Spiritual Growth – Carol Clemens
What makes an emotionally/spiritually healthy family or church?
One of the first powerful truths that I learned in my Bible-based counseling college education is the definition of being a healthy family or healthy church.
Read this closely: A healthy family or church lives by this truth: We talk and share how we feel freely; therefore, we build deep trust. An unhealthy family or church does not talk. They do not share their feelings; therefore, they do not build trust.
In my twenty-nine years of being a Certified Pastoral Counselor, one of many issues that I counsel is helping people, who were deeply hurt in childhood and were threatened to not talk about their pain, to be able to vent their painful emotions in a safe atmosphere. Through Acts 2:38 salvation, sins are gone, but a person may have deep emotional wounds.
Salvation does wash away our sins, but it does not remove our life experiences or painful emotional memories. Therefore, we can be fully saved, but deeply emotionally wounded.
The church should be a safe place to talk, share and love each other unconditionally.
If someone tells you not to talk about painful issues, that is not of God.
Proverbs 12:25 – “Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.” How can we share a ‘good word’ if we are told not to talk to each other? To be emotionally and spiritually healthy, we must find a safe person to talk to about the pain in our lives. I always ask the question, “What is God’s truth about your situation?”
When we read Isaiah 61, God shares that we would have the ‘good news,’ which is the gospel, and continued to say that He would heal the broken in heart and set captives free of their prison (of toxic thinking) – etc. God has impressed on my heart that the emotional healing from toxic experiences, that produce toxic thoughts, would happen after salvation. (If I’m wrong – please correct me).
Please, never tell someone not to talk. God knows what we will say before we say it – See Psalm 139:4.
Identity and Scripture- Vickie Hodges
Desperate for the Whole Armor of God
Is there a particular stage or season in our lives when we begin to realize the extreme importance of wearing the whole armor of God? Are we familiar with the armor pieces only from a Sunday School story’s perspective or from suiting up and using these pieces all throughout our daily living? In order to live a successful, overcoming, victorious life in Christ, we must become very familiar with each armor piece and know when and how to use them strategically. In this article, we will exam three armor pieces…the belt (of truth), the breastplate (of righteousness), and the gospel (of peace).
Ephesians 6:14-17 gives a list of the full armor of God, with the first armor piece being the belt of truth buckled around our waist. This belt encircles our entire body, making sure we are fully encompassed with truth. Truth needs no justification because the nature of truth is a defense within itself.
Next, we see the breastplate of righteousness. This breastplate has two types of righteousness for us to use…the righteousness of God that He Himself has given us (2 Corinthians 5:21), and the second, the righteousness God carries out through us like ‘the righteous acts of the saints’ (Revelation 19:8). In daily spiritual battle, both of these varieties of righteousness protect our hearts.
And third, we have the gospel (of peace). Our feet are fitted with this readiness that comes with the gospel of peace. The gospel of peace is the Good News of forgiveness of sins and access to oneness with God. This oneness with God produces peace…speaking peace, spreading peace, living peace, everywhere our feet trod.
Next month we will look at the shield (of faith), helmet (of salvation), and the sword (of the Spirit). We will become desperate for the whole armor of God when we find ourselves in a place of total confusion. Let’s be thankful for these times of confusion and desperation, because these times cause us to fully trust in God and take on His armor for complete protection, mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Selah! Now take a praise break!
Relationships 201- Daniel Sirstad
What is Porn Addiction?
There is some difference of opinion on what addiction is, including pornography addiction. The determining factor is often whether you are the primary figure in the addiction or if it is someone else under consideration.
It is a whole lot easier to diagnose addiction in others than in ourselves. Anything that controls us is unhealthy. When we find ourselves not wanting to do what we end up doing, we are not in control of ourselves or our circumstances. Even the Holy Ghost does not control us as much as guides us. We decide when and if to follow.
With addiction, we, in part, lose the ability to decide, so the addiction chooses for us. When this happens, addiction is controlling us.
The church is no stranger to helping those who are addicted. Many churches have support groups for alcohol and narcotic recovery etc., for a good reason. Although some churches have sexual addiction recovery groups, the number of them is significantly fewer.
We need moral purity groups to reach the church, not just the community.
Some questions to ask in regards to pornography addiction:
1. How long have you been looking at porn?
2. How many times have you quit?
3. Is your porn usage hurting anybody?
Many apostolics access porn to the level of their addiction. It may be once a week, while for others, it may be once every 3-4 months. We must look at both of these as addictions. Neither is healthy. Both are destructive.
Apostolic Moral Purity (apostolicmoralpurity.com), a DayStar Ministries ministry, focuses on helping apostolics find victory over pornography and sexual impurity. Go to the website to find out how to access live events in November, December, and beyond.
If you wish to help those currently addicted or you are presently accessing porn yourself, AMP is a safe place to find help. Please join us in these upcoming live events. You may access these events anonymously.
We want to help. Feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may rest assured that confidentiality is a primary concern. You are not alone!
Accounting and Tax- Delano Sherley
Employee Retention Credit
Initially, the AICPA was not sure if churches qualified for the ERC; thus, we waited until further guidance was released before recommending that churches apply. If you experienced a significant decline in gross receipts (more than 50%, per quarter) or fully or partially suspended any significant part of operations due to a government mandate (including capacity limitations) during any calendar quarter since the pandemic began, you may be eligible for the ERC (even if you also received a PPP loan, but not on the same wages if the loan was forgiven).
The credit can be claimed on payroll paid between March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2021. The credit is claimed against certain 941 payroll taxes. Note: If you do not withhold FICA taxes on ministerial wages, these wages are not eligible for the ERC.
If you feel you may qualify, you have up to three years to amend Form 941 to claim the credit and receive a refund. Due to the complexity of the qualifications, we recommend that you contact your church attorney and accountant to verify you qualify and to file the amended returns. Note that further guidance is expected from the IRS which may change this recommendation.