A WORD FROM THE EDITOR
Self Pity Is Selfish
I’ve had my bouts with depression. I’ve tussled with it periodically for a while, and as of recent the fight has been fierce, but I’m thankful to say that no matter how bad it gets God restores my joy. He brings life back into my Spirit; I feel renewed every time, and because of Christ, I am able to face another day.
I had another one of those bouts this week.
As I sat there, I found myself staring at the phone wondering if someone would call and check on me. I talked to God and told Him, “Sometimes it’s just nice to feel like people are concerned and thinking of you enough to check up on you.
In my conversation with Him, the one word that I heard Jesus say was, “Selfish.”
I ponder over the past few days. It’s been a struggle to do anything or think of anyone else because my mind has been solely on me. I’m behind on assignments the Lord has given me because I was too tired or worn down to write. There were people I needed to see about or folks that wanted to chat, but I brushed them off because I didn’t feel like being bothered or talking to anyone. I knew I needed to do the newsletter last week, yet I couldn’t muster the energy to do anything else but daze off into oblivion.
It’s the strangest thing because I didn’t want anyone probing around and yet I wanted them to at least make the effort to find out what was wrong with me…
…but frankly, in companions to some of the people I know going through some things right now, what I’m going through is light weight compared to them. So why should I be walking around feeling sorry for myself and bogged down?
Now let me be clear. Depression is a very serious thing. In no way am I suggesting that everyone who deals with depression is having a pity party. When you are depressed it can feel as though there are boulders piling on top of you, and right when it seems like you’re getting out from under the pile, here comes some more. Other times you can feel stuck mentally, as if you’re trapped and there’s no escape. There have been days where I have literally felt like I was surrounded by a sea of hopelessness and I was slowly drifting to the bottom.
What I am saying is that just as I found out with my ordeal with suicide, I discovered that depression can have a selfish side to it as well. Confession is good; opening up is good, but it isn’t about gaining sympathy of others or having people rush to console and coddle you. It’s about allowing the Lord to remove the weight you’ve been carrying, experiencing His peace in your life and being free.
One thing I will note: when I began thinking of others besides myself, it felt good. A wonderful feeling comes from caring for someone else and we shouldn’t bury ourselves in misery and despair. I understand how hard it is to resist the urge to sink into the darkness, but you can’t keep isolating yourself either. It may not seem like it, but there’s someone who’d trade places with you in a minute. Allow Christ to remove the weight and start considering those God placed you in position to help.
There’s a reason you are here; there’s a reason for all the people He’s placed into your life and the things He’s placed on your heart to do. Don’t ever lose sight of that.
Local news in the area
No happenings as of yet, but the church is still currently raising money to finish the installation of our restroom. You can donate here: KTOR Radio
Sunday sermons, Wednesday messages
Sunday, April 17, 2016, “What Do You Want? (Matthew 6:33)”
“But first seek ye the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Mt. 6:33 KJV)
Each of us desires something, whether it be a want or a necessity, “…but God instructed us to seek His kingdom first.” We may find ourselves discussing about all the thing we wish we could have, but not everything on our wish list was meant for us to have. “Some things we want to desire don’t fit into the purpose [Jesus] has set for us.”
By seeking the Lord our desires change. The trivial things we used to desperately yearn for become irrelevant, and as we draw closer to Him, we begin to crave for things that are of Him. Our wants become less of a priority and we start to see everything we’ve been looking for is in His hands, but we have to search the Lord in order to find it. “If you want to be successful, put your hand in God’s…”
Our greatest desire should be to please the Father, “When your ways please God, even your enemies will be at peace.” We cannot live however we want, do whatever we want, and still expect God to turn a blind eye to it. As believers we have been called to live righteously and to uphold our relationship with God. To do that means to allow Christ to mold us and shape us to look Him, “God will start revealing what need to be corrected in you… When you start hollering about what you won’t do or give, you’re already on the wrong track.”
Have you been looking to the Source for what you want? “There’s not anything that you could desire that’s not listed in the Word of God… Sometimes we shouldn’t turn to Mama but God for advice.” Are you sure you know what you want? Too often we ask the Lord for things without understanding what it is precisely that we are asking Him for. God has all power and authority to grant us whatever it is that we desire, but a lot of times instead of lining up with His will we simply want God to hand it over.
Jesus only hands over the blessing when we are ready to receive it, “Are you even ready to receive what it is you want? Are you in position to receive it…? If you’re not even ready for it that blessing will turn into a curse.” Know what you want, seek God for what you want, and be ready to receive it.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016, “Malachi Chapter 3 Study”
Malachi is a message to the preacher, instructing him to get the house in order or else he will bring damnation upon himself and the congregation under him. A lot of us have the misconception that we’re fine simply because we’re showing up, “Just because we go through rituals…and formalities doesn’t mean we’re doing it right…” What we do is futile if our hearts and minds are not centered in Christ. In this passage, God was addressing the preacher for being hypocritical by practicing things outside of His will and for oppressing those within the church. God is, always has been, and will continue to be the same. We are the ones who must change.
In chapter 3 of Malachi, the body had become so entangled in sin that it didn’t seem like sin anymore. In particular, the preacher is called out for stealing from God because they were taking from the tithes, “How can people have hope if there is nothing in the storehouse for them? When you rob God, you cause the people to rob God… You can’t be blessed by skimming money off the top. Be honest and watch God bless you.” When we do right by God, we will prosper as a result.
When we learn to uplift those around us, we cause someone else to become a witness for Jesus. We negate all that however when we live a contrary life, “You blaspheme God’s Word… What’s the point of being saved if you’re not going to bother living saved?” Our pride keeps us stuck where we are, “There used to be a time when said would help each other…when [saints] weren’t ashamed to admit they needed help, but pride has us bound up in sin.” We can’t fix everything on our own, “…we need Jesus to get through this.” The question is do you want to be free from the things that are binding you? A lot of times, we’d rather join with those who will cosign our ungodliness rather than yoke up with people who will hold us accountable.
Saints don’t are when trouble arises because they know who’s in control. The things we are allowed to see aren’t intended for us to try and mess with, but rather He lets us see certain things to go and pray about them. “God strategically places us where we’re needed to make an impact.” Watch, pray and go do the things the Lord has called you to do. Regardless of the evil going on around us, there is still work to be done and we must go and do it.
THE ART GALLERY
Poems, shorts and other creative pieces
Touchy Subject (via YouTube)
by Ezekiel Azonwu
This week’s feature is the poet who goes by Ezekiel. He has gone on to do several well-known works for Christ, becoming a P4CM (Passion 4 Christ Movement) poet, as well as performing a few rap covers on his YouTube channel. You can view his poem Touchy Subject by clicking on the link below:
Events, announcements for the month of April
- April 2: Mission Workshop, Temple, Texas
- April 7: Brother Philip Prince’s Birthday
- April 12-14: PVACF “Deadly Love” Series, PVAMU MSC Student Lounge, 7 p.m.
- April 24: “The Remedy” Talent Showcase, 5 p.m.
- April 28: Sister Erma Sadberry’s Birthday
**This issue has been edited**