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Barnabas Center
Barnabas Center

CARPE DIEM (“SEIZE THE DAY”)

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NASB)

 

We got a brick.  Not just any brick but a special brick.  Some of you may have done the same thing.  It was the Summer Olympics of 1996.  It was a fundraising opportunity for the Olympics and you could inscribe anything you wanted on this brick, as long as it was no more than 10 characters. The brick is still there in Centennial Park.  What do you put on a brick that’s going to have your name and a phrase on it for decades to come?

We thought about “You ‘da man!” but it took too many spaces, besides I think that one’s been used before.  Then we thought of abbreviating.  MGIAAG “My God is an awesome God,” but only my wife Janet and I would’ve known what it meant.  Then, only Janet would’ve known what it meant because, with my great memory, I would have forgotten.

We decided on Carpe Diem; short sweet and to the point.  Isn’t that God’s desire for us, to seize the day?  As I write this, several friends and friends of friends have died quite suddenly.  One friend’s mother died at a restaurant.  Another friend died quite suddenly of cancer leaving behind a wife and child.  My sweet sister recently died in a car accident. You never know.

It’s got me thinking, how am I doing having that abundant life?  Am I seizing the day?  In our counseling situations, we often run into individuals that are paralyzed because of their past or are afraid of failure to the point they don’t move forward.  I must admit, at times I struggle with the same issues.  How many days, weeks, or even years are wasted because we are waiting for the right sequence of events to fall in place, to ensure success and not a failure?  The reference in John says, “I came so that you might have life”.  What does it mean to you to have a life?  How would you define the second half of that verse, “to live it abundantly”?

Sometimes we’re so busy looking for that right sequence of events for that 100% guarantee, that we miss God speaking to us through the body of Christ.  God has a plan for each of us. We are each gifted in unique and special ways.  I believe part of having that abundant life is exercising those gifts He has given us.

What keeps you from seizing the day?  For many of us it’s schedules and routines.  We spend the majority of our time surviving, living from paycheck to paycheck trying to make ends meet.  I believe one of the greatest ways that Satan undermines the family is through our schedules.  It’s like that old story, “How do you boil a frog?”  You put it in cold water and gradually turn the temperature up.  As a result, the frog doesn’t notice the temperature change, but if you drop it in hot water, it’ll hop right out.  I think in some ways, we’re the same.  We’re ready for the frontal attacks of alcohol, drugs, pornography, etc.  But we are not ready for the slow, gradual ways that our family can be undermined through our schedules and being overly committed.

Perhaps you have the same struggle that I do at times.  How can I listen to the voice of God, if I’m not being still? Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  In closing, let me encourage you to examine your schedules and your life.  Are you too busy, are you able to listen to God, are you able to be still?

CARPE DIEM!

 

Keith Niager LCSW

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Healing Through Confession by Cathy Clevenger, LCSW

I promise you don’t have to try confession if you still don’t want to after you read this blog. Confession, unfortunately, has a negative connotation for most of us.

We harbor feelings of guilt, pain, regret, bitterness and many other negative emotions because we are fearful of what that says about us as a person. We feel the need to hide our imperfections, negative thoughts, shaming memories and darkest emotions from others, and perhaps more significantly from ourselves.

I have learned over the past year that the act of confession is where, and when, God begins to truly heal us – emotionally and spiritually. Whether you write down the negative, shaming sins in your life, or just pour them out as you speak to God in prayer try to be as vulnerable as you can be in this process. You are purging your body of lies and toxic poisons on a spiritual level. Confession releases burdens we have been carrying without even realizing the heaviness of our load.

The last step you need to take is to look up from where you are kneeling, into the face of the one who loved you so much that he paid the price for all our sins.

May you see the Lord Jesus, with a smile of great joy, tears in His eyes because he has been waiting for you to come. He has a balm for your soul, tenderness beyond measure, and healing. He will not do it in the way you expect, remember to trust Him for His way is always better than ours. God’s banquet table is overflowing with His gifts which He wants to lavish upon His children. He is waiting for you to come to His table and sit with Him. Healing may not happen as quickly or as painless as we would like but when our heavenly Father heals us there is joy.

May you walk with Him and know this joy. We at the Barnabas Center know what it is to be a sinner. We also have need of confession. We are here for you if you need help in your journey.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Call 1-800-273-8255

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