Slowing Down to Live Well: Sabbath

Americans are working more than ever before in our work-obsessed, efficiency-driven culture. It’s no wonder then that countless people are constantly on edge, full of depression and anxiety, stressed, grouchy and burned out. Thankfully, the Bible shows us that we were not only made to work, but to rest and worship. In fact, God has woven the Sabbath into the very nature of creation. We are designed to practice Sabbath rest. Yet, He also offers it to us as a gift of healing to remember that we are not slaves to our work and our achievements, but find our freedom, identity and rest in Jesus’ work on the cross.

In order for us to practice a weekly 24 hour Sabbath in today’s busy culture, we must plan and be intentional, and make a list of activities that aren’t work and give us rest and delight in our Good Father and His good world.

Scripture: Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Deuteronomy 5:15

Loving Well

What’s the main mission of the Church?  Many would say it’s to love others. Jesus does a tag line to that concept as he says, “…as I have loved you.” Jesus describes that one way to love well is to enter the world of other people. To become incarnate to them – ‘God with skin on’.  And one of the basic yet undervalued ways to become God with skin on is to be present with others and to simply listen. Yet listening is a lost art but one of the best ways to show our love towards others. And the more we are in tune with our own emotional health the better we can love God and love others by listening to them. Loving the world starts with us loving each other in our local church. As we practice love we set the stage for God’s Spirit to move in some mighty ways.

Scripture: Philippians 2:1-11; John 13:34-35

Embrace Grieving and Loss

Most people associate grieving and loss with the death of a loved one or a traumatic catastrophic happening. Yet we all experience loss in so many ways: loss of a spouse or friend, loss of a job, career or retirement, the loss of your marriage, the loss of a miscarriage or abortion. Or maybe it’s the impact of a one night stand, your home is sold, your friend got married, etc. But, we cannot be spiritually mature followers of Jesus if we have not embraced grieving and loss.

God created us for shalom – a peace that transforms situations and brings our lives in alignment with God’s desire and design for us. The garden of Eden was a place that was a healthy place for growth and life filled with joy and delight. Yet, as humans we messed that all up and so from the beginning of humanity there was grieving and loss. Unfortunately, the Church usually does a poor job leaning into the emotions that are associated with grieving and loss. This sermon affirms the Biblical need for grieving and supplies some practical advise on how to grieve in a healthy way.

Click here for Tips to Embrace Grieving and Loss.

Scripture: Genesis 2; John 11:35

The Gift of Limits

In order to become a more mature Christian we need to be emotionally mature and healthy. This week we discuss embracing healthy limits in our lives, implementing limits where they are needed and prayerfully discerning what limitations we need to break through.

Scripture: Mark 1:29-39

Living in Brokenness and Vulnerability

Brokenness and vulnerability are two traits that are not only part of being an emotionally healthy person, but also to following Jesus. While our culture may say that resumes of success matter most, the resumes of Scripture tell a much different story. Some of the most influential leaders–like David, Moses, and Paul have had their fair share of failures and brokenness. Listen as Pastor Rachel explores how Paul saw his weaknesses as opportunities to rely on God’s strength and power, and how that invitation is available to each of us today–even in the midst of our thorns and setbacks.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

 

Break the Power of the Past

Good or bad, painful or joyful, we all have a past of some sort. It’s a common thought and pretty true that ‘we all bring our own baggage into a relationship and even into church’. Rather than use the word ‘baggage’ I prefer to use the word ‘story’ or ‘history’. It feels a little safer to say I have a story, or I have a history vs I have baggage. In order to break the power of the past, it will be helpful to identify it. While it’s easy to leave painful experiences in the past and buried deeply, it’s also very dangerous in our relationships and places of work.

Click here for the handout mentioned in the Sermon.

Free genogram resources:

Scripture: Exodus 20:5-62 Samuel; Genesis 12-50; 2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Looking Beneath the Surface

Emotions are like an iceberg: we only see 10% of them, yet it’s the 90% that drives us relationally and causes us to respond in ways that surprise everyone. This sermon gives 4 tips on how to dive under to see and begin to take a look at the 90% of your emotions that are causing you to be who you are.

Most people don’t want to “Look Beneath the Surface” because they know of a situation in their life that is painful or shameful. As we look beneath the surface, it’s important to remember, “The gospel says you are more sinful and flawed than you dared believe, yet you are more accepted and loved than you ever dared hope because Jesus lived and died in your place.”

Has anything ever happened when you’ve responded in a way that was overboard? That you’re not sure why you responded in such a way, but realized something was triggered in you. It’s an indicator for you to slow down and spend time thinking and praying as to, ‘Why did this just happen’? To be emotionally healthy requires hard work, but it also requires you have a trusted friend with you who can share in the journey as to why you responded in such a way. While this may be painful and scary, it’s critical to remember that, as John 8:32 says, “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” 

Scripture: John 8:32; Proverbs 4:23

Emotionally Healthy Church

For far too long the Church has separated spiritual maturity from emotional health. We have a tendency to ignore our pain, deny our anger, numb our depression and anxiety, avoid conflict and live in fear of raising questions and doubt. Yet, as Peter Scazzero says, “Emotional health and spiritual maturity are inseparable. It is not possible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” In fact, when we look at the life of Jesus, we see what a perfect fully human emotional life looks like.

This sermon is not only the introduction for this fall 2017 series based off of Peter Scazzero’s Emotionally Healthy Church book, it’s really an invitation for you and our church to begin to invite God into our emotions. To open up our whole selves (not just the “spiritual” aspects) so that He can redeem it all.

Scripture: Mark 14:32-36

Click here to download the Inventory of Emotional/Spiritual Maturity.