Preaching From the Shadows: The journey begins

Preaching From the Shadows.

Today, I’ve decided to break my blogging silence with the four words that I have been working on. These four words articulate a journey and a battle; a seemingly cyclical season I face, yet a place God continues to meet me. These four words are both the subject and substance from which I write book #3. In fact, these four words are the title of that book:

“Preaching From the Shadows.”

So let me introduce myself all over. My name is David. And over the past couple decades I’ve been preaching from the shadows. 

I’m a who gets visited by emotional darkness. I am a pastor who deals with bouts /season of depression.  

I type this through my tears because my heart is not to build up a pedestal, or boast about an achievement I’ve accomplished. I’m sharing my personal story to debunk the idea that depression attacks a select group of people or a type of individual. 

I’m here to break the stigma of what depression is and how it has been misunderstood and, too often, been generalized and treated like the common cold of our emotions. 

I’m here to remove labels that have been unjustly placed upon those of us who would love to simple “just cheer up” and not “feel so sad” the way we’re constantly told.  

I’m here to combat the ignorant spiritual assumptions and accusations that many have made (and continue to make to me personally) that has caused many of us to feel “less than” as a follower of Jesus. 

I’m here to both encourage others to are facing the struggle while enlightening others who desire to understand what their loved one or friend deals with.

Have you visited dark, hopeless seasons of life where you’ve…?
…wondered why the people around you can see the sun but all you feel is darkness?
…been surrounded by a crowd only to feel like the loneliness person on earth?
…sat in a place where you are convinced if your friends knew what you were dealing with, you’re convinced you’d lose them all because they’d think you’re crazy?
…imagined harming your body or destroying your life?
…feel like “less than” because you take meds?
…convinced yourself that you’re so broken that God has give up on you?

Me too.

I’ve been confronted that this is all about a “lack of faith.” I’ve been told to stop “giving the darkness power” by admitting or verbalizing my difficult seasons. I’ve been told by fellow pastors that all depression stems from broken or sinful places.

But let me articulate something: Darkness does not discriminate. It does not concern itself with your skin color or background. It doesn’t care about the level of your education or the depth of your spirituality. The pedigree you possess is the least of its concerns. Your resume doesn’t deter it nor distract it from its goal. 

The darkness wants to claim the soul of who you are. Its hunger for you is insatiable. 

And with breath in my lungs and a voice within my throat, I won’t sit idly by and allow that. 

I don’t write as one who is specialized in the medical or psychological field, but as one who fights a personal battle while refusing to let others stand alone in theirs. Comparatively, my depression may be considerably lower than others, and happens perhaps, less frequent as yours. I will not compare my pain to yours but would implore you from the beginning of this post and the beginning of my book journey:

You are not alone.
You have hope.
You can get help.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 ESV

For every pastor who preaches from the shadows…
For every person who journeys through the shadowy valley…

…we have a light.

…we have a hope.

And his name is Jesus.

Welcome to a new journey with me. Welcome to a place of hope.

I have tasted the darkness, but I have seen a great Light. I preach from the shadows, and hope is proclaimed.

“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.” Isaiah 9:2

 

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Yadda Yadda Yadda” #OffScript

A screenwriter can spend months, or even years, perfecting a script. However, sometimes, the most iconic lines uttered on the silver screen aren’t the result of a writer at the top of his or her game, but rather an actor offering up some creative ad-libbing. Some of the most iconic moments in movie history were “off script.”

For example:
“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.” – Avengers Infinity War
“Here’s Johnny” – The Shining
“Here’s looking at you, kid” – Casablanca
The Joker’s slow clap – The Dark Knight
“I’m king of the world.” – Titanic
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Jaws

“Off script” seems to be a very apt way to describe what often happens to all of us. Something transpires in our lives that strays away from our intended plan(s). But that’s most of real life happens. It’s “off script”; completely unexpected and unplanned. This June, join us as we head into a story that is everything but “expected” by the people involved. The book of Ruth is canvas to view a beautiful picture of God’s love engaging in our “off scripted” lives.

Check out the service from the website or from the Facebook livestream. 

Other thoughts from the Youversion notes from Sunday:

  • In Christ, my painful path is never a dead end.
  • Be careful of whose criticism you allow into your life.
  • No matter how many “nameless” people have spoken death over your destiny, there is always One voice that will always be faithful to speak hope.
  • God uses our obedience to bring about His redemption purposes.
  • We must understand how to first allow the scriptures to be a scalpel to our own hearts BEFORE we turn them as a sword against others.

Purchase the Scripture Journal of Ruth HERE

Love you all. Have a great week.

BTW: Here’s a great song for the week…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Threshing Floor Miracles” #OffScript

A screenwriter can spend months, or even years, perfecting a script. However, sometimes, the most iconic lines uttered on the silver screen aren’t the result of a writer at the top of his or her game, but rather an actor offering up some creative ad-libbing. Some of the most iconic moments in movie history were “off script.”

For example:
“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.” – Avengers Infinity War
“Here’s Johnny” – The Shining
“Here’s looking at you, kid” – Casablanca
The Joker’s slow clap – The Dark Knight
“I’m king of the world.” – Titanic
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Jaws

“Off script” seems to be a very apt way to describe what often happens to all of us. Something transpires in our lives that strays away from our intended plan(s). But that’s most of real life happens. It’s “off script”; completely unexpected and unplanned. This June, join us as we head into a story that is everything but “expected” by the people involved. The book of Ruth is canvas to view a beautiful picture of God’s love engaging in our “off scripted” lives.

Check out the service from the website or from the Facebook livestream. 

Other thoughts from the Youversion notes from Sunday:

  • Some of us think we are the main actor in our story. Jesus is the main character; I am an “extra.”
  • God has a plan to redeem every painful thing you’ve gone through.
  • If we can remember what we were like before Christ, we’d have compassion for where people are without Jesus.
  • Jesus came to redeem culture, not to reject it.

Purchase the Scripture Journal of Ruth HERE

Love you all. Have a great week.

BTW: Here’s a great song for the week…

 

 

 

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “I’ll Know It When I See It” #OffScript

A screenwriter can spend months, or even years, perfecting a script. However, sometimes, the most iconic lines uttered on the silver screen aren’t the result of a writer at the top of his or her game, but rather an actor offering up some creative ad-libbing. Some of the most iconic moments in movie history were “off script.”

For example:
“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.” – Avengers Infinity War
“Here’s Johnny” – The Shining
“Here’s looking at you, kid” – Casablanca
The Joker’s slow clap – The Dark Knight
“I’m king of the world.” – Titanic
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Jaws

“Off script” seems to be a very apt way to describe what often happens to all of us. Something transpires in our lives that strays away from our intended plan(s). But that’s most of real life happens. It’s “off script”; completely unexpected and unplanned. This June, join us as we head into a story that is everything but “expected” by the people involved. The book of Ruth is canvas to view a beautiful picture of God’s love engaging in our “off scripted” lives.

Check out the service from the website or from the Facebook livestream. 

Other thoughts from the Youversion notes from Sunday:

  • Christ-like love knows no limits, takes costly risks, and looks for ways to give more.
  • God‘s kindness moves us from emptiness to abundance.
  • Compassion reorients our soul. It shifts our heart from focusing in to focusing out.
  • Too often the New Testament Church treats the presence of God with an Old Testament mentality.
    • God’s presence doesn’t stay in a building, it goes with us.

Purchase the Scripture Journal of Ruth HERE

Love you all. Have a great week.

BTW: Here’s a great song for the week…

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Incapable of Insignificance” #OffScript

A screenwriter can spend months, or even years, perfecting a script. However, sometimes, the most iconic lines uttered on the silver screen aren’t the result of a writer at the top of his or her game, but rather an actor offering up some creative ad-libbing. Some of the most iconic moments in movie history were “off script.”

For example:
“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.” – Avengers Infinity War
“Here’s Johnny” – The Shining
“Here’s looking at you, kid” – Casablanca
The Joker’s slow clap – The Dark Knight
“I’m king of the world.” – Titanic
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Jaws

“Off script” seems to be a very apt way to describe what often happens to all of us. Something transpires in our lives that strays away from our intended plan(s). But that’s most of real life happens. It’s “off script”; completely unexpected and unplanned. This June, join us as we head into a story that is everything but “expected” by the people involved. The book of Ruth is canvas to view a beautiful picture of God’s love engaging in our “off scripted” lives.

Check out the service from the website or from the Facebook livestream. 

Other thoughts from the Youversion notes from Sunday:

  • A life free from pain is not promised by God.
  • We can remain confident that whatever happens, we always have a God-given mission and a part of big things that God is doing in the world.
  • God takes what makes you feel marginal and uses it to create something meaningful.
  • Our desire to see God’s plan must be dressed in discipline.
  • We move from insignificance to significance by believing God’s voice over all the others.
  • “I may be in the SAME place, but I have a NEW story.”

Purchase the Scripture Journal of Ruth HERE

Love you all. Have a great week.

BTW: Here’s a great song for the week…

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “The Theater of My Mind” #OffScript

A screenwriter can spend months, or even years, perfecting a script. However, sometimes, the most iconic lines uttered on the silver screen aren’t the result of a writer at the top of his or her game, but rather an actor offering up some creative ad-libbing. Some of the most iconic moments in movie history were “off script.”

For example:
“Mr. Stark, I don’t feel so good.” – Avengers Infinity War
“Here’s Johnny” – The Shining
“Here’s looking at you, kid” – Casablanca
The Joker’s slow clap – The Dark Knight
“I’m king of the world.” – Titanic
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” Jaws

“Off script” seems to be a very apt way to describe what often happens to all of us. Something transpires in our lives that strays away from our intended plan(s). But that’s most of real life happens. It’s “off script”; completely unexpected and unplanned. This June, join us as we head into a story that is everything but “expected” by the people involved. The book of Ruth is canvas to view a beautiful picture of God’s love engaging in our “off scripted” lives.

Check out the service from the website or from the Facebook livestream. 

Other thoughts from the Youversion notes from Sunday:

  • “Because women are co-equal revealers of God within creation, if we fail to pay close attention to their stories and experiences, we’ll fail to capture God’s essence in full.” – Bruxy Cavey
  • Pain does not discriminate. Pain does not wait for an invitation.
  • How things are “going” should not determine how you are “doing.”
  • When my expectations do not match the scene in my life, there is a tendency to think that God is absent my story. God is working behind the scenes. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
  • Write the “lines” (reactions and responses) of your life based off the ending you see in faith based upon who God is and how He works.
  • Every pain can become a place to discover the masterpiece that God has in mind to make of us all.

Purchase the Scripture Journal of Ruth HERE

Love you all. Have a great week.

BTW: Here’s a great song for the week…

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: Guest John Opalewski #dANGERseries

Have you ever noticed a sign on a restaurant or store that isn’t working properly? Sometimes the whole sign is out. Most of the time, it’s only a letter or two that is missing causing the sign to read completely different than what the owners intend. And that’s what I see with the word “danger.” But it is the letter “d” that keeps flickering in and out of sight. So in essence, What reads “anger” on the surface, only reveals the “danger” in the warning trying to be conveyed. God created all of our emotions, including anger. However, there are appropriate and inappropriate ways to express anger. We must learn to deal with anger in a healthy way so that it won’t control us and be a DANGER to us and the relationships in our lives. Unchecked anger doesn’t produce anything good or change anything for good. It only creates opportunity for evil to rule over us. Join us as we enter into a series where we want to understand this emotional experience so that the Holy Spirit can teach us how to express our anger appropriately. Because without His help, there is always a DANGER to our ANGER.

Check out the service from the website or from the Facebook livestream. 

Other thoughts from the Youversion notes from Sunday:

  • If we don’t tell anger where to go, it will take us to places we don’t want go.
  • 4 Fundamentals:
    • Anger is part of the human experience.
    • Anger is the right response sometimes.
    • Anger often calls attention to root issues we need to address.
    • Unmanaged and unprocessed anger is a key contributor to major depression.
  • “To refuse to forgive is to choose to self-destruct. In the shadow of my hurt, forgiveness feels like a decision to reward my enemy. In the shadow of the cross, it’s merely a gift from one undeserving soul to another.” Andy Stanley

Love you all. Have a great week.

BTW: Here’s a great song for the week…