dealing with anxiety

“Anxiety is nothing but repeatedly re-experiencing failure in advance. What a waste.” — Seth Godin

Do you ever deal with anxiety? I do. Also, it seems worse now that I am older, which seems counterintuitive to me. To top it off, Scripture tells us not to worry, so that creates even more pressure on me. I know I am not supposed to be anxious, but at times I am. Why?

Well, I am on a journey now, to find the roots of this and to learn how to deal with it. One book I have picked up that looks promising is The Anxious Christian by Rhett Smith in Plano, Texas. Following is a review of the book from Amazon:

“So… Many… Choices… Can’t… Make… The… Wrong… One…What will I do after graduation? Whom should I marry? Where should I look for work? What will my friends think? What if my marriage is falling apart? What if I’m drowning in debt? In our journey of faith there are particular moments that produce a certain amount of anxiety. Often anxiety and/or worry has been looked upon as an “un-Christian” feeling to have. But The Anxious Christian conveys the message that anxiety can actually be helpful in our spiritual formation, and that God can use anxiety as a catalyst to move people forward in their life of faith. In that movement, anxiety’s gift is that it allows us to face our resistance and fears, understand where those fears come from, and then make intentional choices about important issues such as career, marriage, money, and our spiritual lives. It’s time to get unstuck. It is quite common in the Christian life that when someone mentions they are experiencing anxiety, they are often dismissed and devalued by what are often well-intentioned Christian platitudes and Bible quoting. But this dismissal of anxiety often produces shame in the individual, driving their anxiety into hiding where it can do more damage. Let’s re-think our shame in this area by planting the seed that anxiety in our lives can be a catalyst for growth that moves us closer to who God created us to be.”

So, I am on a journey to start dealing with this issue in my life and I hope you don’t mind if I share where I am with you at times.

Also, if you have any thoughts for me, I would appreciate those as well.

In Christ,

“Why Redundant Ministries Can Harm Our Mission” – Kyle Ferguson

Good afternoon. I saw this post on The Gospel Coalition’s site today and it spoke to a concern I have personally about ministries and non-profits. First a quote from the article to set the stage:

“I recently had a similar experience while passing through the exhibition hall at a Christian conference, . . . I passed several displays of ministries attempting to raise financial and spiritual support for nearly identical endeavors: seminaries with similar theological commitments competing for the same students, missions organizations with parallel philosophies promoting similar projects to the same pool of potential participants, campus ministries with comparable mission statements and methodologies contending over the same body of students.

Such redundancy spreads thin the already limited resources available to Christian ministries and splinters members of the body of Christ that could accomplish more for the kingdom of God if they simply worked together. But this redundancy might be avoided if those starting new ministries would simply ask three key questions before they begin.”

Why do we, as Christians, continue to do this? Not only are we too often setting up redundant ministries, we often are actively competing with each other. I see this in the secular non-profit world as well. Somehow, it seems we think our particular twist or approach is somehow better or more “pure” than the others. Additionally, I have seen people not willing to work together because of some difference on esoteric point(s) of doctrine. That often smacks of pride to me or narcissism as pointed out in Pastor Ferguson’s article.

So here are Pastor Ferguson’s three questions that need to be asked:

1. Is this ministry even needed?

2. Is this ministry niche restrictive?

3. Is this ministry narcissistic?

So – are we, as Christians and organizational leaders, more interested in impacting the world for Christ or are we more interested in “doing our own thing”? Finally, Pastor Ferguson’s closing paragraph:

“As many ministry leaders across the globe realize, if they will examine their motives and mission fields, partnerships can abound, redundancies can be reduced, resources can be shared, and the kingdom of God can expand to the ends of the earth.”

I hope you have a blessed week!

“Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion”

I am reading a good book right now by Tim Challies entitled The Next Story, Life and Faith after the Digital Explosion. Tim is talking about how we as Christians should live in this digital age.

So, the question for you this weekend – How can we live in a digital world with virtue and dignity?

Have a great weekend!