Neighborhood Friends Blog

Let’s Stress the Issue!

I recently saw a friend’s post on Facebook asking, “What is causing you the most stress today?”  Okay, stop and think for a second. What is really causing you the most stress today? It was really fun to read everyone’s answer to this question. Some people would respond with one word answers like “work” or “money.” When you think about that for a second, money is a piece of paper saying it has value. Money shouldn’t stress you out. Lack of money might stress you or how to obtain more money might stress you. Yet money itself should not stress you out, unless it is covered in spiders–then it might stress you out. So what is stressing you out? Others posted about how a car breaking down or a presentation they had to do was the main cause for their stress. After reading about thirty different posts, I thought, Hmm maybe we are stressed. Maybe the fact that I wrote the word stress so much already, you are feeling stressed. The one thing that I worry about the most is the thing I cannot control. I think this is why Bronco games take me to the edge of my seat. No matter how much I scream and yell at the TV, I have no actual control over the game. Talk about stress. For me, I worry about things I say–not actually the things I say, but I worry about how people perceive what I say. Being misunderstood because of a lack of correct communication creates most of my stress. If you are married, you know exactly what I mean.

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In the World but not of the World

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth” (John 17:14-19 NKJV).

You’ve heard the phrase, “Believers are in the world but not of the world.” That phrase is actually a paraphrase of what Jesus prayed the night before His crucifixion (John 17). It’s obvious that we are “in” the world, but what does not being “of” the world mean? It means we are not of the world’s philosophy, morality, behavior, or prejudice. We are certainly “in” the world—and that’s a good thing; however, our new nature will not conform to the sinfulness of the world. Think about it: We can’t be salt and light without being “in” the world. But if we are “of” the world, we will no longer be salt and light.

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Creating A Rhythmic Relationship With Jesus

As a pastor, my personal relationship with Jesus is not for the job; it is the job.

Our vocation in life is not our highest priority. As followers of Christ, it is our greatest priority to follow Him and be led by Him.

We are all Christ followers first. Not Pastors. Not plumbers. Not Teachers. Not even parents or spouses. As friends and followers of Jesus, we can never forget that our priority in this life—before pastoring, plumbing, teaching, or being a parent or spouse — we are to be followers of Jesus. This is why it is essential to develop a rhythm to your spiritual life that leads you throughout your day, not simply a few minutes in the morning.  

Seeking Him first in everything can be a reality. He doesn’t want a place in your life, He wants to be the very Person who is preeminent in every place of your life.

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Friendship and Soul Mates: The Art That Gives Life

The gallery of spiritual friendship and soul care in my life is a gallery of hope for me. God has graciously placed many companions in my life to journey with me. I am blessed beyond measure to have such faithful soul friends and companions.

How about your life?

Do you have friendships that speak into your soul?

Do you have friendships that feed you spiritually or just socially?

There is a secret to finding them.

Read on.

Read more: Friendship and Soul Mates: The Art That Gives Life