About the Occult :: PODCAST

Presented by Pastor Steve Shields at Curwensville Alliance on 10/29/2017

On October 8, I preached a sermon about the different between contractual faith and covenantal faith.

Contractual faith is superstitious, ritualistic, controlling, and fear-based. Covenantal faith is loving, relational, peaceful, and trust-based.

Click the image above for that podcast.

A week or so later, Kelly, a woman in the congregation, sent me this message in response to that sermon. She graciously gave me permission to share it, in the hopes that others might find what she’s found.

Today I am so thankful for your sermon the other week on responses to fear and a mechanized religion. I have often prayed out of fear and my own anxieties and rituals that I could blow your mind with. For every bad situation life brought to me or a family member, I would add that to my daily sometimes quadruple daily prayer. It became so ritualistic that at times I think I really didn’t have any other communication with Jesus.

After that Sunday at church I really started, at age 38, to talk to Jesus like a friend. Like he was right there. I have felt so much peace over the past few weeks.

Then yesterday I get that call… Mom has fallen and has broken her shoulder. Immediately I get this awful feeling, an indescribable guilt… a voice saying, “Kelly you didn’t pray for the ‘no falls” thing you always pray. Mom fell because you didn’t say it out loud. You always say that prayer and for the past 2 weeks you didn’t and this is what happens….”

I almost gave into it. In fact I immediately prayed my prayer… the hurried “dear Jesus, please protect my family from automobile accidents, any kind of accidents, murderers, burglars, rapists, stalkers, kidnappers, gunmen, and shooters. Please keep us safe from all kinds of sickness, illnesses, falls, burns, fires and storms.” Also I would add any other new anxiety that came to mind that could harm me or my family!

So I start saying this prayer that I’ve prayed since age 14 or 15 and I get to the falls part and I heard another voice. Not the Kelly voice of a kid who lives in fear and anxiety…it was a mighty voice. A voice that I have probably blocked out all of these years and missed out on… a voice of a father who can, with one touch of a hand, calm you.

He said, “I already got all of that. I have you. I have your family. Talk to me.

What? So I did. In my car I let it all out again to my friend.

I cried. I wailed.

Then I laughed. I laughed at my sad little religion that I had made, when all of this time it’s so simple. God is for me. He is for my family. He has this. He isn’t going to prevent disasters from happening.

He IS.

And he will be there for when they do happen.

That first voice that Kelly heard was one she likely heard years ago from the enemy of her soul.

The podcast here speaks about who the enemy is, how he wants to damage us, and how we can stand against him. 
-Pastor Steve

 

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How to Get the Most Out of God :: PODCAST

Presented at Curwensville Alliance Church by Pastor Steve Shields on 10/22/2017

If you came here because of the title of this post to get some pointers on using God to your advantage, you’re going to be disappointed. And blessed.

Blessed like The Prodigal Son.

He wanted to use his father’s resources to honor his own selfish interests. And he found that it didn’t work. And on his way home to use his father as a source of employment, he met a father who’d been looking down the lane — awaiting his return. 

I like to think that it was at that moment that the son realized what was really important in life — the love of a father and the response of a child. 

Christians often talk about having a relationship with God. This is what we mean. You can’t used God as you would use any other resource. Instead, he offers you his heart of love and asks that you love him in return.

This podcast speaks of how this happens in our lives — the lives of prodigals.

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Most of Us Have Been Exposed :: PODCAST

Presented by Pastor Steve Shields at Curwensville Alliance on 10/15/2017

What would you do if I offered you the latest smartphone for free, but when you got home, you found it was a cheap imitation that had no electronics inside its case? 

That’s a little of what Smith and Denton say churches have done to young people of the previous decade or so — they’ve given them religion, but it’s not the real thing. It’s an imitation that looks good, but doesn’t function at all.

They call it Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism

And it’s soaked into much of the church. Like an infection.

Most of us have been exposed. Some of us are vulnerable. Some — infected.

I’ve seen in at all levels, among both genders, throughout all age groups.

It’s as common as the common cold.

This podcast helps you identify it and inoculate yourself against it.

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