From Shallowness to Depth :: Transitions

Presented at Curwensville Alliance Church by Pastor Steve Shields on 7/7/2019

I know you’ve done this. If you’re on social media, you’ve almost certainly done this.

You’ve looked as someone’s status and thought, “Wow — that person has the depth of a mud-puddle.” Their status, their comments, their complaints — they scream shallowness.

And, if you are a thinking person, you’ve seen some posts and thought, “Whoa — that’s some deep stuff there.”

No one wants to be thought of as shallow. All of us want to think we are deep. But are we?

As a Christian, how much spiritual depth do you have?

This podcast helps us see some symptoms of spiritual shallowness and invites us to transition into the deep.

From Pushing to Praying :: Transitions

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 6/30/2019 by Pastor Steve Shields

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Are you someone who tends to PUSH your way through life? The answer might surprise you.

Frank Sinatra sang a song about high hopes. I learned it as a kid.

Just what makes that little old ant
Think he’ll move that rubber tree plant
Anyone knows an ant, can’t
Move a rubber tree plant

But he’s got high hopes,
he’s got high hopes
He’s got high apple pie, in the sky hopes

So any time your gettin’ low
‘stead of lettin’ go
Just remember that ant

Oops there goes another rubber tree plant

 Songwriters: JIMMY VAN HEUSEN, SAMMY CAHN
© BARTON MUSIC CORPORATION
For non-commercial use only.
Data From: LyricFind

My mom sang me that song when I was a child.

I tried to use it with my wife as an excuse why I am so persistent in my desire for that extra slice of pie — or whatever. My wife said, “Look — when you’re talking about moving a rubber-tree plant, that kind of persistence is a good thing. But when you push people — that’s something different.

She’s right — as usual.

Pushing is a problem.

This podcast looks at the life of Jacob and shows us how to transition from pushing to praying.
-Pastor Steve

From Envy to Contentment :: Transitions

Presented at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields on 6/23/2019

You may have read this in the news this week.

A 4-year-old boy wanted some candy hopped into his great-grandfather’s SUV. Along the mile-and-a-half journey, with eyes barely able to see over the steering wheel, Sebastian cruised the neighborhood streets before making a left turn onto a busy four-lane. He took out some mailboxes and did some damage to a tree. But in the end, he arrived at the candy store just in time to be greeted by the police.

I like stories like that. Until I think about what might have happened. And then, I kind of agree with the great-grandfather.

It could’ve been very serious.
He could’ve hit a car.
He wasn’t wearing a seat belt.
We could be talking about a funeral.

A car in the hands of a child is a scary thing.

It’s a dangerous thing.

In this podcast, I suggest to you that we allow something of that dangerous level in our lives – something that can kill.

That “something” is envy.

If we respond correctly to God’s word, we can transition from envy to contentment.

–Pastor Steve

From Defensive to Teachable :: Transitions

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 6/16/2019 by Pastor Steve Shields

“Does not receive constructive criticism”.

That statement was in the comments section of the report card. My report card. I think I was in third grade.

How does one respond to such a statement?

Well, if that statement was can be thought of as constructive criticism, then, yeah — it was dead on. My response was a defensive one: That teacher doesn’t know how to give constructive criticism.

Defensiveness is not a character trait that I am pleased to admit. It’s one I’d like to lose.

What about you?

This podcast looks at the life of David and talks about how we can transition from defensiveness to teachability if we view God as did David.

Embracing & Avoiding Vulnerability :: Transitions

Presented at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields on 5/5/2019

How do you feel about vulnerability?

I would guess your answer would depend, largely, on your experiences.

If someone has taken advantage of you and injured you, vulnerability may be something you avoid. If people have treated you with tenderness in difficult times, you may not be frightened by vulnerability at all.

My guess is that most of us are in the former group, not the later.

This podcast is designed to help us transition our perspective on vulnerability so that we can use it to our advantage and to glorify God.

How Do You View Success :: Transitions

Presented at Curwensville Alliance Church on 4/28/2019 by Pastor Steve Shields

Bob was one of the kindest men I knew. I was in my twenties and he was in his seventies, but we clicked from the time we met. He encouraged me over and over in those early years of my ministry.

He was the kind of guy who would say the same thing over and over until you finally let it sink in. One of those things he said to me went like this:

You can’t please everyone.

He was right. You can’t. And if you allow others to define what it looks like to be successful, you’ll likely never taste true success.

This podcast encourages us to transition our thinking on success so that we can experience it and so that God will be glorified.