Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “It’s not easy being green”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series at Kfirst. Last year, we took 6 weeks to bring a focus on something that far too many people do not understand: our emotions. It’s our emotional state that people can go into one of two extremes. On one hand, people can live completely in the wake of their emotions. They’ll operate not at a state of truth but in the pace of their passion for that day. On the other hand, there are those that completely disregard their emotions as if they were a curse or a weakness. It is as if emotions are something to endure in this life on earth instead of seeing them for which God sees them.

What I see in scripture is that our emotions are, first, a gift from God. They are part of our humanity. Second, if they are a gift, then we have a responsibility to steward (manage) them. This takes emotional discipleship; growing what we have deeper in the knowledge and passion for Christ.

Sunday, we dove into this issue of envy. Both Shakespeare and Mark Twain spoke of being “green with envy” or being “bitten by the green monster.” But it was a Greek poet Sappho in  7 B.C. who wrote about being make “green” by envy. It was of the belief of that day that envy produced infection inside that produced a pale or a “green” complexion on the outside.

Check out the message here:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have in Christ!
  • ENVY: pain caused by the desire for the advantages of others.
  • JEALOUSY: pain caused by the fear of losing our advantages to others.
  • Envy only works when we give it power and permission.
  • When we stop comparing ourselves to other people, we become confident in who God made us to be and focused on what He is doing in our lives.
  • Contentment is not what’s in your hands but what’s in your heart.
  • Live from contentment.
    • Show gratitude.
    • Celebrate the lives of others.
  • Live in the right “shadow.” 
    • Don’t live in the shadow of comparison but the shadow of the cross.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Grief”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series at Kfirst. Last year, we took 6 weeks to bring a focus on something that far too many people do not understand: our emotions. It’s our emotional state that people can go into one of two extremes. On one hand, people can live completely in the wake of their emotions. They’ll operate not at a state of truth but in the pace of their passion for that day. On the other hand, there are those that completely disregard their emotions as if they were a curse or a weakness. It is as if emotions are something to endure in this life on earth instead of seeing them for which God sees them.

What I see in scripture is that our emotions are, first, a gift from God. They are part of our humanity. Second, if they are a gift, then we have a responsibility to steward (manage) them. This takes emotional discipleship; growing what we have deeper in the knowledge and passion for Christ.

Sunday, Pastor Matt Ray brought a great message to our church community on the subject of grief. Not only is this something that every one of us face, but recently, this is something that Pastor Matt has been journeying through personally. Last night, I got a chance to listen to the message on our Kfirst Facebook page and I think you need to check it out.

 

Check out his message here:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Grief is internal, mourning is external.
  • Increase our tolerance for the unknown.
  • Understand closure is a myth.
  • Practice new rituals.
  • Grief is best done in community.
  • Next steps:
    • Find someone to share your grief with.
    • Continued reading: John 11, Ruth, Psalms of Lament
    • Authors: David Kessler, Pauline Boss, Nancy Guthrie
    • Find a Christ-centered Counselor
    • Prayer

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Mistress Validation”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series at Kfirst. Last year, we took 6 weeks to bring a focus on something that far too many people do not understand: our emotions. It’s our emotional state that people can go into one of two extremes. On one hand, people can live completely in the wake of their emotions. They’ll operate not at a state of truth but in the pace of their passion for that day. On the other hand, there are those that completely disregard their emotions as if they were a curse or a weakness. It is as if emotions are something to endure in this life on earth instead of seeing them for which God sees them.

What I see in scripture is that our emotions are, first, a gift from God. They are part of our humanity. Second, if they are a gift, then we have a responsibility to steward (manage) them. This takes emotional discipleship; growing what we have deeper in the knowledge and passion for Christ.

Sunday, we looked at Matthew 6:1-18 and dealt with VALIDATION. There is this emotional response to desire to feed off the approval of others to find our validation. Validation is really about three things:

  • Attention met by being “present” (listening, engaging)
  • Affection need is met both physically and verbally.
  • Affirmation need is met by emotional support.

Jesus received all at His baptism. Matt. 3:17, The Father and the Holy Spirit showed up [attention]“This is My beloved Son [affection] in whom I am well pleased [affirmation]”

Unhealthy, dysfunctional behavior stems from striving to find your validation (attention, affection, and affirmation), not from Jesus, but from others. And instead of living FROM His approval, we live for it from people.

Check out the message here:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • The more I fill myself with God’s truth, the less I need to chase the opinion of others.
  • Start living FROM approval instead of living FOR approval.
  • Your value was never meant to be found in the opinion of others, but the person of Jesus.
  • Christ accepts you where you are at and loves you too much to leave you that way.
  • “The lie of approval is if the “right” people like you, you will feel loved. You won’t. You’ll just feel the long hell of winning their approval again and again.” – Sammy Rhoads

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Bad Blood”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we continued our series at Kfirst. Last year, we took 6 weeks to bring a focus on something that far too many people do not understand: our emotions. It’s our emotional state that people can go into one of two extremes. On one hand, people can live completely in the wake of their emotions. They’ll operate not at a state of truth but in the pace of their passion for that day. On the other hand, there are those that completely disregard their emotions as if they were a curse or a weakness. It is as if emotions are something to endure in this life on earth instead of seeing them for which God sees them.

What I see in scripture is that our emotions are, first, a gift from God. They are part of our humanity. Second, if they are a gift, then we have a responsibility to steward (manage) them. This takes emotional discipleship; growing what we have deeper in the knowledge and passion for Christ.

 

Sunday, we dealt with ANGER. There has been a misunderstanding that anger is, in and of itself, sin. But the the more we understand anger, the more we can realize that anger can be a gift to utilize IF we approach it properly. If we don’t according to Ephesians 4, it can be a place we allow Satan to manipulate and destroy our lives.

I can identify two types of anger:

  • Sanctified (set apart) Anger: Anger experienced and expressed that is consistent with the heart and character of Jesus.
  • Sinful (missing the mark) Anger: Anger driven and/or expressed that is inconsistent with the heart and character of Jesus.

Check out the message here:

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • What makes you angry, is a clue to your life’s mission. What directs your anger, is a clue to how you handle it.
  • Don’t be so reactionary with your anger that your response holds no redemptive value.
  • Just because anger knocks on the door of your heart doesn’t mean you need to let it in.
  • “Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are anger and courage. Anger that things are the way they are. Courage to make them the way they ought to be.” St. Augustine

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Fill in the Blank”

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, we kicked off a new (not so new) series at Kfirst. Last year, we took 6 weeks to bring a focus on something that far too many people do not understand: our emotions. It’s our emotional state that people can go into one of two extremes. On one hand, people can live completely in the wake of their emotions. They’ll operate not at a state of truth but in the pace of their passion for that day. On the other hand, there are those that completely disregard their emotions as if they were a curse or a weakness. It is as if emotions are something to endure in this life on earth instead of seeing them for which God sees them.

What I see in scripture is that our emotions are, first, a gift from God. They are part of our humanity. Second, if they are a gift, then we have a responsibility to steward (manage) them. This takes emotional discipleship; growing what we have deeper in the knowledge and passion for Christ.

 

Sunday, we dealt with SHAME. There is an understanding that God works (or the church should work) with guilt and/or shame. It is in this place where we needed to invite understanding as it gives us a greater view of the heart of God.

  • Guilt: I live in regret of what I’ve done.
  • Shame: I regret who I am.
  • Conviction: Living with a Christ-centered response to what I face.

The God works, not with manifestations of regret, but with a Holy Spirit-driven response. He prompts, directs, shapes, and leads us into a deeper relationship with Him while bringing out a Christ-likeness in us.

Other thoughts from Sunday:

  • Beating yourself up does not lead to bettering yourself.
  • If there is a “blank” in your identity, shame will fill it.
  • The worth you see in others doesn’t mean you are worth less.
  • Shame demands shadows for its survival. Call it out of the darkness.
  • Refuse to weaponize shame. Shame will NEVER lead you (or anyone) closer to God.
  • The shame you refuse to release is the shame you choose to keep carrying.

Love you all. Have an amazing week.

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Give Me Some Space” #CatchingFoxes

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

Today we wrapped up our series with our Kfirst community that focused on how God wants to connect and use our emotions.  (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

Our final message shifted our focus from how we deal with our own emotions to who we can help those in emotional trials.  So often, when we are not comfortable with what others were feeling, we either try to “fix” their feelings or move them out of what they’re feeling. And, often, we wind up damaging or stifling the emotions. Emotions need oxygen to breath so that they can develop. They need to be in position to grow and mature; not suppressed so they never reach their potential.

Our inspiration and instruction came from Matthew 26 when Jesus went into Gethsemane to pray. Matthew 26:38, Jesus says he felt, “very sorrowful, even to death.” In the midst of the most difficult time of his life, Jesus asks his closes companions for some “space.” He needed, not for others to FIX him or SAVE him, but for them to BE with him.  He needed a place with others and with God to process and deal with the flood of feelings he was experiencing.

This is a calling for all of us. We are to help provide others with the space to help them develop what is going on below the surface. And we can provide emotional space in three ways:

  1. Be present in the moment. 
    • You need to pause “Am I really present with this person right now?” The disciples missed their opportunity by focusing on their needs (sleep) and forgetting why they were asked to go deeper into the garden with Jesus.
    • We can do it by:
      • Listening.
      • Walking alongside without judgement and making people feel inadequate because of their emotions.
      • Let go of the need to control what others are feeling and we trust the Holy Spirit to be at work.
  2. Relinquish distractions.
    1. I’ve got to be willing to lay down the things that distract so that the we can dedicate the attention needed.
  3. Release your agenda.
    • You let go of the words you have and the plans for “fixing” others. Plans fade because the space has been filled w/seeing, listening, and being with them.

This week, would you let the Holy Spirit guide you this week to provide “space” for someone? Would you look for an opportunity to give the “space” to someone? It’s a sacred privilege to have someone share their story with you. And if you get the opportunity, allow God to use you, not to speak per se, but to listen and be a healing presence.

Love you all.  Join us this Sunday as we kick off our annual marriage series “From This Day Forward.”

BTW: Here’s a song for your week!

Monday Kfirst Kickstart: “Redemptive Anger” #CatchingFoxes

Today I want to give you a place to start your week. It’s Monday and in the wake of a great weekend and a workweek ahead, sometimes you just need a “kickstart” to get focused.  So grab some coffee let’s start a great week together.

A couple of weeks ago, we kicked off a series with our Kfirst community that focuses on how God wants to connect and use our emotions.  (Click here for yesterday’s notes.)

Our bodies have a physiological reactions to anger and it causes us to “feel” overwhelmed as if we cannot control our anger. But in the face of the physical reactions, we can control our responses. And it can be cone through a redemptive approach to anger.

Yesterday, we did a “flyover” of biblical anger. We did our best to help bring understanding that first, God has anger, and second, we do too. And if we can approach it the way God does, it has potential to change the world around us. From looking at the Old Testament, we can see that God’s anger always had a redemptive purpose for His people. His end-game was to bring about a positive, constructive outcome that would leave His people in a better place. Even in the New Testament, Jesus’ anger was to position the people in the blessing of God and not chase them away from it.

This is how we can approach anger. We don’t run from it; we harness it to have a redemptive outcome to it by being intentionally reasonable.

So we digested Philippians 4:5-9 and helped give a strategic approach to anger.

  1. Redemptive Thinking (v. 6-8)
    • Every thought is a train. And before I board it, I want to know if it’s heading in a direction that I want to be. If we expect a positive direction to your anger, you cannot be constantly fill your mind with the negative. Take command of your thinking.
  2. Redemptive Venting (v. 6)
    • Take all of the stuff driving your anger and turn it into a prayer; funnel it into praise. Let God give you the strength you need and the peace you crave. Let Him give you the meaning you’re after and He’ll help you to deal with the person you’re angry with.
  3. Redemptive Investigation (v. 9)
    • Get a better picture of the story than you currently possess. I love what author Lysa TerKeurst says, “There’s the story, then there’s the story we tell ourselves.” Instead of allowing your anger to “fill in the blanks” of your story, get the right information to make the proper decisions.
  4. Redemptive Response (v. 5, 9)
    • Anger was designed to be a visitor, not a resident.
    • My option #1 – Confront the matter.
      • You can be reasonable in love; give the truth in grace.
      • Your approach will stem from your view of God
    • My option #2 – Overlook the matter
      • Biblical Forbearance: Turning it over to God and refusing to be held captive to the wrong

Look at these four points and ask yourself, “What do I need to work on for me to have a redemptive response through my anger. Ask the Lord for help in not just revealing where you are being challenges but to help you grow through it.

Love you all.  This Sunday, we’ll wrap up “Chasing Foxes.”

BTW: Here’s a song for your week!