Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday night mind purge

- Monday was a pretty nice and chill day. I did some office work and finished up my message for the Mix on Thursday night.

- Tuesday was a GREAT day! Pastor Walter had all the staff over to his home for lunch and for our weekly staff meeting. In case you didn't know, Walter is an INCREDIBLE cook. He treated us to some Austrian delights then we had a great meeting afterwards.

- As if that great staff meeting wasn't enough - IT SNOWED ON TUESDAY!!! It wasn't enough to collect and it was just for about an hour, but it snowed. Oh man that was great! I hope it snows lots more this season ...maybe even on Christ-mas! I'm keeping my fingers crossed =)

- Wednesday was kind of cool too. I had lunch with a friend of mine who I hadn't seen in nearly 2 months I think, and we had our last Leadership Team GrowGroup for the semester. Well ...ever really, since I'll be transitioning into my new responsibilities next month.

- On Thursday morning I met with my accountability partner, then rushed over to the Westside to have lunch with Buck from Healing Place Church's El Paso campus. I learned SO much from that guy was totally worth the drive all the way over to the Westside.

- Thursday night I preached at the Mix, and it was ...not good. I know God will do with His Word what He will, but the whole night just felt so off. I was not confident about my message, the crowd seemed extra rowdy, and I just felt really bad about it. I think that I felt that way first because I didn't have anybody pray for me before we began and second, because it was the last gathering of the year for us. All I know is I left really discouraged and depressed.

- Friday morning was rough. I was depressed Thursday night and I thought I'd feel better after a good night's sleep - but I didn't. I can't remember the last time I felt as depressed as I did when I woke up on Friday. I stayed in bed for about an hour, just wanting to never get out and never face the world again.

Of course I knew that wasn't a Godly attitude, so I prayed for awhile then I finally made myself get out of bed, do my stretches, then go for a nice long run, listening to worship music as I ran. That helped me get out of my funk, and I just kept praying all day and seeking God and by the evening, God had finally brought me out of my depression.

- I slept in on Saturday, went running, then cleaned up and went to my rental property in the Northeast to trim the lawn. It was REALLY windy on Saturday. I love working on the yard when it's windy because there's no cleanup ...the wind just picks up the grass and carries it away. Where does it go? I don't know and I really don't care because I didn't have to clean it up! =)

- This morning was our weekly church gathering. Craig and the worship team were awesome and Walter really brought it with his message "Hope for the Grieving." Here are some things that really stuck out to me from his message:
*Christ-mas tends to bring out two intense emotions: joy or sorrow. Christ-mas tends to emphasize sorrow.
*God is with me in my sorrow (Psalm 34:18)
*God is aware of my sorrow (Job 13:27)
*God cares about my sorrow (Nahum 1:7)
- Your pain matters to God!
* God wants to help me in my sorrow (Hebrews 14:16)
*The Bible doesn't say to pretend it doesn't hurt, and God doesn't expect you to always smile.
*Release it (grief) or it will eventually explode out anyway.
*Faith is not pretending everything's ok. It's facing the facts without getting discouraged.
1) Accept what can't be changed
2) Focus on what's left, not what's on lost
4. Rely on God's resources to comfort me
* Grieve in community.
* Paul doesn't say (in Romans 12:15) to give good advice or fix their problems; he says "go mourn with them."
* If you're in pain, you're not alone in your hurt. It's not unique, so open up and share with people who've already been where you are.
* If you're not in pain, you have an obligation to help others through the pain you've already been through.
* Time doesn't heal all wounds - only the Holy Spirit can do that.

- Today I found out that a dear friend of mine is in the hospital, most likely on her deathbed ...and her husband doesn't want visitors. That's hard because on the one hand, I think that he'd actually appreciate a visit but on the other hand, I want to respect his wishes.

So I won't be going to visit her ...but it's so sad that someone so faithful to God, someone who has still served faithfully even as cancer has attacked her several different times, will probably not be with us in 2009. Pray for Irene Tijerina, her husband Gilbert, and her daughter Kasey.

- Another lady I knew suddenly passed away this week - LuLu Cuellar. Pray for her husband Luis.

- There's a lot of grief in the world right now. Thank God that even in death, we have hope and we don't have to mourn as if we didn't!

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