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Savior?

Congregational songs.
He became sin who knew no sin.
Love so amazing Jesus Messiah Lord of all. All our hope is in you.
Jesus Messiah name above all names Blessed Redeemer
In Christ Alone my hope is found
O precious is the flow that makes me white as snow. Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Be still and listen to God

Pastor Delbert. You are God's special treasure. Pray to be included in God's special chosen ones. Meditate on God's Word day and night. Be planted firmly so you can celebrate for all eternity.

Let's read the covenant together.

Song. You choose the humble. The same love that set the captives free is calling us all by name.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blessed are the merciful
5pm worship gathering
Ken Mitchell music
Paul Johansen Pastoral Care
Let us honor those gave so much and remember the One who gave his all.
Song. Your grace is enough.
Lord have mercy on us.
Gospel Encouragement. Passing the Peace
Hosanna Praise is rising
Kids Church. This is multi generational church.

God be with you.... and also with you! to make Christmas more meaningful. Worship fully. Spend less. Give more. Love all.
The average Canadian spends $1200 each Christmas much of it on gifts no one needs.

Pastor Paul
Merci bouquet!
Mercy me
Lord have mercy on me a sinner.
Bob Dillon when his career was flagging produced a CD entitled O Mercy. Everything is broken is a title that talks about the brokenness of the world.
Mercy is hard to define. Strong emphasis to enter into the brokenness of others. Tenderness meekness kindness
Willingness to forgive. Let others off the hook.
Psalm 28. Hear my cry for mercy.
Daniel prayed for mercy.

Micah. This is what God is asking you to do.
Act justly, love mercy, walk humbly with God.

Blessed are the merciful they will be shown mercy. He saved us because of His mercy.
Les Miserables the book. 83 year old mom just read it. She was moved. Quite a story she said.
Only the grace of God can change us from the inside out.
Lord have mercy for those in the path of the typhoon.
Lord treat us in a way we don't deserve.
For Mayer Ford, Lord have mercy.
We need to show mercy every day.

Did Micah do an about face? Do the right thing but at the end of the day, walking with God is very personal. Mercy comes when you extend mercy.
Ps 103 God knows who we are. How fragile we are.
Paraphrase the beatitudes. Show you understand them.

Song. I'm getting down to the mercy seat.
Here is love vast as the ocean.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

God's Word to us

Mennville EMC

Stan Burkholder from Alberta

Sat in on the Sunday School and got a lesson on grief. Not sure how to respond to that.

Praise like never before
130 passages in the Bible on praise.
I have no practical application for grief. How many have sorted out how to praise God?
They had a community advent program. He was supposed to preach on why creation praises God. Why are the colors more majestic for Christians?
When we give God proper recognition we praise him.
Luanna's garden grew all the wrong things. The red beets were red so that was good.
Do the stars do what they are created to do? When they do they praise God.
Gravity does what God created it to do.
120 days a year Stan travels all over teaching. It's a fun job. Every two days his students evaluate him. Some praise him with fluff. Some really appreciate his work.
He was the president of the  lumberman's association. He got real recognition in front of his peers. That felt good.
How can I praise God? How about giving him proper recognition? How does that make the mountains more majestic? When I admire God's handiwork I praise him because I share with him the beauty of creation.

We live in a society of entitlement.  Why? Do you remember the first $ you were given? The first $ you earned. How did you deal with that.
My voice is the gift of God to me. I'm not entitled to it. If I recognize that God gave me my voice and I praise God with it.
Link with grief somehow. Whatever may pass whatever lies before me. In grief when you cry you praise God. Recognize your loss.
Let me singing when the day is done. When the end draws near and my time has come still my soul will sing your praise unending ten thousand years and then forever more.
My praise will be different  each season of my life. When my store burned down I wrote about my firey Christmas.
Got a call from a customer wanting to help. Shared my struggles with him. I was praising God by writing my story.
There are 10,000+ reasons to praise God. When God created us I always tell my students. I got a free trip to Scotland.
When you do what God created you to do you are praising him.
God, thanks for being real and sharing your creation with me. Help me to do what you created me to do.