Tools for Resilience | Corporate Worship

Presented on 6/10/2018 at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields

When I was a kid, I took guitar lessons every Thursday night. Mrs. Crate required I discipline myself to practice – every day.

And that’s all I could see. The drudgery of practice.

The songs she taught me didn’t help. Go Tell Aunt Roadie, On Top of Old Smoky, Red River Valley…. Drudgery.

And the lesson time wasn’t a real treat. Lectures on better fingering and callous development. Drudgery.

Learning guitar required discipline on my part.

Discipline without direction is drudgery.

When I went to college, something happened. I had a roommate who played the guitar. I mentioned that I always wanted to play, and he said, “I’ll teach you.”

I said, “That will be drudgery.”

He said, “No, it won’t. I’ll teach you well enough that you can make a tape and send it to Laurel.”

Suddenly, I saw purpose in the discipline. I had a direction: Learn to play well enough to play for your girlfriend!

And I learned to play.

Seeing myself playing the guitar on the back porch for Laurel – that was a direction I wanted to head.

My roommate gave me a direction that took away the drudgery.

I wish I could do that for you, in terms of corporate worship. I wish I could help you see yourself after a decade of prioritizing corporate worship.

I can’t do that, but you can.

Look at Christians whose faith you admire. You can have that.

Look at that man of prayer you wish you were like. You can be that guy.

Look at that person who walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death without fear. You can do that.

Look at that woman whose children respect and admire her. You can be her.

Part of making that happen is prioritizing corporate worship. 

This podcast talks about how we can do this.

Tools for Resilience | Pursuing God

Presented on June 3 by Pastor Steve Shields at Curwensville Alliance Church

It was A. W. Tozer who noted the following in the introduction to his book, The Pursuit of God:

In this hour of all-but-universal darkness one cheering gleam appears: within the fold of conservative Christianity there are to be found increasing numbers of persons whose religious lives are marked by a growing hunger after God Himself. They are eager for spiritual realities and will not be put off with words, nor will they be content with correct “interpretations” of truth. They are athirst for God, and they will not be satisfied till they have drunk deep at the Fountain of Living Water.

Those words were first published 70 years ago. And they still ring true today.

The desire to pursue God is something God put inside of us. And when we do it, we find ourselves all the more resilient — ready to face what life puts in front of us.

In this podcast, Pastor Steve suggests that the pursuit of God is something that God had given us — something that makes us more resilient.

Tools for Resilience | Processing Grief

Presented at Curwensville Alliance Church on 5/27/2018 by Pastor Steve Shields

Through the years I’ve heard people say, “There’s no right way or wrong way to grieve.”

I get why people say that; we don’t want to add guilt to someone who is already hurting by telling them they are grieving poorly.

But is it true that there is no wrong way to grieve?

Are there better ways to grieve? Worse ways?

This podcast looks at Jesus, as he grieves at Calvary, and considers how we might do so in more healthy ways that we already do.

Tools for Resilience | Personal Responsibility

Presented by Pastor Steve Shields at Curwensville Alliance on May 20, 2018

God gives you lots of tools for living. He gives you spiritual mentors. He gives you brothers and sisters. He gives you Himself.

He also gives you the ability to choose — to choose wisely.

Have you ever thought of your ability to take responsibility for your life as a tool for resilience?

Pastor Steve helps us consider this in today’s podcast.

Tools for Resilience | Spiritual Mentors

Presented at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields on May 13, 2018

Who taught you to walk? To count to ten? To sing the ABC song?

It was probably your parents. Your mom. Your dad.

They were acting as mentors then — and throughout your childhood. Perhaps they continue to mentor you.

Mentoring happens throughout our society. 

  • You get mentored in sports.
  • You find mentors in the workplace.
  • You find mentors in finances.
  • And you can find mentors as you walk with Christ.

Do you have any spiritual mentors?

God has some for you. And they are great tools to help you walk with resilience.

This podcast helps to clarify how mentors can help you and where to find them.

Tools for Resilience | Spiritual Companionship

Presented on 4/29/2018 at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields

Resilience is a personal trait that is undeniably necessary in a world that often seems to push people down.

God knows this, and so he provides his people with tools that facilitate resilience. One such tool is that of Spiritual Companionship.

This podcast looks at two spiritual companions, Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, and encourages us to develop the same kinds of relationships so that we can be resilient.

Tools for Resilience | Your Tool Pouch

Presented at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields on 4/22/2018

Do you bounce back or do you fall back?

We’ve all noticed how when some face adversity they seem to bounce back, while others facing the same situation seem to fall back.

What makes the difference?

Part of the answer is resilience.

This podcast serves as an overview to a new series at Curwensville Alliance — Tools for Resilience.

 

Lies Even Seasoned Christians Can Believe – Avoid Suffering at All Costs!

Presented by Pastor Steve Shields at Curwensville Alliance Church on 4/15/2018

An aged saint lay in the nursing home, unable to get out of bed. The end of her journey on this earth was coming to a close.

She was a matriarch in our church. She taught people about Jesus since her teen years. She prayed faithfully for those who had needs. She loved and was loved.

She was a woman of faith.

But this day, that faith seemed to waiver.

I’ll never forget her words

“I never thought it would come to this.”

She’s not alone.

I’ve heard many saints make the same remark when they encounter suffering — of many kinds.

We tend to react in the exact way Peter told us not to react.

1 Peter 4:12-13 (NIV2011) 12Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 

This podcast speaks of the value of suffering — and how to get the most out of it that you can.

Lies Even Seasoned Can Christians Believe – You Are Unimportant

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 4/8/2018 by Pastor Steve Shields

In researching this message, I read a story of a gem dealer who found a real treasure. (As it turns out, the story isn’t what it seems, but it’s a great story.)

So, this gem dealer was strolling through the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show when he noticed a large bluish colored stone the size of a potato.

He looked it over and asked the vendor how much he wanted for it.
The man said he was trying to get $15.00 for it, but he let it go for $10.00.

Shortly afterwards, the stone was certified as a 1,905-carat natural star sapphire.

Appraised at $2.28 million.

I’m guessing that the seller felt pretty foolish. We might say that he wouldn’t know a treasure if he held it in his hand.

It took a lover of stones to recognize the worth of the sapphire.

And it takes the Lover of Souls to recognize the true value of people like you and me.

And those who don’t see the it – they wouldn’t know a treasure if they held it in their hand. I might look at you or you might look at me and miss the incredible value we have. But Jesus, lover of our souls, sees you and me as treasures.

You see that throughout the Scripture.

You see it in today’s Podcast.

EASTER: Are You Really Living?

Presented on 4/1/2018, Easter Sunday, at Curwensville Alliance Church by Pastor Steve Shields

Have you ever wondered if you’re really living? Do you ask yourself, “Is this all there is to life?”

Everyone does that from time to time. But if you do it frequently, then you might not want to ignore that question.

Jesus says that he came that we might have life — and have it to the full.

This podcast speaks on how we can experience real life — through Christ.