Have You Made a Religious System to Cope with Fear? :: PODCAST

Presented on 10/1/2017 at Curwensville Alliance by Pastor Steve Shields

In his book, What’s Wrong with Religion, Skye Jethani suggests that a lot of religious systems have been developed to help us manage our fear. Fear of the wilderness we find ourselves inhabiting. 

I think he’s right.

And I think even the most seasoned veterans of Christian faith can find themselves creating religious mechanisms to keep them “safe”.

This is never what God has in mind. And it’s never effective.

In this podcast, I try to identify what a religious mechanism looks like and how we can turn from them to the personal God who makes us safe.
-Pastor Steve

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PODCAST: Trust Issues?

Presented at Curwensville Alliance on 5/15/2016 by Pastor Steve Shields

You’ve heard people say it, right? “I have trust issues.” Sure you have. And if you’re like me, you sympathize, but a part of you wants to reply, “And… you think that makes you different than…who?” Struggling to trust is not unique to the few.

Almost everyone I know has trust issues. We’d like to think it’s because of the day in which we live. How can we not struggle to trust when we see so much evil around us. But it’s no more unique to our era than the concept is unique to you or me.

It’s said that the most often repeated command in Scripture is Fear not. Do you ever wonder why? Sure, there are the everyday reasons. Fear leads us backwards. Fear doesn’t accomplish anything extraordinary. Fear stifles. But perhaps there is a more basic reason. Maybe fear is the opposite of trust. Maybe the commonness of the command, Fear not, serves to remind us of the commonness of trust issues.

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Part of Jesus’ mission was to show us the glory of God — filled with grace and truth. And in His statement, I am the good shepherd, Jesus gives us good reason to trust God. He helps us with our trust issues.

This podcast addresses this in ways I hope you find helpful.
~Pastor Steve

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PODCAST: Fearless Living

Presented on 1/31/2016 by Pastor Steve Shields at Curwensville Alliance

This is one fearless guy.

Few of us would be brave enough (or insane enough) to run that course. And while it’s good to have a well-reasoned fear of events like this, it is a bad thing to make your life-decisions from the platform of fear.

Faith – it’s an important concept in our relationship with God, right?

For years, I believe the opposite of faith was doubt. But these days, I feel the opposite of faith is fear. Fear and mistrust go hand in hand. So if I am afraid, I probably am struggling to trust — maybe even to trust God.

Think of the places you are most afraid. I am afraid when I drive in the snow. Not because of myself. I trust my own driving. I am afraid because I don’t trust other drivers. If I trusted them, I’d have little fear. Lack of trust plays a major role in the life marked by fear.

The Bible teaches that perfect love casts out all fear. Why? Because love creates trust.

And when we trust, we can be fearless.

This podcast speaks about living fearlessly.

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