Friday, May 29, 2009

from The Worry Cure

I'm reading The Worry Cure by Robert Leahy, which my cousin sent to me. It has seven great rules to teach us how to worry. I knew you wouldn't want to miss it, and since I had the time to type them up, I'm passing them on.

1. If something bad could happen--if you can simply imagine it--then it's your responsibility to worry about it.
2. Don't accept any uncertainty--you need to know for sure.
3. Treat all of your negative thoughts as if they are really true.
4. Anything bad that could happen is a reflection of who you are as a person.
5. Failure is unacceptable.
6. Get rid of any negative feelings immediately.
7. Treat everything like an emergency.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bad boys

Have you ever found yourself in a situation at church with someone that you don't really care for? Has someone in ministry with you ever irritated you, or perhaps even troubled your spirit? Consider this: eleven men who were chosen to follow Christ closely were in very close fellowship with Judas. Judas, the original bad boy of church. Judas was put in charge of the disciples' treasury, so he had a leadership position. And Jesus never gave them a hint (that we know of) until the Last Supper that this person was less than 100%. Judas was one of the boys.

I wonder what the other disciples thought? Did they have a bad feeling in their gut about him? What about when Jesus sent them out two by two, and one of the disciples went out preaching and casting out demons with...Judas? What was Jesus doing, making them be in fellowship with a scoundrel, an unrepentant soul?

Frankly, I don't have an easy answer for that question. But I do know that the anti-Christ, and many lesser anti-Christs, will arise from the church body. There are carnal Christians in the church, and people who do good things but whom Christ will command, "Depart from me, I never knew you." There are goats, and even wolves in sheep's clothing. The Bible goes on and on about the faults of the people in the church, this fellowship of people that we are commanded in Hebrews not to abandon.

I know two things. The first is that we are commanded to love the "brethren," those people who wear the label "Christian." Without the ability to peer into the depths of their heart, we are commanded to love each other, to take each other's burdens. This love is a witness to the world of who God is, and it is training grounds for loving the world. The other thing I noticed is that the church is not a sanctuary to us. The only place we can truly hide and find solace is in the presence of God. People always let us down, and Jesus did not trust himself to them. We have a tendency to want to be comfortable, to want to be protected, and good friendships and good fellowship can give us a taste of this. But we need to love the unlovely and run into dark places with the light of God. Let Him be your hiding place; let your church, even your church, be a place of ministry.