The week, I had an article in the paper about how we need to love ourselves. Since everybody doesn't get the paper I was going to repost it here. Let me know what you think!
Do you love yourself? It seems like an odd question at first because we live in a time of the selfie, social media influencers, and where our opinions are king. Looking around the culture it appears that all we do is we love ourselves and nobody else. However, looking just past the trends that we see on Face Book, Twitter and Instagram we see some really hard statistics in recent literature that blows our initial impressions away. Looking at the numbers we see that suicide rates for different age groups have gone through the roof. We also can find out that we are the most depressed and anxiety prone generation that has ever existed in the history of the United States. To add insult to injury we are more polarized and social isolated than ever before. Why? I think it is because we really don’t love ourselves.
When he was asked what were the two biggest laws we should follow. Jesus said this in Matthew 22:37-39 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your should, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Why did Jesus tack on the “as yourself”? I think it is because Jesus knows that if we don’t love ourselves, we can’t love other people.
When I talk about loving yourself, I am not talking about the image of your self. I am talking about loving your whole self, warts and all. Do you constantly put yourself down or even worse allow a spouse or partner to do that? Do you give yourself credit for doing things well? Do you ever address your needs or are you always making sure everybody else in your life is taken care of?
God made you and God doesn’t make mistakes. You are a wonderful creation. Jesus reminds us of this fact that we need to love ourselves. God wants us to take care of ourselves; God wants us to know that we matter; and God wants us to empower us to work on those areas of our lives where we struggle. So do you love yourself? If you can’t say “Yes” to this question start thinking about the ways that God is calling you to love yourself. It is only when we truly love ourselves and strive to be a better person that we can begin to fulfill the second command of Jesus to love our neighbors as ourselves.
One of the things I have been preaching over and over again, is what would your perfect/dream day look like. To honest, I forget what book I was reading where it asked me this question. I thought it was a pretty crazy question to ask. I mean shouldn't I be trudging through my day because I had all of this work to do. After thinking about it for a while a light bulb came on in my brain. I can do my work but I can also do the things that are important to me as well. My exercise schedule has been all over the place for the last couple of months, but I imagine for my dream day that I do my exercise in the mornings. Then especially on the weekends and on my days off, I started putting this practice into place and wow I was starting to get regular exercise in. I started to apply this to other stuff that I have always put off until I "had more time". These things started to happen in my life as well. I started to feel like I was getting more things done...more things done that were really important to my spirit. These last couple of months, this practice of trying to have each day become my dream day has really improved my outlook on my life and my faith. Now I don't always get all the things I want to get done and not every day is a dream day but again, I feel more in touch with God; I feel I have more happiness and I actually look for to each day. So what does your dream day or perfect day look like? What can you do to implement that dream day starting today?
Hi all! So as you got to the webpage you might have noticed some new stuff. A lot of the links have been renamed to fit with our mission statement. I made a new logo for the website as well. Let me know what you think about both of them. One of the things that I think people are going to start to do more and more is to look for spiritual stuff online. I know it might seem silly for a small church like us to begin to embrace all this techonlogical stuff but I really feel this is where God is calling us to go. Why not us, right? I moved the youtube links from under my pastor blog to the online church page and also the one year bible page as well. The other new link that you will find under the online church is our Youtube channel whch will have our church services on it.
So what ther resources would be helpful for you as you look at our website? Are you looking for a daily devotional? Are you looking for a bible study? Are you looking for a place to put up your prayers? Let me know and we can build it together. I hope in the days, weeks, and years to come that our website will help more people learn about their faith as well as encourage others to grow in their faith.
As we think about the future, I also want to be crystal clear in that we are not forgetting our past. One of the things we really have to balance is the new/strange with the old/familiar. I think too many churches think that the old stuff has got to go. I don't believe that, I think it is a merging of the two that is important. This is not easy by a long shot, but it is how we need to tread the waters ahead. So don't worry the Gethsemane that has been a part of your faith journey will still walk with you. There will be changes form time to time but the core of who we are will always remain the same.
Pastor Paul. I hope you find these reflections insightful and help you in your faith journey!