“What’s on your mind?”
“What are you thinking about?”
Maybe you’ve been asked that before. Usually, it’s because we’re staring into space, obviously preoccupied with a thought.
And that’s a good question for today. “What’s on your mind?” Let’s see, Ukraine, Tigray, police officers killed in the line of duty, children going to bed hungry, homeless youth fending for themselves, inflation, to mask or not to mask, poverty, racial equity, a sick loved one, your own health, finances, addiction, pending divorce…the list is long, isn’t it?
It seems that our minds are always in drive, or in overdrive! I saw a statistic that blew my mind – 82% of us are living with some sort of stress, anxiety, and fear. 82%! So the doctor being interviewed gave some tips for relieving stress, and some of them sounded very familiar to me. So, let’s see what the professionals say and what God says…
1. Keep a “worry” journal
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
2. Make a list of actionable things you can do
to get worry out of your head
Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.
Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.
1 Corinthians 9:25
On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.
1 Peter 4:10
6. Connect to an “awe practice”
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.
Well now, one could say that we’ve had all that we need all along. It was right up under our nose…Scripture! But as the saying goes: what you don’t know, you don’t know. If you don’t know that the Bible addresses all of the things that we stress out about, then you would never pick it up. But as the disciple Peter said to Jesus, “You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
Wow! We have in our hands (or on our phones) the words of life! Whatever is going on in your life, there’s a Word from God for that. So I’ll ask it again, “What’s on your mind?” We want to practice what I call mindFULL meditation, a mind that is FULL of the Word of God, FULL of the Holy Spirit’s guidance, FULL of the love of God. I bet your stress level is coming down already! Let me leave you with the ultimate stress buster:
Be still, and know that I am God!
Join me this Sunday as we continue in our Lenten sermon series: Be Still: MindFULL Meditation. Join us in-house at 10:00am, or you can also join us online. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
And don’t forget our Lenten practices…
Wesley Fast – fast from food once a week (if you are physically able), from sundown Thursday until 3:00 pm Friday. This was John Wesley’s way of fasting. But you can do it with non-food things as well (tv, social media, etc.). The point is to challenge yourself by giving up something as a sacrifice to the Lord. You can find more info & daily prayers on this site: https://www.methodistprayer.org/wesleyfast#:~:text=The%20Wesley%20Fast.%20What%20is%20fasting%3F%20In%20a,spiritual%20discipline.%20Most%20Christians%20accompany%20fasting%20with%20prayer.
Take 13 is back! Read the Bible for at least 13 minutes a day.
Churchwide Prayer Line – Thursdays at 6:00pm (the beginning of our fasting). There will be a different focus each week (seniors, grief, families with children, etc.) Call in: (727) 731-7163. No passcode needed!
Be Still: A Simple Guide to Quiet Times Online Course – Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Ways to help you encounter the Holy One by being still. No link is needed. Just go to:
Click on “Join a meeting”
Enter the meeting ID: 992 0514 1347
Enter the passcode: 980557
Other things to consider:
Pray and meditate daily
Sacrificial service, experience the joy of serving God with others
Sacrificial giving, give a little above your regular tithes and offerings
Remember, the what you do for Lent is not as important as the why you are doing it. Consider ways that will help you to draw closer to the Lord and commit to doing it for the 40 days of Lent.
Breakthrough Prayer Gathering for those who want to be part of the move of God through prayer! We’ll gather for a time of worship, visioning, and of course prayer on Saturday, April 30, 10-12:30p. Lunch will be provided. Be on the lookout for a registration email soon. Prayer changes things, church. And I’m a firm believer that the church that prays together, stays together! So let’s do this – together!
Board Meetings are on the fourth Monday of each month, 6:30pm in the multipurpose room. All members are invited to attend.
Organ Blues As I announced on last Sunday, the church organ has died. I heard from several members, giving their thoughts on whether or not to replace the organ. If you would like to weigh in, please send an email to me: firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call the church office: 314-469-6740. The board really wants to gauge the pulse of the congregation before making any decisions on purchasing and funding.
Well, we’re one week into the journey through Lent, and I pray that you’re experiencing the Presence of God like never before! May God bless you and your family. See you in worship (masks optional).