Aaron Summers

Posts Tagged ‘stress’

5 Steps to Fighting Giants

In Gospel Living on July 20, 2017 at 7:04 am

david_v_goliath

His name was Anthony and we were in the fifth grade.  He had already hit his stride in the growth spurt and was already a little older than the rest of us.  Looking back, I know what was happening, but was completely unaware at the time.  All I knew was that he picked on everyone.  He would slap them.  He would hit them.  He would talk smack.  On one particular day, he focused his attention on the smallest boy in the class.  Incensed, I stepped in and let the victim roll out.  I caught him at an awkward moment and jumped on top.  Somehow we ended up under a table.  I raised my hand and hit the table.  This caused just enough pause that the teacher came in.  Needless to say, the office was the next stop. Anthony didn’t mess with us anymore that year.  The giant had been taken down.

David walked up on the army of Israel when Goliath stepped up and shouted.  This was not just a shout against the armies of Israel, but were shouts against the integrity, power, and majesty of God.  He was calling into question the nature of God and the covenant!  David couldn’t stand it and stepped in to do something.  As you might guess, this is the sling and 5 stones story.  David fought the giant and won.

What major issues are you facing right now?  They loom large, weigh heavy, and cause stress, anxiety, or despair.  Maybe it’s a boss who taunts you.  Maybe it’s a spouse, child, or family member that has disappointed or betrayed you.  Maybe you’re dealing with health issues with your parents, or a child is sick.  Financial limitations stress us out and break marriages.

How do we deal with these problems?  Like the Israelites, we feel hopeless to do anything.  We feel that God’s promises are only true for others.  David, though, believed in the covenant.  He trusted in God’s Word.  He made a choice to fight the giant.  Here are 5 steps to victory:

  1. Consider the situation. David got to a point, quickly, that something must be done.  Until you are truly fed up and ready to act you will lose.  You will be trembling in the trenches like David’s brothers.  But, when you get to the point that you are tired of hearing God’s promises taunted, then you will be ready for victory.  The first thing you must do is consider the situation worthy of the fight.  If it is not worth changing then you need to stop letting it control you.  If it is worth changing keep reading.
  2. Have the courage to step out. David wondered, “Why not me? Why not now?”  Are you there?  Once we decide the problem is worth the fight courage is the next step.  Stop waiting for someone, anyone, to handle YOUR problems.  God has allowed them into your space.  Will you trust?  Will you jump off the ledge of fear and grab onto the courage God’s Spirit has planted within you?  Why not you?  Why can’t you be the change you want to see happen?
  3. Count the cost. David felt that the mocking of God was so critically bad that he was willing to die if need be.  He evaluated the situation.  He stepped up to Saul and pronounced he would handle the problem – HIM.  He was the youngest.  He was the smallest.  BUT, he was willing to die for what he believed.  Are you ready to lose if you must?  What if you lose your job?  Do you trust God?  What if you lose your kids or your spouse?  Do you trust God?  What if you DO lose your life which is very possible in parts of our world today?  Do you trust God?  Count this cost.  If you are not willing to pay the price, stop reading now.  If you are ready, keep reading.
  4. Confidence to speak up in prayer. David engaged in this fight in the name of the Lord, for God’s glory.  Read that again.  He was doing this for God’s glory not his own.  He did receive quite a bit, but only because that was not his aim.  If you want the glory just stop.  You may win but it will be very hollow.  Possibly, you will only trade one issue for another.  Self-made confidence is far weaker than spirit-filled confidence.  David had experience and education, but his real strength was in the relationship he had with God.  Go in that confidence.
  5. Cast your stone for victory. David only used one of the five stones he picked up. I don’t know why he picked five, but he did.  What I notice is that it only took one.  God will use your gifts and talents matched with our courage and pure confidence in God to give you victory.  David achieved this victory immediately.  Those in Hebrews 11 did not all see what they fought for come to conquest, but it did.

God demands his glory.  We are put in situations where that can happen if we have the courage and confidence to fight for the conquest.  As was once shouted, “A sword for the Lord and for Gideon!”

GO.

FIGHT.

WIN.

 

Neuropathy Treatments

In Church, Cleansing on May 9, 2013 at 11:16 pm

neuropathy

Neuropathy comes in many forms.  I recently studied about this problem because of a family member.  A basic understanding is that a set of nerves is not communicating properly.  This can lead to loss of feeling, loss of limbs, extreme pain, and possibly more.  In one case, the patient was experiencing severe abdominal pain.  After much testing and prognosticating, the doctors decided that it was a result of intestinal neuropathy being exacerbated by abdominal migraines.  This issue in this case was that the pain being felt was exaggerated by the nerve pack and telling the brain a higher pain amount than what was likely the reality.  Pain was real and being felt, however the communication was exaggerated.  The severity of the pain was causing normal life to come to a grinding halt, coping mechanisms to falter, and appetite to lessen.  Once this was discovered medicine was prescribed and would take a couple of weeks before taking effect.

I have served in the local church for almost 20 years.  I grew up in church as a deacon’s kid and then pastor’s kid.  I have seen my share of pain and dysfunction along the way.  This research has shown me a few insights into local church life worthy of sharing with you today.  I pray that you will read these and begin making changes in your life and your church.  One of things that we all ask is how something comes to be.  What triggers neuropathy, pain, attendance drops, or church splits?

1.  Poor Nutrition.  It is not too difficult to understand that what you ingest into your system makes all the difference.  A healthy diet creates a healthy person.  A steady diet of junk food, fatty foods, etc will cause many and severe problems.  This works spiritually as well.  A healthy diet of scripture creates a healthy spiritual life.  You will be able to withstand viruses and sicknesses more readily.  A church that lacks solid Bible teaching from the pulpit will become weak and lifeless.

2.  Trauma.  Sometimes a body can face a trauma that triggers this problem as well.  Carpal Tunnel is generally acquired in those who have repetitive motion.  Someone who does the same thing over and over can cause nerve damage.  How true that is in our spiritual lives!  There are good habits (reading scripture) and bad habits (gossip, lying, cheating stealing, cussing) can cause trauma to tissue and nerve endings.  Those bad habits can cause damage which, in turn, creates great pain.  A church can face trauma of a bad departure of a minister or factions divided over personal preference issues.  A person facing unrequited love, or death, or wreck, can be traumatic and trigger the pain center.  Coping mechanisms can help ease the stress and anxiety.  Lowering these has shown to ease the pain.

3.  Tumors.  As a tumor grows it will lay against a nerve and create damage.  What is there in your life that is creating damage?  Why leave it in?  Is the presence of this tumor more important than the damage it is causing.  Churches have tumors too.  At times it might be programs or ministries that lay on the budget or burn human resource.  The tumor might be a person or group of people.  Is losing them hurt more or less than the damage they are causing by their presence?  Soon the pain will explode and become uncontrollable.  In the end, there is permanent damage which could have been avoided.  Removal of the tumor is an obvious fix.  The potential damage by removal is less than if it remains.

Spiritual Neuropathy should not be minimized.  We tend to deny.  We like to disregard.  However, aggressive treatment is required to avoid irreparable damage.

 

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