Day 6 - Healthy Heart Challenge
Have you ever been falsely accused? Do you know what it feels like to have your name unjustly maligned and your reputation shredded?
If you have, then you know your first instinct is to fight for yourself. Tell your side of the story and set the record straight. You would also know this doesn't always work out. Once false accusations are swirling through the rumor mill, anything you say or do can add fuel to the fire. In your attempts to put it out, you can find yourself further engulfed in flames. It's a difficult situation to go through, and David went through it often.
He faced false accusations from King Saul, who accused him of plotting to kill him and overthrow the throne. Later in his life, he faced an assault on his character from someone much closer, his son Absalom. The stress of these situations can take a toll on our hearts leading to stress, anxiety, discouragement, and even deep depression.
But it doesn't have to be that way. David showed us the way to a healthy heart. He realized there are accusations and opinions of others that can't be changed or overcome by his efforts. Instead of struggling against his accusers, David found a better solution. He turned to God for vindication. David trusted God with his reputation and allowed God to be his defender. The process took years before David's name would be made right, but in the midst of it all, he found peace in knowing God had his back.
If you are struggling with the pain of false accusations, it's the perfect time to join us with today's reading. Follow this link and see how David kept a healthy heart amid an assault on his reputation and character https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2026-30&version=ESV
You may have heard many people say, "God says, He will never give you more than you can handle." So why does it seem like the trials or temptations you face ARE more than you can handle? Is God a liar, or are you too mentally weak to realize your potential?
The fact is the Bible never actually teaches us that God said, "He would never give you more than you can handle." The confusion comes because well-meaning people take a verse out of context. They hoped to hand you a shovel to move your mountains, but instead, it was a shovel to dig your own grave of failure and deeper discouragement.
The verse they use to make the statement is 1 Corinthians 10:13, but it's taken entirely out of context to use it that way.
Here's what they're missing.
First, let's look at the verse:
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Now let's look at the verse in context with the ones in front of it:
8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ[c] to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Here's a breakdown of what it all means:
8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9 We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, 10 nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. (In other words we all have a choice when temptation or trials come.)
11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. (Those Israelites rejected God's power and ability and tried to do life on their own terms. They even built a calf to worship rather than God. Their example shows us self-dependence leads to self-destruction.)
12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. (In other words if you think you're strong enough to stand on your own - be careful or you'll end up like they did.)
13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, (God is faithful... to do what? To help if you turn to Him) and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, (Does this mean he won't give you more than you can resist? Look to the next sentence for the answer) but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
He promises to provide a "way of escape" so that we can endure. What is the way of escape? It certainly can't be our own ability or we would have no need to escape in the first place.
The escape promised is the same escape He gave David - refuge and hope in God.
The passage as a whole is telling us to look at how believers were overtaken in the past. They were overtaken because they were self-indulgent, self-focused, and self-reliant which ultimately led them to self-destruction.
Don't do what they did. Rather, when you are being overtaken - turn to God because He is our faithful helper in time of need.
David had a heart that always looked to God for help. Even when he faced Goliath he "came in the name of the Lord."
Learn more about a Healthy Heart with today's reading Psalms 21-25 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+21-25&version=ESV
Healthy Heart Challenge
Today we read Psalms chapters 16-20. It is impossible to read the Psalms of David without being struck by his love and great expectations of God.
David did not just believe in a God who created the heavens and the earth and sat far away in heaven.
David believed God knew him personally, cared for him deeply, and was active in his life consistently. In simple terms, David knew he had a relationship with God and expected God to engage in a connected relationship with him.
This relationship motivated David to think about God, pray to God, and listen for God to speak back to him. He believed when there was trouble; he could call God and find help. David realized when things were good; God had been active in making them good. He believed God wanted to hear from him and that God wanted to listen and engage with his life issues.
Do you believe that God is interested in your life? Our church is in Round Rock, Texas. Is the God of heaven interested in the people of round rock? Does the God of heaven see me when I drive home to be with my family in Pflugerville, Texas? Does he see the thousands of people buzzing up and down the freeways of Austin, Texas? What about Taylor, Manor, Elgin, Cedar Park, Leander, Hutto, or Georgetown? Is God interested in all of the people living in the cities around us? What about the states beside us and the nations beyond our borders? Yes, God has an active, personal interest in the lives of each person He has given life.
We often think of God being all-powerful. We need to think more about how He is all-knowing. God has the unique ability to do anything, but He also knows everything - and everyone. When we pray, we pray to the God who profoundly and personally knows us. David understood God as the God who knew him, and he expected God to engage and connect with his life. A healthy heart desires the same type of relationship with God that David expected. It's a great day to raise your expectations and engage God with a more profound expectation for Him to engage with you back.
Here's a link for today's reading. Take time to engage with God's Word and experience what it's like to connect with the creator of the universe. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2016-20&version=ESV
Day 3 - Healthy Heart Challenge
Today it was the first verse that caught my attention. We are only on day three and there is a pretty common theme emerging. In David's day the world was full of turmoil, sound familiar?
Have you noticed David often referred to finding "refuge" in God? Was David a coward, was he driven by fear, was he crippled by anxiety?
The life of David includes slaying giants, routing enemy armies, and even killing lions and bears with a sling! So what can we make of this constant need to seek refuge?
The secret is in the Hebrew definition - Refuge; have hope, make refuge, put trust.
David was not going to God in order to hide away in fear. He was going to God to be filled with hope and to trust in Him for protection, provision, and fulfillment of His promises.
When the world overwhelms us we can hide away in our own fear, worry, and anxiety, or we can go to God for a fresh filling of hope!!! David was a hope addict. He refused to give into the pressures of life and evidence of imminent doom. He ran to God for hope and used that hope to keep his faith alive until his victory arrived.
Read today's chapters and see how God wants to bring you hope right here in the Round Rock, Pflugerville, Hutto, and North Austin, Texas areas. hjHealthy Heart Challenge Day 3 - Psalms 11-15 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2011-15&version=ESV&fbclid=IwAR1QRq_WzE3yxFAFxLYGwDM5tC77MZUueQY-AOFpU47G1RZ9fr4lvCe54Po
Day 2 - Healthy Heart Challenge
Have you ever wondered why it can be so hard to keep your heart healthy? A recent study showed that the average person views between 4,000-10,000 ads every single day. The world is in a constant war for our attention. It bombards us with messages of lack and needs for something more than what we have or who we are. Those numbers don't even include the needs and demands of people around us!!! Is it any wonder our hearts can often feel overwhelmed, overburdened, and under-joyed?
David was a man after God's own heart. He knew how to protect his heart from the constant onslaught of the world around him. David reveals of his keys to a healthy heart at the beginning of Psalms 9. Check it out!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish before your presence.
For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.
David shut out the craziness of the world around him and literally counted the times God had done good things in his life. David stopped the noise of life and set his mind on a personal playlist of God ads. He decided what to meditate on rather than allow the world to dictate it for him.
As you can see in verses 3 and 4, David was surrounded by enemies, which must have made pausing to count the good deeds of God challenging. Rather than let worry, self-defense, or bitterness consume him, David chose to trust God to cover his back while he focused on praising God.
What would change in your life if you committed to doing the same? It's a choice God has given you the power and freedom to make. Make it today and trust God to provide you with a healthy heart like David's. We serve the same God as David and He will be faithful to change us right here the Round Rock, Pflugerville, Austin, and surrounding Texas areas.
30 Day Healthy Heart Challenge
During the Cold War, people lived in fear of an imminent nuclear attack. During this time, schools trained kids in the "Duck and Cover" drill. When the alarm sounded, everyone dove to their knees and took refuge under their desks.
Really?? How safe would you feel hiding on your knees under a desk with a nuke heading your way? As people, we often find comfort in material things that we can see but offer no real protection.
David was the opposite. As a king, he had all of the physical protections at his disposal, but he put David trusted in the unseen. He put his trust in God. A healthy heart always starts with greater faith in God's protection, care, and provision than our ability. A person with a healthy heart hits their knees in times of trouble but not to cower in fear. They dive to their knees to rejoice because they know their life is covered by the almighty power and love of their God.
This 30 Day Healthy Heart challenge is about training your heart to be like David, a man with a heart like God's. For the next 30 days, simply read five chapters of Psalms. Then pray and reflect on the heart of David and ￼commit that whenever you feel trouble is coming, you will dive to your knees and begin rejoicing in the goodness, protection, and favor of your God. That's where we find real peace and real safety.
11But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.
12For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
you cover him with favor as with a shield.
Read more on the history of the Cold War's Duck and Cover training here:
Recently our church in Pflugerville, TX received news that one of our members three year old daughter has AML Leukemia. News like this can be overwhelming and cause a tremendous amount of emotional suffering, let alone the physical suffering which must be battled to beat this nasty disease.
Psalms 118:24 says,
"This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
That sounds like a great verse for the days things are going well but what about the difficult days? How do you rejoice when we are suffering?
Can ask you a question? What struggle has your faith so rattled you have lost the will or ability to rejoice? Maybe your suffering doesn’t compare to Leukemia, but that really doesn’t matter, does it?
Other people’s struggles give us perspective but perspective does not give us joy, Jesus gives joy.
Rejoicing in Suffering
Let's take a quick look in the Bible at the way David, a man after God's own heart, dealt with suffering.
1Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
2Let Israel say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
3Let the house of Aaron say,
“His steadfast love endures forever.”
4Let those who fear the LORD say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Can you say this outloud?
HIS STEADFAST LOVE ENDURES FOREVER
5Out of my distress I called on the LORD; the LORD answered me and set me free.
6The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
7The LORD is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
Notice in the above verses David calls out during his distress and then declares God is on his side. In other words, his life wasn’t easy but he did not take that as a sign God had turned against him. David understood God does not always deliver us from our struggles. Sometimes God empowers us to walk through them.
Later in this chapter David makes another declaration. In the midst of his trials and struggles he lifts his head and declares the sovereignty of God and calls everyone to rejoice and be glad in the midst of the struggle.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Freedom to Rejoice in Suffering
David made the choice to throw himself into the sovereignty and goodness of God which released him and gave him the freedom to rejoice and be glad in the midst of his suffering.
What struggle are you going through today?
What has happened or is happening in your life that keeps you from rejoicing?
Are you able to lift your head declare the sovereignty and goodness of God? Are you able to commit to rejoicing? If you are not able to do this as God for his strength and He will give it to you. Don’t let the world or the devil steal your joy. God is on your side.
You can listen to the full audio sermon on this topic on the Podcast from The Beat Church, in Pflugerville, TX.
Connect for Prayer
If you live in the Pflugerville, Hutto, Round Rock, Manor, Taylor, or surrounding areas in North Austin you can reach our Pastor by sending an email to email@example.com.
In many ways, Texas is a beautiful state, but under the big skies and glorious sunshine, many people are struggling with depression. Depression numbers have been skyrocketing all over the United States with a 63% increase for teens aged 12-17, 47% increase in adults age 18-34, 26% increase in adults age 35-49, and a 23% increase in adults aged 50-64.
With dramatic increases in the number of people experiencing depression, you would think help is readily available. The reality is many people are too embarrassed or intimidated to seek the help they need. For those who dare to seek help it can be difficult and expensive.
High Cost of Counseling
A professional counselor can cost well over $100 an hour, which puts a weekly visit out of reach for many who struggle with depression.
Faced with the high cost of living in the Austin, North Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Pflugerville, and Hutto areas, the idea of spending hundreds of dollars a month to climb out of depression can lead to more discouragement and yes... even more depression.
The Effects of Prescription Medications
For those who have tried to get depression help from prescription medications, the results are mixed. While depression medication can help keep you from experiencing the deepest lows, it can also numb you to the joys of life. Watching zombies on tv is one thing but living like one is an entirely different story. While depression medications can be an excellent solution for temporary relief in a difficult season, many people grow tired of feeling the numbness that can accompany them.
The Dangers of Substances
Others turn to alcohol for relief. At best, the comfort of alcohol is short term, and at the worst, it can destroy lives and families. A glass of wine or a quick beer to destress at the end of the day can quickly turn into a daily routine with a need more. Mixing depression with the influence of any mind and inhibition-altering substance can be catastrophic.
Major Cause of Depression
One of the leading causes of depression is a lack of real community, loneliness, and an overall feeling of isolation.
“There’s a lack of community. There’s the amount of time that we spend in front of screens and not in front of other people. If you don’t have a community to reach out too, then your hopelessness doesn’t have any place to go.” said Dr. Laurel Williams, chief of psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital.
The good news is you do not have to accept isolation. While it is true that we live in an increasingly busy and isolated society, there are alternative lifestyles that emphasize community and connection.
Free Alternative Help for Depression
Our faith-based community at The Beat Church in Pflugerville, Texas, offers an opportunity to experience an alternative connection-based lifestyle with no cost to be involved. In our faith-based community, you will find that every person, including you, has value. In our love-first community, you will be supported, valued, loved, and connected regardless of any internal or external struggles you may be facing - including depression.
We have built our alternative lifestyle on the teachings of Jesus, who said, "They will know you are my disciples if you love one another." Jesus modeled a life of loving others enough to do life with them, carry their burdens, believe the best about them, and to enjoy the journey.
At the Beat Church in Pflugerville, Texas, we are committed to living, loving, and doing community like Jesus. This commitment runs deep in our hearts. Many of us have faced our own struggles with depression, anxiety, addiction, grief, anger, or stress. Since we have been through similar struggles, we do not judge others who are fighting through them. Instead of judging you, we invite you to come and do life with us.
If you want to find lasting relief from depression, it is time for you to live an alternative lifestyle. A radically different lifestyle than popular culture promotes, a lifestyle of real community and real connection.
Take the Next Step for Free Help with Depression
There is no better time to start than now and there are three easy ways you can make the next step. Choose the step that feels right for you and start your journey out of the loneliness of depression and into joy of community.
The Beat Church meets at Highland Park Elementary in Pflugerville, TX and is easily accessible to anyone living in Austin, North Austin, Pflugerville, Round Rock, Georgetown, Hutto, Cedar Park and Manor Texas.
If you are currently looking to find a church in Pflugerville, TX here are three keys to help you find your best fit.
Do you ever wish you had "more time for ministry"? Do you wish you could focus your life on "more important and more spiritual" activities for God? Do you wish your light really mattered?
Unfortunately, our generation has been brought up in a Christian culture that has so heavily glorified being "in the ministry" that it has degraded the most common ministry of being light in a dark world.
God loved the world so much he left the glory of heaven to come and shine his light in the darkness of a world drowning in its own sin.
He left the comfortable place - full of joy, love, affirmation (they sing his praises around the clock up there) and peace and came to a place of sorrow, hate, ridicule, and war.
The closest comparison we have as earth dwellers is to leave the glory of our Sunday church environment and shine our light in the darkness that surrounds us in everyday life. The people you see right here in Pflugerville, Texas are the ones who need to see your light.
I'm an optimist at heart and I am always looking to highlight the good things happening in the world. Someone saved a puppy, the economy is growing, pro-life judges are beginning to fill the supreme court... there are so many positives to focus on.
In spite of all of these, the reality is we live in a world full of darkness in the forms of addiction, abuse, disease, poverty, corruptions and the list goes on.
Our Sunday church services in Pflugerville, Texas are meant to serve four purposes.
First, we create a place where believers can gather together and celebrate the greatness of who God is and bring glory to his son Jesus.
Second, we provide a place for believers to regularly gather and encourage one another to run the race God has for them with joy.
The third reason we meet on Sundays is for the "equipping of the saints". Sunday services are an opportunity for church leadership to equip believers with the tools and confidence to be a light and do their ministry out in the world.
The fourth reason we meet on Sunday is to be lighthouse where lost and broken people in Pflugerville, Texas can find a new life in Jesus Christ. This is my favorite reason but the reality is many of the peole God wants to reach with his love will never walk into a church on Sunday.
Sunday is not the main day of "ministry" and the church building is not the main location for "ministry". Sunday is our spiritual Sabbath, it is the day to rest, rejuvenate, and celebrate the ministry we have been doing all week!
Somewhere along the line this truth was lost.
We began to glorify the "professional Christian" and celebrate safe Sunday morning Christianity over the messy, dirty, and uncomfortable Christianity Jesus modeled.
As a pastor, I love Sunday mornings and I am so excited to experience life in heaven with Jesus! These are amazing but they are only part of God's plan for us.
Jesus said, "As the father sent me into the world so I send you." God's plan is for us to go out into our world and shine our light.
We are called to shine our light as a soccer mom, an entrepreneur, a musician, a construction worker (remember Jesus was a carpenter), an athlete, an actor and any other talent God has given us.
Paul said, "Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly as unto the Lord".
The Bible is full of stories where "ordinary" "secular" pursuits brought great deliverance and prosperity to God's people. Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, and Esther to name a few.
God used each of these people in ways that would never fit into a Sunday service.
Their main spiritual contributions were in the world, gained respect in the world, and ultimately influenced the world.
The Bible tells us that "all things are held together in Jesus." In other words, everything in this world and in this life has a Jesus component to it. Everything is spiritual. God calls us all to different places and positions of ministry but he calls us all to minister.
As believers, it is vital we honor how God works in and through every part of his church family.
Yes, we want to honor the pastors and those called to minister in pastoral roles.
At the Beat church, we are committed to creating a culture where we celebrate, honor, and support those who minister outside of the Sunday service by shining their unique light in their everyday calling.
Maybe you've never looked at yourself as "in the ministry" or maybe you have but feel discouraged because nobody recognizes the value of what you do.
Be encouraged! God sees it and your ministry is absolutely vital to God's mission. He came to seek and save the lost and he wants to do that through you.
He loves a seeker-friendly church but his real desire is for us to all be part of a friendly-seeking church. He wants a church full of people who emphasize the value of ministering in the real world. He wants a church full of people who follow Him out of the comforts of our safe Christian environments to minister to those who would never walk in the door of our Sunday services.
If you have been burning with a desire to "do ministry" all it takes is to be aware God has placed you where you are for a reason. He has given you a skill and placed you in the world to gain favor and influence where you are. He loves the people around you and has placed you there to win them over.
Praise God for you, your unique gifting, and your calling! Our churches would be empty without courageous and compassionate people like you living your ministry Monday through Saturday and shining your light where it's needed most!
Yes, in God's great plan YOU and your unique ministry were made to make a difference!