9 Ways of Dealing With Anger

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All of us, at some point, deal with situations, people, events, and circumstances which lead us to anger.

Today, you may be angry about the news you received.

You may be grappling with something repulsive you witnessed.

You may be at the end of the rope with your child’s rebellious actions.

You may have had it with a difficult co-worker or your boss.

Maybe your long, dreadfully slow commute drives you crazy.

You may be mad at the devil, sin, or your never-ending struggles.

You may be angry with yourself.

You may be mad at God.

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In Ephesians 4:26-27 we read, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

The dictionary defines anger as “a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.” (dictionary.com)

Anger is a justifiable and necessary emotion – to some extent.  It is perfectly fine for anyone to be angry.  In fact, if there were no anger, some righteous actions would not be possible.  Anger drives good people to action.  However, unchecked anger can be dangerous and destructive.

Anger

  • What or who pushes your buttons?
  • How do you feel about them/it?
  • How do you deal with anger?
  • How can you let go of your anger?
  • What is God saying about your anger issue?
  • What are you going to do about this message?

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God does not want us to remain in our anger.  God discourages us from keeping anger boiling in our hearts.  Here are 9 ways of dealing with anger:

  1. DELAY YOUR RESPONSE. You do not have to respond to every angering email, phone message, or tweet right away.  Give it time.  My uncle used to say, “Sleep over it.”  Often, your feelings ease some the next day.  If you have to respond, respond with finesse and grace.
  2. TALK TO SOMEONE. Talk with someone who is objective and wise. Seek wise advice.  Some people knock some sense into you.  They help you get a different perspective.
  1. WALK AWAY. Sometimes walking away is a sign of maturity.  Take a walk, drive, run!  Cool off.  Think of other things.
  2. EVADE YOUR TRIGGERS. What are the triggers that set you off?  Which buttons, when pressed make you angry?  Identify those triggers, and change environments.  Avoid the areas/situations which caused the anger in the past or which might trigger the anger again.
  3. ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.  Physical activity is therapeutic.  Physical activity lowers emotions.  Physical activity cools you down.  Take up boxing, go for a hike, play football, soccer, baseball.  Sweat the anger out of yourself.
  4. UNDERSTAND. Seek to understand, and then to be understood (Steve Covey). Seek clarity.  Ask if you heard correctly.  At times, you may be angry at someone, yet you did not understand what they had been communicating.  They may be expressing real feelings of which you are unaware.
  5. THINK. Think about the undesirable results of your aggressive behavior. You may say or do something you will regret.  Will you be proud of your rapid response when you reflect on it tomorrow?
  6. PRAY. Pray about the situation first. Pray for the person who angered you.  Prayer brings grace and perspective.
  7. FORGIVE. Move on. Let it go. Some people simply need our forgiveness.  An act of forgiveness reflects our character and maturity.
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Who is Your Friend?

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Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”

I have over 3,000 “friends” on Facebook.  I have hundreds of “followers” on Twitter.  I am wired and e-connected 24/7/365.  Yet, I still feel disconnected from deep intimate friendships and community.

Most of these friendships are superficial.  As human beings, we are created for community.  We function best in community settings. Our Christianity is best lived in community.  We need authentic, deep, meaningful friendships.  To have a friend is to have someone who understands you, without any judgments.

Friend

In one of His most challenging moments on earth, Jesus chose to bring three friends with him to prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.  He brought Peter, James and John.  In this sacred moment of His life, Jesus must have counted on the friends to keep Him company.  He must have relied on His friends to pray for and with Him.  He must have hoped they would stay would practice the ministry of presence – be there for Him. But, you know what they did?  They all fell asleep several times!  Their flesh failed them when their Master needed them the most. Despite their glaring weaknesses, Jesus relied on His friends.  He leaned into community.  He relied on His friends, even when it was not easy to do so (Matthew 26:36-46).

  1. Who is your best friend? Why?
  2. Can you identify three key friends to whom you could reach out to?
  3. Why are these friends important? Are you able to keep connected with these friends? If not, why not?
  4. What do you need to do to take these friendships to a deeper level?
  5. Are there some older friendships that you need to restore?
  6. On whom do you when life gets tough?

7 Ways to become more ethical

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  • When you hear the word “Ethics” what comes to mind?
  • How do you define ethics?
  • Can you think of examples of unethical behaviors you have observed?
  • Can you think of examples of ethical behaviors you have observed?

The dictionary defines ethics as “1. a system of moral principles: the ethics of a culture.

2.the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics; Christian ethics.

  1. moral principles, as of an individual: His ethics forbade betrayal of a confidence.” (dictionary.com)

In the Bible, Proverbs 11:3 states, “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

ethics

  • People who behave ethically are guided by the wise teachings and laws of the Lord.
  • People who behave ethically are cognizant of the value and impact of their testimony.
  • People who behave ethically inspire others to seek higher moral standards.
  • People who behave ethically transform people, their families, and their churches.
  • People who exhibit ethical behavior attract respect, trust, and honor.
  • People who show ethical behavior are people of integrity; they are dependable, and trustworthy.

Ethics

How to become more ethical

  1. Give your heart to Jesus. Do not just pay lip service to Jesus. Imitate Christ. Give your whole being to Him.  He will transform you from the inside out.
  2. Set some principles for yourself. Observe your personal, your company’s code of ethics.
  3. Read the Bible. Let God’s Word lead and guide you.
  4. Practice holiness. Holy people separate themselves from the lures of the world.  Holiness enables us to preach what we do, and do what we preach.
  5. Find a mentor. Have someone to walk alongside you.  Have someone who will challenge you, inspire you, and rebuke you, if necessary.
  6. Join an accountability group. Find likeminded individuals and join them.  Thorough authentic accountability groups, you will find wisdom, warnings, and encouragement for the journey.
  7. Read, learn more about ethics. Many universities and colleges are offering ethics classes.  The verdict is still out, but I think learning more about ethics can move the needle more towards ethical behavior.  The more you know, the more you should act more ethical.

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Chasing My Dream

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“To be called Doctor does not necessarily mean you are the smartest person in the room.  To be called Doctor means you are the most hardworking, persevering person in the room.” (GCU Instructor)

From an early age, I have always had a desire to learn.  From an early age, I have always had a desire to pursue the highest of attainable educational goals.

Along the way life happened.  I shelved my idea of pursuing higher education. I got married and moved to Australia.  A year later, we moved to the USA.  I hoped to attain a BA degree but I faced one wall after another.  I could not afford to pay the foreigner college tuition fees.  The passion for education was dormant within me.  I read voraciously.  I often thought going to college was not achievable for me.

A few years ago, The Salvation Army sent me to Arrow Leadership in Canada.  It was at Arrow Leadership my passion for college was resuscitated.  I enrolled in the BA in Ministry focusing on Leadership and Ethics at Nazarene Bible College.  I simultaneously continued with my Arrow leadership classes. After graduating from NBC, I could not wait to go deeper.  I enrolled in the Master of Science in Leadership program at Grand Canyon University.

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My desire for more education led me to my doctoral journey.  Here are a few life lessons I am learning along the way:

  1. It is never too late to chase your dream. Go for it.
  2. Don’t give up on your dream. Don’t give in. Don’t throw in the towel.
  3. Trust God to see you through it all. He will give you strength.
  4. Expect to work hard. Excellent things do not come easy. Easy things are not excellent.
  5. Education will test your resolve.  Looming deadlines, long papers, unimaginable projects, unending lectures.  You can do it.
  6. Avoid falling behind.  It is hard to catch up. If you do not or are stuck, ask for help.  Don’t be shy.  Don’t be arrogant.  All of us need help at some point.
  7. Submit the work on time.  It’s better to submit unfinished work on time than to be tardy.
  8. Work with your teachers. Give them your best. They will cut you some slack when the day comes when you need their leniency.
  9. Enjoy learning.  Enjoy the ride.  Not many people have the privilege of attending school.  Honor the privilege.
  10. Create a support system. Ask for support from your family, friends and classmates. This support network will encourage and spur you on.

 

The ‘WHY’ Behind Your Church’s Need for Mobile and Online Giving in 2017 (reBlog)

Online giving, mobile giving, and text giving are MAJOR topics in the Church!

But why?

Churches shouldn’t make huge financial decisions just because everyone is hopping on the latest and greatest trends, right?

But, if you dig a little and pay attention to the world of payments and consumer habits, you’ll find information that will serve you well as you think about making the move to digital giving.

We understand that this a major decision, so let’s look at some useful information on the topic of “church giving” in our minds. Sound good? Oh, and be sure to comment below with any questions or feedback.

1. Cash and check are on the decline.

Nearly 80% of Americans carry under $50 cash in their wallet and 9% don’t carry cash at all! The fed shows the number of checks used continues to fall, falling in between 4-6% a year since 2000 (see chart below). In fact, 74% of Americans say they write no more than one check per month and millennials don’t even know what a checkbook is!

Oh, and it is predicted that by 2025, 75% of all transactions will be made without cash. That’s ONLY 9 years away people!

The church issue: 86% of church giving still happens via check yet traditional tithing envelopes don’t work for an entire generation. Churches are one of not-to-many “industries” that still relies on cash and check while many others have moved to digital forms of transacting.

2. Mobile is here to stay.

Ericsson says that by 2020, 90% of the world’s population over 6 years old will have a mobile phone with internet access. Mobile phones are so pervasive that, according to Pew Research, like me, 44% of American adults slept with their phone last night.

Beyond more and more people owning a mobile phone with internet access, mobile payments continue to grow at an incredibly fast pace. It’s was predicted that over 4.8 billion people would be using a mobile phone by the end of 2016 and that 39% of all U.S. mobile users made a mobile payment in 2015. TrendOne reports that mobile based payments are growing over 60% a year and will reach nearly $275 Billion by 2021.

The church issue: Only 7% of churches in the US offer a way to give via a mobile device and only 8.2% of all faith-based fundraising came through online methods in 2016. Churches are falling further and further behind while society goes mobile.

3. People are being trained to pay on their phone.

If these above stats haven’t made you start to seriously considering online and mobile giving for your church, then I don’t know what will.

Apple, Starbucks, Amazon, Uber, Pizza Hut, Acorn, Digit, and many others have begun training churchgoers to use their mobile phones to do everything from buying coffee and TVs to taking a cab, ordering pizza, and managing their personal finances.

If Apple makes it as simple as 1-click to purchase a new movie from iTunes, then it better be as simple for your members to give to their local church.

Your audience is being shown how simple it can be in their everyday lives, and will soon expect the same type of mobile giving experience from the churches they attend.

4. People miss church.

There are lots of reasons people miss church. Kids sick, family vacation, mom is traveling for work, relatives in town, snowed and rained in, ahem … lack of motivation, or any number of other issues cause people to miss church. And when members miss a service, church revenue declines. Am I right?

Here’s the thing though, no matter where your church members are, you can almost bet on the fact that they’ll have their mobile phone in their hand (or pocket). See the “Mobile is here to stay” point above if you don’t believe me.

Take advantage of that and train the to give on the go, anywhere, and at any time.

5. Younger generations are different.

Millennials give more than they get credit for, but they do it differently.

84% of millennials made a charitable donation in 2014 and over half of them give monthly to a cause they support, according to the Millennial Impact Report.

Barna says that 39% of Christian Millennials donate to a church or faith organization online at least once a month and 20% of practicing Christian Millennials donate monthly via text message. The report goes on to say that …

“Millennials are giving, yet technology is changing how they give. In fact, Millennial generosity, for the most part, has gone paperless.”

Beyond the desire to be personally connected to a cause, see the tangible impact they make, and participate in doing this work amongst their peers, millennials just don’t own or carry a checkbook.

Your turn.

Nearly every person walking through your church doors is holding a smartphone in hand. They’ve already purchased their coffee, checking Insta, bought that new “thing” on Amazon, and texted 17 friends prior to showing up at church.

While there with you they’re checking their kids into kids care, reading the bible, fact checking and commenting on sermons, and taking notes. Oh, and texting 22 of their friends, 12 of which are sitting in the same room.

Will you make it simple for members to support the great work you’re doing by empowering them with a simple to use mobile church giving solution. Or will they have to reach into their pocketbooks only to remember that they’ve left their checkbook at home for the third week in a row?

It’s your choice.


This post was written by Dean Sweetman, CEO of Tithely, an online and app based solution for payment processing. Software that allows non-profits and charities to raise money easily, any where, any time. 

To Fly or Not To Fly?

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“When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It.” Yogi Berra. On Tuesday, I had to decide whether to say, “No,” or to accept to step into a 4-seater helicopter! Unbeknownst to me, Jody Davis had planned a surprise helicopter fly-along with the Pasadena Police Department for me. A thick blanket of fear enveloped my whole body. My knees almost gave in.  My heart thumped as if it would break through my rib cage.  I felt a cold shiver down my back. My palms were sweaty, revealing a little shake. Should I go on the ride or not? The comfort, safety and familiarity of the ground was appealing.  To fly or not to fly? Was the question. In an instant, I held the bull by the horns.  I faced my fear of heights head on.  Fear was not going to hold me back from this experience of a lifetime. I conquered my fear of heights and of flying.

Jody and I, our pilot, and a co-pilot strapped ourselves in.  My mind raced through all the unjustified “ifs” of fear. What if we do not make it back?  What if the winds are too heavy? What if there is a mechanical problem?  What if …?  I shot down each thought of fear with the weapons of faith.  I refused to listen to the whispers of the devil. I told myself, “God’s got this!” Suddenly a wave of courage swept over me. I muttered under my breath, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13)

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The helicopter took smoothly and gently. I saw the ground gracefully disappear under my feet. In the past, I would not have had the courage to look outside. But, not today.  I confidently took out my camera and began to record the video of our flight. We headed south, flying over the immaculately manicured Brookside Golf Course.  I marveled at its beauty, from this vantage point. The majestic San Gabriel Mountains loomed behind us.  We soon passed over the grandiose structure of the Rose Bowl.  This bird’s eye view of the city of Pasadena was magnificent. We flew over the cities of Pasadena, Al Hambra, Arcadia, Monrovia, and Glendora.

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This helicopter fly-along is one of the best activities I have ever undertaken.  Fear was going to rob me of this privilege.  I am glad I did not let fear keep me from this fabulous experience of a lifetime. I am glad I did not let fear cripple me.  Although the flight took me out of my comfort zone, I absolutely enjoyed it. Although the flight tested my faith, I passed.  Although my fear felt big, my God is bigger than any fear. Fear gives a false sense of security. Security can be fleeting. It can quickly dissipate like the morning dew.

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  • Of what are you afraid?
  • What keeps you from attaining your goals?
  • Are you afraid of public speaking?
  • Are you afraid of teaching, witnessing, leading, or singing?
  • Whatever your fear is, bring it to God.
  • Ask God for strength and grace to help you face your fears.
  • You can do it.
  • You can overcome your fear.
  • Do not let fear hold you back.
  • Go on, live your life in style.
  • Trust in God. He’s got this.

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

Favorite Easter Hymns and Their Histories

Religious Easter Crosses (03)

by DaySpring.com Contributing Author

The great theologian Charles Spurgeon once said, “… the singing of the pilgrims … is the most delightful part of worship and that which comes nearest to the adoration of heaven.” I couldn’t agree more, especially at Easter when we, as Christians, come together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

My fondest Easter memories are centered around singing together as a congregation. I can remember the church being filled with Easter lilies and other girls like me decked out in our new, pastel-colored Easter dresses. But more than anything, I recall everyone’s voice being raised to God in worship, praising Him for sending His Son to die for our sins. Including my own.

My favorite Easter hymn is “I Know That My Redeemer Lives,” penned by Samuel Medley (1738 – 1799).

I know that my Redeemer lives; what comfort this sweet sentence gives!
He lives, He lives, who once was dead; He lives my ever-living Head.

Medley’s grandfather taught him about Christ but, as a young man, Medley was interested in other things. It wasn’t until he faced imminent death due to an injury, that he turned back to the God his grandfather taught him about, and gave his heart to his Redeemer.

These lyrics speak to me mainly because of one word – my. Like Samuel Medley finally understood, I know that Jesus is “my” Redeemer; He came to die for me, specifically. Of course, He came to die for all of us. But isn’t it wonderful to know that each of us can profess Jesus as “my” Redeemer; He loves all of us and claims each of us as His own.

“Jesus Christ is Risen Today” is another popular Easter hymn and some may be more familiar with a slightly different version, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.”

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

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Dating back to the 14th century, this hymn is one of the oldest on record. In 1739, the composer Charles Wesley wrote a poem based on this hymn. Titled “Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” Wesley’s poem was quickly put to music and soon became a favorite. While Wesley is credited with composing as many as 6500 hymns, this particular hymn stands out and is still used in Easter services today around the world.

Alfred Ackley, a musician and preacher, wrote “He Lives” in 1933. Many know the hymn by its first line, “I serve a risen Savior.”

I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today;
I know that He is living whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.

At the time, Ackley was challenged by a young student who was confused as to why Christians worshipped someone who had died centuries earlier. In response, Ackley is quoted as saying, “He lives! I tell you, He is not dead but lives here and now! Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as the testimony of countless thousands.”

Fueled by the student’s questions, Ackley wrote these popular lyrics. His refrain is joyous, reminding us all that Jesus rose from the dead as promised and remains alive today in the heart of every believer.

Refrain:

He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives, He lives,
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.

We are fortunate to have so many beautiful Easter hymns to sing together, as one body. And it doesn’t matter if our voices are choir-worthy or a bit off-tune – we know that our God takes great pleasure in hearing our voices being raised to Him in worship.

Posted in Church

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