From the monthly archives: September 2016

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'September 2016'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

In Your Despair, Suicide Doesn’t Have to Be the Final Word


 


September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. This is a sobering topic and one with which our county is, unfortunately, well acquainted. It’s hard to say anything about the issue of suicide without trying to say everything, but this essay is primarily about the findability of hope when it all seems lost. If you are actively considering suicide, there are people waiting to talk with you. Please consider contacting the Crisis Text Line, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or Colorado Crisis Services.


The downward spiral started earlier that spring. As always, my depression came like a thief in the night, until I found myself bound in chains while it ran around in my life, crushing me.

That brought me to the beginning of June. The final day of horse camp. Horse camp had gone remarkably well. The kids were great. My helpers were fantastic, as always. The weather was beautiful. It had been loads of fun.

But after everyone had left, I slowly sank down into a chair in the barn’s tack room and wept. I was done…at the end of my rope, and not willing to hang on any longer. I was exhausted from the struggle of trying to hold myself together. I contemplated googling “painless ways to commit suicide” but I didn’t do it.

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To Do Justice: Six Summitview Women Fight Trafficking in Nepal


 


Summitview has a long history of missions involvement in Nepal. Our connections with church leaders in the Kathmandu area began in 2007, and since 2010, we have fully funded the operation of the Godawari Children’s Home just outside Kathmandu. We sent aid in the aftermath of the earthquake in 2015. And earlier this year, by God’s leading, we entered the fight to bring justice to trafficked women in Nepal.

Andrea Baker, Vanessa Felhauer, Sarah Keck, Nicolle Kuester, Sarah Lemons and Amy Mihaly spent two weeks in Nepal this spring connecting with anti-trafficking organizations and ministering in villages that have been heavily targeted by traffickers.

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You're Starving and Not Just for Dinner: On Feasting through Fasting


 


“One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet” (Proverbs 27:7).

How often I’ve experienced this! Hunger enhances our ability to enjoy food—both physically and spiritually. Many of my most inspiring biblical insights and encouragements have come from being so engrossed in Scripture, that I unintentionally skipped meals.

Physical hunger is a powerful motivator. It is also a fitting illustration of the intense level of desire we should have for God, his word and his will. Sometimes, however, we experience difficulty sustaining a fervent desire for the things of God. It happens to the best of us.

What are we to do when the spiritual feast that is set before us loses its attraction? The same as if it was a literal feast: We allow hunger to work in our favor until the feast is once again enticing. Fasting has a marvelous ability to strip us of worldly affections, distractions and dullness of heart. It’s not “fun” in itself, but it can lead to a richness of intimacy and satisfaction.

This may seem paradoxical, but the Bible is full of such paradoxes.

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Esther: A New Series about Providence, Power and Peace


 


Here we are in another election year. We sense the polarization and change this country is undergoing and are often gripped with fear, helplessness and hopelessness. We wonder: Where are we as a country going? Will this end well for us?

We have our own local issues, as well, such as single-payer healthcare, working wages and assisting the terminally ill. How do you step thoughtfully into the political arena? How do you engage in any of these issues with confidence, clarity and conviction? What if “my” side doesn’t win? Can you just stick your head in the sand and hope it all goes away?

Thankfully, the Bible has spoken.

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Gender-ification: Making Sense of the Bible's Teaching on Sex and Gender


 


A couple weeks ago I spent part of a Thursday afternoon on the Colorado State campus listening to Tom Short, a campus preacher affiliated with our movement of churches, who was spending each afternoon that week on the CSU Plaza speaking to students. By the time I got there, Tom had drawn a sizable crowd and was having a spirited conversation with a handful of rather hostile students. Shortly after I arrived, a young man stopped beside me to listen and we soon struck up a conversation. He was from Saudi Arabia and had just arrived in Fort Collins, although he had spent a couple years at a different American university before coming to CSU. He told me he had listened to Tom some in the previous days, so I asked him what he thought. Here was his summary: “All you Americans ever talk about is sex.”

That, of course, was not a point I could argue. As we continued to listen to Tom, the discussion most definitely was about sex and specifically about sexual boundaries and gender definition, just as it had often been throughout that week. This probably doesn’t surprise many of you, and you may not need to be convinced that sexuality is a hot topic. Still, sometimes we need to be reminded just how much gender dominates faith-related discussions.

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