unStuck


Putting it all Together – UnStuck (Pt. 8)

Date: February 28th, 2016

Scripture: Psalm 51:10-12

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

For more resources please visit crosslifechurch.org


Finding Your Boundaries – UnStuck (Pt. 7)

Date: February 21st, 2016

Scripture: Galatians 1:10

10 Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

For more resources please visit crosslifechurch.org


The Death of the Dream – UnStuck (Pt. 6)

Date: February 14th, 2016

Scripture: Jonah 4:1-2

But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. He prayed to theLord, “Isn’t this what I said, Lord, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.

For more resources please visit crosslifechurch.org


UnStuck – Just One More Drink

I just need one more and then I’m good.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen some of the devastating affects of alcoholism in our family and especially when working with guys in the jail.  One drink too many at the wrong time can ruin a life.UnstuckAlcoholismWeb

Alcoholism is a huge problem in the U.S.  Here are a few quick stats from NCADD.

  • 88,000 deaths are annually attributed to excessive alcohol use
  • Alcoholism is the 3rd leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation
  • Up to 40% of all hospital beds in the United States… are being used to treat health conditions that are related to alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol is the most commonly used addictive substance in the United States: 17.6 million people, or one in every 12 adults, suffer from alcohol abuse or dependence along with several million more who engage in risky, binge drinking patterns that could lead to alcohol problems.

Every day people are wrestling with this addiction.  Often the hardest part is being willing to admit you have a problem.  The good news is there a lot of different treatment options available these days and many people have made their way out of this problem.  Hope is available, but you’ll have to take the first step.

Sometimes this addiction is just as damaging on the loved ones of the alcoholic.  Because of their compassion they sometimes get caught enabling the addiction rather than helping the alcoholic move toward healing.  But there is hope for friends and family members of problem drinkers.  Al-Anon groups are available all over the country that help people establish boundaries and give them tools to be the best support they can be during this difficult time.books-sm

1 Corinthians 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”

During our series we’ve been giving away copies of the Life Recovery Bible.  These bibles are a great encouragement to anyone who is working through a 12-Step program.  We would encourage you to pick one up if you or a loved one is working through one of these programs.

The hidden costs of alcoholism are not small. It is estimated that alcohol-related expenses cost federal, state, and local governments $223.5 billion. Of that amount, taxpayers are footing the bill for $94.2 billion. — americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment/

If any of this sounds familiar, you may want to get professional help.  If you need help finding a counselor, please check out www.newlife.com or call 1-800-NEW-LIFE.   Celebrate Recovery or Alcoholics Anonymous might also be a good option.


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Come join us for our unStuck series on Sundays and Wednesdays in February as we work at moving forward again.


You Are Loved – UnStuck (Pt. 5)

Date: February 7th, 2016

Scripture: Psalm 103

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

For more resources please visit crosslifechurch.org


UnStuck – It’s Every Man’s Battle

Pornography is not just a problem for men.  But it is a battle that all men will face.

UnstuckPornographyWebSMThere has probably never been a time when these images are so prevalent and so easily accessed and yet their effect is so marginalized.  Wives and fiancées are told to just accept this as a fact of life.  Young men are fed the lie that this won’t do any damage to their relationships.  The perception of pornography is increasingly changing in our culture.

Check out these stats from Barna on porn use among young people.

I had a good friend take a chance on the men in our church a few years back.  He had found a book called “Every Man’s Battle” by Steve Arterburn.  We formed a men’s group that discussed this battle every week for about 2 months.  It was one of the most powerful groups I have ever been a part of.

At first I was excited to see how this study might help these men, but it wasn’t long before we realized that dealing with this issue was going to be difficult.  In order to fight this fight, you can’t do it alone.  For many of the guys in our group we realized it would get tougher before it would get better.

 

Some things I learned from this study:Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 8.33.57 PM

1. It really is every man’s battle.  

You’re not alone in this fight. This was actually one of the most comforting things that came out of the study.  In a group of men that I had great respect for, each one of them had been through this battle.

 

2. Don’t try to exist in the middle ground.

You’ve probably heard the famous quote from Omaha beach on D-Day in WWII. “Only two kinds of people are gonna stay on this beach: those that are already dead and those that are gonna die.” When it comes to fighting for holiness, there’s not a middle ground.  You keep pursuing Christ at all costs.

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman. –Job 31:1

 

3. The group is not a gossip session

In the very first session, someone wanted to start talking about other people.  Immediately one person shared how their own lust was the same as adultery and it transformed the conversation.  Men weren’t going to talk about other men, they were going share about their own struggle.

Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

 

4. You can’t do this in isolation.  

Self-Medication is not the way.  You need help.  By keeping yourself accountable with other men facing the same battle you can find success in winning this war.

For many men anger lies at the root of their porn addiction.  For other’s it’s a wife whose become more like their mommy than their life partner.  But there is definitely a way out – and there’s so much hope on the other side.  But you have to do the work.

 

If any of this sounds familiar, you may want to get professional help. If pornography is the issue, one of the best things you could ever do is attend the “Every Man’s Battle” workshop.  If you need help finding a counselor, please check out www.newlife.com or call 1-800-NEW-LIFE.


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Come join us for our unStuck series on Sundays and Wednesdays in February as we work at moving forward again.


The Power of Forgivness – UnStuck (Pt. 4)

Date: January 24th, 2016

Scripture: John 21:17

17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.

For more resources please visit crosslifechurch.org


UnStuck – Abuse – It’s Time to Say Something

Scared.  

Scared of speaking up.  Scared of leaving.  Scared of staying. Domestic abuse is unfortunately one of those places where many people get stuck and it is a hard place to leave.

UnstuckAbuseWebSMWhy don’t people suffering from abuse just get out?  It’s not always that easy.  Some people think this type of relationship is normal, because it’s what they knew as a child.  Some stay because financially they don’t know how they would make it on their own. Some are just too embarrassed to admit they are allowing this to happen.  And for many, a deep love for the abuser keeps them connected even through the abuse.

But there is hope.  Many people have stories of escaping abuse and getting their lives back again.

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more info about domestic abuse

Someone recently shared their “unstuck” story with me in the hope that it might be an encouragement to others. This person was stuck for almost 3 years before they started making their way out of a destructive relationship.   It turns out that pain became a blessing. When the abuse went from emotional to physical in front of her children, she knew something desperately had to change.

After working with 3 different counselors (sometimes you have to be persistent) she found the help she needed.  She was introduced to a friend who would walk with her through these very difficult decisions and would be a safe place to share the thoughts and hurts that she just couldn’t tell anyone else.

Speaking the words of scripture became a life-transforming habit.  Through difficult decisions and the onset of panic attacks, memorizing and speaking God’s word brought peace and courage and pushed fears aside.  Scriptures like these became transforming as she faced her fears.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:9

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” – 2 Timothy 1:7
“…Do not fret; it leads only to evil.” – Psalms 37:8

Through connection, counseling, and most of all – the power of the word of God – she made her way out of the abuse and into a healthy life.  And you can too, but you must be willing to take some important steps.

If you want to make your way out of an abusive relationship, it’s going to take courage, support and a good plan.  As we’ve seen with other problems, the way out involves finding someone you can trust and desperately seeking the Lord in prayer.  You can find some great resources at the National Domestic Violence Hotline.   They can help you with developing your plan and have a ton of useful information about this subject. 

 If any of this sounds familiar, you may want to get professional help. If you need help finding a counselor, please check out www.newlife.com or call 1-800-NEW-LIFE.

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Come join us for our unStuck series on Sundays and Wednesdays in January and February as we work at moving forward again.


No One Understands the Way the Secret Can – UnStuck (Pt. 3)

Date: January 17th, 2016

Scripture: Psalm 32:3-5

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.  Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”  And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

For more resources please visit crosslifechurch.org