Real Life Webinar // Episode 5: Freedom from Anxiety

Real Life: Job Search

Local Resources

Jobs for Life (JFL) is an international, faith-based, personal development course that uses powerful tools to transform lives and empower people.

The course teaches individuals how to overcome roadblocks in personal and professional lives and helps students discover their unique value. JFL is open to those who are unemployed, underemployed or who are struggling to obtain a clear career direction. 

Since fall 2013, Christian Help and JFL have assisted dozens of people in Morgantown find meaning through meaningful work.

Websites

  • Institute for Faith, Work, Economics (IFWE)
    A blog about advancing a free and flourishing society by revolutionizing the way people view their work.
    www.tifwe.org
  • Purposed worKING
    A blog about God’s purpose in our work
    www.purposedworking.com

Articles

Relevant—Part 4 [Devotional]

 

Going Deeper with the Message:

Salt + Light
by: Andrew Archer

I believe people today are more close-minded than ever before. Especially in our cultural context in America. Even when engaging in reasonable discourse, which is a rarity in and of itself, most of us don’t want to listen—we only want to be heard. Think about social media. No one is ever listening to anyone else, and that almost certainly includes me and you. Everyone is just shouting whatever they feel strongly about and no one is ever listening, except those who already agree.

When it comes to making an impact on our target audience, whoever that may be, oftentimes our words fall short. Sometimes that is because the person we are speaking to doesn’t want to listen but it also can be due to the way in which we are communicating our message. Regardless of the reason it’s ineffective the point remains, oftentimes our words fall short.

As Christians we have an opportunity to impact the world for the better. We should care about people—the imago dei—and our society. We should want them to thrive and we know that things will go better if we all do things God’s way. But the question is how do we influence our culture in a positive way?

On Sunday Tim shared a portion from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Here Jesus gives us a great picture of how we are to primarily impact the world in which we live. He says this in Matthew 5:13-16:

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.

“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

Jesus shows us how we can make the greatest positive impact on the world and it’s primarily by being salt and light. It’s not with our words, remember, we live in a society that is not keen on listening.

If we want to know who is truly making an impact in this world, it’s really easy to tell; it’s not the person screaming the loudest, but rather the person shining the brightest. And the way in which we shine the brightest is by living out of who God says that we are—salt and light of the earth.

So, this week let’s not be people that shout—on social media, in person, or anywhere else—but rather people who shine the light of Christ’s love to a dark and hopeless world. Don’t let anything diminish your impact by tainting what you are—the salt and light of the earth.

 

 

Relevant—Part 3 [Devotional]

 

Going Deeper with the Message:

Who can you purposely love for God?
by: Barbara Barnhart

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. and love your neighbor as yourself. (Deuteronomy 6:5, Matthew 2:37-39, Mark 12:30-31, Luke 10:27)

I have been taught if you see something in scripture that is repeated over and over it must be very important. The scripture Pastor Tim referred to on Sunday must be very important. It is repeated in both the Old and New Testaments. As we continue to discuss the Relevance of the Church today, we know that we have a message that can change the world one life at a time, we need to be the church we want the church to be and we need to receive the invitation “inside” so we can love those “outside.” Loving God and loving others is a process.

One of my darling 4 year olds one Sunday asked me “I have never seen God, have you?” In explanation, I pointed to God’s creation, to praying, to the Bible, only to have the little girl look more and more perplexed. Her being perplexed brought about my insecurities which brought about my go-to defense mechanism—sarcasm. I know, I know, 4 year olds and sarcasm don’t mix. I told her I had times when I wished I could just call God and talk to Him. She immediately asked me, “What’s His number?” Most anyone else would just let it go, but no, I make my lovingly sarcastic response “1-800-HEAVEN.” Immediately, I made sure that it couldn’t be a real phone number (not enough numbers) and then felt shame and remorse for not understanding how to explain trust to her.

One of my favorite scriptures is Luke 2:52: “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.” We need to realize that Jesus “grew up” to love His heavenly Father with all His heart, soul, mind and strength. The question we must ask ourselves is why would we think that we can automatically love God and others with such fervor?

Growing in our love for God and others is a
process—not something that happens overnight.

Our ability to Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength began in us because God loved us first. He is the One who helps us to grow and mature in our relationship with Him. This growing relationship with God enables us to love others as we are called to.

A Facebook memory from 2010 popped up today that reminded me of the process:

“Life is made up of moments that we choose to either touch a life with the love of Christ or ignore the needs of that life. Help me Heavenly Father to focus on living out my relationship with you—24 hours a day, 7 days a week—moment by moment!”

This week, look for opportunities to grow in your relationship with God and ways to live that out by loving your neighbor as yourself.

 

 

Relevant—Part 2 [Devotional]

 

Going Deeper with the Message:

You Are a Superhero
by: Michelle Lemley

Our society values independence. We see it as a mark of pride, a badge of honor if we do everything ourselves and people say, “How does she do it all?” I like to think that I’m juggling life well, but sometimes when I try to do it all, I just fail at a whole bunch of things.

My family is used to coming to me for everything, and I love being their go-to. I cherish that my kids think of me as a superhero with the power to kiss away their hurts and find any missing toy. But sometimes it’s too much for even Super Mom. And this is when it’s time to assemble my Parenting Pros, the team of elite guardians who can answer any question, solve any math problem, or diagnose any mysterious ailments. Sometimes this team is just there for a text or phone call, or sometimes they’re there to do it all when mom and dad need some time away. Big or small, I am learning to rely on my circle of friends and family to make sure I’m doing the best things to raise these boys up to be the men God intends them to be.

On Sunday, Pastor Tim continued our series about the relevance of the modern church. He described the church as a spiritual family which enables us to support one another in 5 important ways:

1 — developing spiritual maturity
2 — meeting physical needs
3 — receiving unconditional love and forgiveness
4 — allowing us to make a unique contribution
5 — impacting the world for Christ

Just as my family extends outside of my home, the church family includes more than just the leaders or staff who prepare services. We all have a role to play in creating our spiritual family. All who have accepted Jesus become adopted into a communal kingdom which has the power to be the church we want the church to be. We need each other to lean on. Just as a forest of trees stands stronger than a tree on it’s own, when surrounded by supporters, we can hold each other up in turbulent times. And if that forest is rooted by the stream that provides everlasting life, we have the ultimate source of strength and resilience to spread to all those around us.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reads: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

God has designed us to work with each other and to help one another. And the third strand of that cord is the Lord himself, who strengthens our relationships and binds us more tightly to one another. It is through Him that we are able to connect with other members of our spiritual family and impact the world for Christ.

I encourage you today to become more invested in our spiritual family in one of the 5 ways that Pastor Tim outlined. Find a way to use your God-given gifts to be a Super Supporter of someone around you.

 

 

Prayer Plan // September 2021

Prayer Plan //
September 2021

Spotlight

We desire to regularly come together and lift up specific requests to God.

  • Volunteer needs to be met in our ministries
  • Students who have food insecurity during summer months
  • Biological families of the foster children in WV
  • Those affected by the building collapse in Miami
  • The ongoing conflict in the Middle East

ACTS Method

Many believers have found the A.C.T.S. method for prayer helpful. This acronym is based on Jesus’ prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 and contains 4 pieces that are essential to prayer: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.

5

Adoration

Praise God for who He is & what He has done.

5

Confession

Be honest before God about the sin in your life. Acknowledge the ways that you have sinned against God and others with your thoughts, words, and actions. 

5

Thanksgiving

Thank God for what He has done in your life and in the lives of others.

5

Supplication

Ask God for specific requests and trust that He will answer your requests according to His will, not our own. 

Pro tip

Keep a prayer journal! Writing your prayers down will not only help you stay accountable to consistently communicate with God but will also provide you an easy way to see what God is doing in your life!

Spotlight

We desire to regularly come together and lift up specific requests to God.

  • Volunteer needs to be met in our ministries
  • Students who have food insecurity during summer months
  • Biological families of the foster children in WV
  • Those affected by the building collapse in Miami
  • The ongoing conflict in the Middle East

Concentric Circles

One helpful way of thinking about prayer is to think of concentric circles, you know the circle that’s inside of a circle, which is inside of another one and so on. If we visualize our prayer life in this way, it can help us to pray for all the people and situations in our different “circles.” For example, your smallest circle would be your home, then your community, and eventually your world. For some of you, there might be other circles you want to add in such as: your job, your church, your extended family, etc. That’s great! This is a flexible method that molds to help you pray for everyone in your life.

5

YOUR HOME

5

YOUR COMMUNITY

5

YOUR STATE

5

YOUR COUNTRY

5

YOUR WORLD

Pro tip

Keep a prayer journal! Writing your prayers down will not only help you stay accountable to consistently communicate with God but will also provide you an easy way to see what God is doing in your life!

Spotlight

We desire to regularly come together and lift up specific requests to God.

  • For volunteer needs to be met in our ministries
  • For all the students as they transition back into a new year of school
  • For the teachers, faculty, and other personnel as the prep for the new school year
  • For all the local families who are in need of quality employment
  • For those affected by the wildfires on the West Coast
  • For an end to come to all ongoing COVID concerns

Key Relationships

We all have key relationships in our lives; relationships that are highly important to us. Unfortunately, it can be easy to go through our days and weeks forgetting to pray for those people in our lives. One helpful way to combat this is to be intentional about praying through our key relationships like Paul was. We see this in the opening of his letter to the Philippian Church: “I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you, always praying with joy for all of you in my every prayer” (Philippians 1:3-4). Set aside time each day to pray through your key relationships: I.e. God, family, neighbors, friends, co-workers, etc.

Pro tip

Keep an index card (or notes section on your phone) with the names of all the people you are praying for this month. Rather than pulling out your phone and hopping on Facebook – take that time to pray through your key relationships.

Scripture

What better thing to shape our prayer life than God’s own Word? When we engage God’s word, there are three key things we can do to get the most out of it. Read. Reflect. Respond. Read through the text. Reflect on what you just read. What stands out? What questions do you have? What did you learn about God? Yourself? And finally respond. God speaks to us through His Word. As we take in what He has given us, it is natural to reply back to Him in prayer. This month we are looking at Psalm 1.

Psalm 1  

How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers! 

Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s Instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 

The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not survive the judgment,and sinners will not be in the community of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

Response

Father God,

Help me to not be influenced by the chaos of the world around me but rather to delight in You and Your Word day and night.

Help me to plant my roots in the overflowing stream of Your love.

Help me to know that You will bear Your fruit through me in its season.

Help me to not be blown away by the winds of this world but be blown away by the strength of your love for me. 

Help us to stand together and lean on one another during turbulent times.

Thank You for watching over us and protecting us from whatever would lead us to ruin.

In Jesus’ Name,

Amen

Spotlight

You can pray for the crisis in Afghanistan and lift up these requests to God:

  • Pray for God’s protection over all His people in Afghanistan.
  • Pray for the wisdom and discernment for all our leaders that they make wise decisions.
  • Pray for the families of our service members and Afghans who were tragically killed.
  • Pray for the safety and provision of the U.S. and Afghan military forces.
  • Pray for the safe passage of all the people who wish to leave Afghanistan.
  • Pray for the thousands of refugees that have been displaced from their home.
  • Pray for the Afghan women and girls that the basic freedoms they’ve enjoyed over the past nearly two decades would remain intact.
  • Pray for the missionaries and aid workers who remain in Afghanistan.
  • Pray for the believers in Afghanistan that they would find fellowship and for the Afghan church that it would grow.
  • Pray for hope in a situation that continues to look bleak that God would bring beauty from ashes.

Pro tip

Make it a habit of every time you read scripture to pray through it.