The Daniel Fast for the Body, Soul and Spirit | Eden Westside Baptist Church

The Daniel Fast

The Daniel Fast for the Body, Soul and Spirit

The Bible teaches us that we are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. The Daniel Fast affects all three parts of us as we enter into a period of time for focused prayer and fasting.

The Body

Certainly our bodies are affected as our diet is changed, for some in very dramatic ways, during the Daniel Fast. Many men and women experience detoxing from caffeine, chemicals and sugar. The symptoms are most often headaches, leg cramps, fatigue and malaise.

Most people lose weight during the Daniel Fast. And many report healings from diabetes, allergies, arthritis and cancer.

The Soul

Frequently referred to as “the flesh” in the Bible, the soul is also greatly impacted during the Daniel Fast. The soul is the seat of our emotions, intellect, personality and will. It is in the “soulish realm” where we experience cravings, frustration, anger . . . and even happiness.

During the Daniel Fast, your soul may very well rebel against the dramatic change in your diet. Experiencing and winning this battle over the flesh is often one of the most powerful lessons of the Daniel Fast.

The Spirit

Our spirit is that born-again part of us that surrenders to God and then abides with the Father and the Son. Our spirit is filled with the Holy Spirit when we yield to Him. During the Daniel Fast, we want to put our spirit in charge of the other two parts of us. When our flesh is acting out with a craving, we take control of it with our spirit (just as a parent takes control of a rebellious child).

The Daniel Fast teaches us to deny our “selves” and instead put our spirit in control over our flesh. As you plan your meals and eat your food, keep in mind that the definition of a fast is to deny food for a spiritual purpose.

The Daniel Fast for the Body, Soul and Spirit | Eden Westside Baptist Church

One of the most powerful lessons I ever learned took place when I was trying to gain greater understanding about our make up: we are a spirit, we have a soul and we live in a body. I wanted to know more of how that relates to my Christian life. It was a simple little exercise, but the revelation was amazing and has given me so much understanding!

The understanding I gained has also helped me so much during the Daniel Fast and when dealing with emotions and circumstances. I encourage you to take a few minutes to draw a little picture. Hopefully you too will gain much insight about yourself and our relation to the Spirit.

Step One:

Get a sheet of paper and on the top half, draw three side-by-side stick figures. Under each of stick figures, name them as Spirit, Soul and Body. Now on the top of the paper, write your name. Take a couple minutes and think about this being a “portrait of YOU!” As simple as this is, this little drawing shows you as a spirit, a soul and a body.

Step Two:

It is your spirit that is born-again when you accept Christ as your Savior. It’s often referred to as the “inner man” or “the new creation.” Under the “spirit” figure, write the character qualities of the spirit. You can look up Galatians 5:16-22 and see the nine fruits of the spirit. List them under your “spirit figure.”

Step Three:

The “soul” is also referred to as “the flesh.” It is where our will, emotions and intellect reside. This is the part of us that we surrender to God to be transformed into the ways of Christ. Under the “soul” label, make a list of what comes out of the soul (i.e. anger, pride, jealousy, etc.).

Step Four:

The “body” is like a puppet and subject to what the “spirit” or the “soul” causes it to do. The Word says that our body is the “temple of the Holy Spirit.” Yet, too often we don’t treat our bodies in this esteemed state. Our soul-man feeds it foods that are not good for it or we bring destruction to it.

During the Daniel Fast, we are putting our spirit in charge over our soul and our body. When our soul cries out, “I want that cup of coffee!” or, “I want that hamburger!” out spirit tells our soul to, “Sit down and behave. I am in charge. You can’t have everything you want.” This authority from our spirit can also take place when resentment, fear or jealousy try to take command in us. Again, we say choose the way of faith. We walk in the spirit as He is in the Spirit. Instead of resentment, we choose forgiveness. Instead of fear, we choose trust in God. Instead of jealousy, we choose thanksgiving. Instead of darkness, we choose His marvelous Light. Instead of death, we choose life.

Study this simple “portrait.” Let it minister to you and bring truth to your spirit. And allow it to give you understanding as you continue through this period of prayer and fasting.

How do I Prepare for the Daniel Fast?

You will experience a more successful fast if you spend some time preparing for your time of focused prayer and fasting.

Quiet Time:

If you don’t already have an established daily quiet time with the Lord, then this is an excellent opportunity to do so.

Starting your day with the God is a habit that will support your faith and growing intimacy with the Lord. During your Daniel Fast, be sure to set a daily time to come before the Lord, to study His Word and His ways.

Prepare Your Body:

It’s a wise move to prepare your body for the fast by easing off sugar, caffeine and chemicals before your first day of fasting. Otherwise, you may experience physical detox symptoms of headaches, cramping and fatigue. Start to drink at least 1/2 gallon of filtered water each day.

How do I conclude a Daniel Fast?

Just as you prepared to start your Daniel Fast, you will want to plan for the conclusion of your fast.

Changing the way you eat: If you have been on an extended fast of 10 or more days, your physical body has enjoyed healthy and easily digestible foods. Most people realize increased energy and better health during their fast.

Reintroduce caffeine, sugar, dairy products, deep fried foods and meat slowly to keep your body from rebelling and bring you discomfort. Small portions are better and adding no more than one type of food each day will give your body a chance to get used to the change.

Keep the gems of the fast: Most likely, you have gained many powerful lessons about your health and spiritual life. Carry these positive changes into your everyday life. If you have created a habit of meeting with the Lord each morning, then continue that practice.

If you have gained understanding about healthy eating habits or broken addictions to specific foods, then continue with those good practices.

Let the lessons you learned during your Daniel Fast continue to bring more health to your body, soul and spirit all year long.

What if I Have Health Issues?

Fasting should never bring harm to the body. And if you have concerns, be sure to consult your health professional before going on the Daniel Fast or making any major dietary change.

The Daniel Fast is a very healthy way to eat! So health professionals will support this eating plan, but might suggest a few modifications if you have health issues that need special attention. For example, pregnant and nursing mothers might get instructions to add fish, chicken and cheese into the Daniel Fast, but otherwise stay the course. Diabetics may need to add more carbohydrates or include chicken and fish. Also, those who are especially active either through sports, bodybuilding or vocation may need to slightly alter the eating plan.

View The Daniel Fast Quick Start Guide

View The Daniel Fast Event

Download the Daniel Fast Prayer Guide

Painkillers: Insecurity How are you dealing with pain Eden Westside Baptist Church Pell City Alabama and Leeds River Campus

Painkillers: Insecurity

Painkillers:  Insecurity – You aren’t good enough. You never do anything right. You’ll never be enough for anybody … The internal dialogue of someone struggling with insecurity is constant, negative, and defeating. You may even look fine on the outside — smiling and talking and laughing — but on the inside, your thoughts constantly turn to how worthless you are. How everyone hates you. How you’re such a loser.

The insecure person feels like a failure, no matter how many successes they have in life. They believe they’re inferior, no matter how smart or good-looking or talented or kindhearted they are. Insecurity also almost always leads to developing unhealthy relationships. After all, if you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, it’s impossible to have a healthy relationship with another person.

Painkillers:  Insecurity  How are you dealing with pain Eden Westside Baptist Church Pell City Alabama and Leeds River Campus

But where does this insecurity come from? In almost all cases, insecurity is a direct result of pain. Sometimes, it’s pain from an unhappy childhood. Overly critical parents and emotionally-abusive spouses are a common cause of insecurity. Insecurity can also come from failure or rejection. Other times, insecurity stems from some trauma, like losing a loved one.

Wherever the pain came from, the result tends to be much the same. The past hurt leads to insecurity, which in turn, leads to isolation, loneliness, social anxiety, negative thoughts about yourself, and the tendency to constantly need approval from other people.

Today’s world offers abundant reasons for pain and feelings of insecurity. Too fat or skinny? You get shamed. Too smart or not smart enough? People line up to criticize you. We have a society that criticizes and hurts people for being too rich, too poor, too nice, too strong, too religious, too into sports, not macho enough for sports … whatever you happen to be, there’s somebody out there ready to attack and criticize you.

Painkillers:  Insecurity

Once insecurity sets in, it becomes almost impossible to live a healthy, normal lifestyle. You begin avoiding other people, because you’re afraid of more criticism and rejection. It’s easy to get sucked into bad relationships, because abusive people like to feed off of the insecurity and anxieties of their mates. Many people who fall into the insecurity trap may even try to kill the pain of their isolation and loneliness with drugs and alcohol. It’s a vicious cycle.

But letting go of your insecurities isn’t so easy. Even if you are able to see the damage your insecurity is causing in your life, you can’t just flip a switch and make it go away. After all, that insecurity serves as a barrier between you and your pain. As long as you can hide in your feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, you don’t have to face the hurt of rejection, failure, social anxiety, or whatever else is causing you pain.

What if I told you that there’s a way to heal from your insecurities, without having a head-on collision with your heartache and pain? Philippians 4 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

God doesn’t want us to hurt and worry. He doesn’t want us to face our pain alone. The peace that He gives doesn’t even make sense in our natural world, but He is both able and willing to give that peace to you freely and without judgment.

Would you like to learn more about how to let go of unhealthy ways we deal with pain, like isolation, intoxication, idolatry, inappropriate relationships, and others? Eden Westside Baptist Church is offering a special series called Painkillers, discussing all the damaging ways we try to cover our pain and how to get out of these dangerous traps. Join us this Sunday at 8 a.m. or 11 a.m. at our main campus in Eden, or at 11 a.m. at our River Campus, next to the Shops at Grand River. Or, you can watch us online at www.EdenWestside.org/Painkillers.

Painkillers: Intellectual Sabotage How are you dealing with pain Eden Westside Baptist Church Pell City Alabama and Leeds River Campus

Painkillers: Intellectual Sabotage

Painkillers:  Intellectual Sabotage – How do you deal with pain?

Some people climb into the bottom of a pill box or liquor bottle. Others escape into a world of isolation and insecurity. Still more people hide from their pain inside their own minds. We call this ‘Intellectual Sabotage’.

Intellectual Pursuit Versus Intellectual Sabotage

The pursuit of intellectual goals is both commendable and worthy of our time. We should always strive to gain more knowledge and discipline ourselves to continually learn and grow. In fact, God dedicated two whole books to the importance of gaining wisdom and understanding! Both Proverbs and Ecclesiastes contain an abundance of wisdom for our everyday lives, most of it directly from the wisest man who ever lived, King Solomon. Intellectual pursuit is a good thing.

But pain changes everything. Rejection by our peers, abuse and criticism from our parents, hurt inflicted by romantic partners, the loss of a child, losing a job, backstabbing by a friend or loved one — pain changes the way we use our intellect, and not in a good way.

Painkillers: Intellectual Sabotage How are you dealing with pain Eden Westside Baptist Church Pell City Alabama and Leeds River Campus

When you’re hurt, one of the most common ways of dealing with that pain is to escape into your intellect. You try to outsmart your pain. “I’m smarter than them,” you think. “I can use my intellect to get out of this painful situation.” At that point, your intellect stops being a benefit to you and to others. Now, your intellect becomes a weapon that you can use to protect you from hurt and hurt others back when they cause you pain.

The Pitfalls of Intellectual Sabotage

We often think of the Original Sin as Eve disobeying God and eating the forbidden fruit. But what made Eve partake? Why did she give in so quickly to Satan’s temptation? Satan promised her that when she ate the fruit she would become “like God” and able to “see good and evil”. Eve wanted to be like God, knowing what He knows and understanding what He understands. She ate the fruit, and we’re still paying for that little snack today!

How do you know when your pain has turned your intellect into sabotage? Intellectual sabotage happens when you begin to trust in yourself, ignoring the knowledge and wisdom of others. You don’t listen to their opinions or consider their ideas. You think you know better and that no one else is smart enough to guide you.

The intellect in your mind becomes greater than the love in your heart. Instead of using your mind for the “greater good” you begin using your intellect as a weapon against other people. Someone hurts your feelings? You get them back with a wisecrack or smart comment. Someone alienates you or leaves you out? That’s okay, because you know you’re smarter than them and better than they are.

Now, with a false sense of superiority, you begin promoting your own interests above the interests of others. You become self-righteous and don’t think you need the advise and input from other people. You don’t even listen to God anymore, because you’ve already got it all figured out by yourself.

Many people become isolated and insecure, hiding from their pain in their own intellect. They reject others by calling them ‘dumb’ or ‘stupid’ before others have the chance to reject them. Does this sound like you? Have you tried to escape your pain, only to become bitter, critical of others, and isolated from the very people you want to love you?

Healing From Pain & Escaping Intellectual Sabotage

If so, you are not alone. God understands the pain and isolation and insecurity behind your intellectual sabotage. More importantly, He wants to heal you of your pain and restore your relationships, giving you peace of mind and a clearer understanding.

Join us at Eden Westside for this powerful series on Painkillers. As you’ve learned here, painkillers aren’t limited to using drugs and alcohol. There are many ways we use to escape life’s pain and heartache, including intellectual sabotage. Visit Eden Westside this Sunday, where you can learn more about healthy ways to cope and how to get out of traps like intellectual sabotage. Or, visit our website at http://www.edenwestside.org/painkillers/ to see this powerful series online and get even more valuable resources to cope with pain, including helpful blog posts and daily video devotionals. Most of all, we look forward to introducing you to our ultimate PainTaker, Jesus Christ.

If this information has touched your heart and life, please be sure to let us know at 205.338.7711.  We will be happy to pray with you and off support and encouragement.

Painkillers: Intoxication

Painkillers:  Intoxication – You’ve heard the statistics. Some twenty million Americans age 12 and up have some sort of chemical addiction problem. One hundred of them die from overdose every day, totaling 570,000 deaths each year in the U.S alone. Every year, almost 10 million of them drive while under the influence, contributing to the single greatest preventable cause of death in the United States: traffic accidents.

The opioid crisis in America has escalated to the point that our President has declared a State of Emergency. Local government and first responders debate the rising costs of providing life-saving care to overdose victims. Experts say that between 30% and 50% of all divorces are related to alcohol abuse. Intoxication is killing America. It’s killing our children, disabling our parents, and destroying our families.

Drug and alcohol abuse is horrifyingly high, but that, my friends, is not really the problem. We do not have a drug and alcohol problem in this country. What we have is a pain problem.

How Pain Leads to Intoxication & Addictions

When you get right down to the bottom of alcohol addiction, prescription drug abuse, and the abuse of illegal drugs, it is almost universally a matter of a broken person trying to cover up their hurt and pain with the numbing effects of intoxication. Hurt from a traumatic childhood, pain from a bad relationship, the overwhelming problems following a friend’s betrayal or losing your job, the tragic death of a loved one … there are many causes for intense emotional and psychological pain. But addiction is almost always the result of trying to cover up some deep hurt, whether it’s a pain from the past or a heartache that persists today.

Using drugs and alcohol as painkillers has become a socially-accepted thing. Have a bad day? Go home and relax with some wine! Stressed out? Sip some beer while you zone out with the TV. School and work getting you down? There’s really nothing wrong with taking a few tokes of pot. After all, it’s the “safe drug” — or so we’re told. How can there be anything wrong with prescription drugs? Doctors hand them out every day! What they don’t tell you is what those little sips and smokes look like a year from now … five years from now … or 10 years down the road. They don’t tell you that it affects literally every aspect of your life, and none of it in a positive way.

Why Intoxication Never Solves the Pain Problem

In reality, alcohol and drugs don’t even really numb the pain, let alone get rid of it. Intoxication is just a road to more and more pain. Intoxication is the single greatest cause of a whole host of other problems that can wreck your life. Divorce and damaged family relationships. Child abuse and intervention in the family by DHR. Job loss, financial troubles, car accidents, hospitalizations, depression and suicide attempts … all these and more are often directly related to intoxication by drugs or alcohol.

If this sounds like you, you probably already see the negative effects of intoxication in your life. We don’t have to tell you that intoxication leads to more pain, like loneliness, guilt, worry, frustration, and isolation. The fear of waking up feeling awful, not even sure what you said or did the night before. Trying to hide the red eyes, explain away yet another headache, or conjure up another excuse for losing your car keys or, worse, losing control of your temper.

What you can’t see right now is how to cope with your pain without using drugs or alcohol. How bad will it hurt? How can you struggle through your addiction while the pain that you’re trying to cover up threatens to pull you under?

The Healthy Way to Deal with Intoxication & Pain

We want to tell you about a better way. We want to tell you about something better than any painkiller you can get today — either legal or illegal. We want to tell you about Someone who doesn’t just numb your pain or cover it up for a little while. We want to tell you about the PainKiller who is big enough, strong enough, and loving enough to wash away both the pain and the intoxication and addictions it caused in your life. He can take your pain completely away! No expensive drugs, no hangover or withdrawal symptoms. This PainTaker is Jesus Christ.

He cares about your pain (Psalm 34:19 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”). His word promises that He will never leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”).

He isn’t turned off by who you are or what you’ve done. He isn’t mad at you for the unhealthy ways you’ve tried to deal with your pain. He sees your pain, and He wants more than anything to erase it for good. In fact, He wants that so desperately that He suffered a brutal death on the Cross just to heal your pain and become your Friend! (I Peter 3:18 says, “For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually.”)

Eden Westside Baptist Church wants to help you find your PainTaker, Jesus. We are presenting a 7-part series on the unhealthy ways people deal with pain and how to turn your life around with the only true PainTaker, Jesus Christ. Join us at Eden Westside this Sunday at 8 a.m. or 11 a.m. or at 11 a.m. at our River Campus next to Shops at Grand River. Or, you can see this powerful series online at EdenWestside.org/painkillers/.

Here you will find many helpful resources, including our pastor’s special message on Intoxication, a week of daily devotionals, blog posts like this one, and more. If these messages touch your heart and life, be sure to let us know at 205-338-7711. We will be happy to pray with you and offer support and encouragement as you work to end the addiction of intoxication and get to know our ultimate PainTaker, Jesus Christ.

Painkillers: Idolatry How are you dealing with pain Eden Westside Baptist Church Pell City Alabama and Leeds River Campus

Painkillers: Idolatry

Painkillers:  Idolatry

It seems strange to us that ancient cultures built wood and stone idols and bowed down to them and worshiped them as gods. As silly as it sounds today to bow down and worship trees and rocks fashioned by hands, we do the same thing in this culture. Our society still worships idols — the idols just take different forms. We worship youth and beauty and technology. We worship fashion and money, and even sports. Some of us worship the god of self.

Even good and necessary things can become our idols. Some people worship their careers, their children, their skills and talents, their pets, or the power they hold in their position. In fact, any time we put something in our life above its rightful place, we are worshiping that thing.

Why Pain Leads Us to Idolatry

What makes us throw ourselves into football or our work or Netflix binges? Why do we spend so much time engaged in these things, instead of having balance in our lives? How does one aspect of our life start to overpower everything else, until we abandon our other responsibilities and focus only on the idol we’ve created?

In many cases, idolatry is the result of trying to escape some pain. Pain comes from many places, like losing a child, getting a divorce, suffering through an abusive childhood, being betrayed by a friend, suffering hurt at the hands of a loved one, and even losing a job. These things can all cause deep wounds that lead to severe emotional pain. Sometimes, that pain lasts for years; even decades.

Society hasn’t given us many good ways to cope with emotional pain. If we have physical pain, we can go to a doctor and get treatments or medications to make us feel better. But in many ways, emotional pain is even worse than physical pain. And the more we try to hide from it or cover it up with unhealthy painkillers, like idolatry, the worse the problem becomes.

For many people today, it’s a lot easier to loose yourself in some idol than to face up to the pain. For example, if you throw yourself behind rooting for your favorite sports team, you don’t have to think about the friend who betrayed you. If you bury yourself in work, you can temporarily numb the pain of losing a child. If you spend all your time fussing over making everything perfect for your kids, you can forget for awhile how your spouse left you to raise them alone.

How to Tell if You’re Using Idolatry to Kill Your Pain

Obsessing too much over anything is a sure sign it has become your idol. You can notice the idols in your life because these are the things that take you away from other things you should be focused on. Does your life lack balance? Do you spend too much time working, while neglecting your family? Or, maybe you spend so much time and energy watching football that you neglect other responsibilities, like mowing the lawn or spending valuable one-on-one time with your spouse and children.

You can even make idols out of otherwise good things! People sometimes idolize their children, showering them with gifts and spending too many hours catering to the needs of the kids, neglecting other important areas of their lives, like their marriage. Your job, your relationships, your car, your money, your hobby — all these things can become idols, especially if you’re trying to escape pain. A healthy life, without the offense of idolatry, is a balanced life. In the healthy, balanced life, no one thing takes more than its share of your attention, adoration, money, time, and other resources.

Pulling out of your idol worship is extremely difficult, because it means facing all that pain without the help of your painkiller! If you stop spending 60-plus hours per week at work, that means you’re going to have to come home and face the difficulties of your marriage, or perhaps a completely empty house. If you stop shopping, you’ll have to face up to that mountain of credit card debt or perhaps the loss of a loved one that you’ve been trying to ‘shop’ out of your mind. Whenever you give up your idol, you must face the reality of the pain that idol is trying to cover up.

Does this sound like you? Have you been using some hobby or responsibility in your life as a painkiller, and now it’s become your idol? If so, then you already know that your idol isn’t a painkiller at all. In fact, the idol brings you much more pain. Our idols never satisfy us. They never love us back. They always leave us more empty and in pain than we were before.

The problem with idols is twofold. First, the time and energy we spend on our idol robs other areas of our lives, including our relationships, our careers, our children, and our futures — depending on what we idolize. Second, the idols cause us additional pain, meaning we have to ‘up’ our dose of painkillers. The more we try to avoid pain by sinking ourselves into an idol, the more pain we cause for ourselves, and the more we depend on our idol to kill our pain! It’s a dangerous, deadly cycle.

Getting Out of Idolatry & Ending the Pain the Right Way

But there is a way out. No matter what idol you’ve turned to trying to ease your pain, there is a PainTaker who can both restore you from idol worship AND heal the pain you’ve been trying to ease. You’ll be relieved to know that you can regain a sense of balance back in your life, without having to give in to the pain and hurt that drove you to your idol in the first place.

When we think of the life of Jesus, we often think of miracles like multiplying the bread and fish, turning water into wine, and walking on water. But, overwhelmingly, Jesus’ ministry involved healing! And it wasn’t just healing physical sickness, like the blind and the lame. Many of his healings involved healing emotional and psychological pain.

For example, the woman at the well had no physical ailments. Her pain came from a deep sense of guilt and shame over a sinful lifestyle. Yet Jesus gladly took her pain, and her testimony was responsible for many people in her city turning to Christ. Many of the very people who shunned and scorned her came to the saving grace of Jesus because of her testimony.

Similarly, the woman caught in adultery was in no physical pain, but her mental anguish was grievous. The religious people dragged her shamefully in front of everyone in town to humiliate and stone her for her sins. But Jesus didn’t shame her, and He didn’t even allow them to stone her, as was the Law in that day. He healed her pain and gave her a whole new reason to “go and sin no more.” He didn’t cover up these ladies’ pain or distract them from their pain. He took it away and gave them new life!

This same PainTaker, Jesus Christ, is still working today. He’s still in the pain-taking business. He’s not mad at you for serving your idols, but He is ready for you to turn away from those and turn to Him. Whatever your pain, whatever the cause, however long you’ve struggled with these issues, He can lead you out. He’s just waiting for you to reach out to Him.

To learn more about the unhealthy ways we deal with life’s pain and how to turn that pain around, with the help of Jesus, visit us this Sunday at Eden Westside Baptist Church. We have services at our Eden campus at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., and at 11 a.m. at our Leeds River Campus, right next to the Shops at Grand River. Come see how your Ultimate PainTaker, Jesus, is ready to help you lose your pain and regain your life.


Painkillers is a special teaching series to help those who are experiencing pain in their life. Please visit www.EdenWestside.org to access the full teaching series, daily video devotions and other resources on this subject. If you would like to talk with someone, please call 205.338.7711.

Painkillers: Independent Spirit

Independent Spirit

Independence, according to Americans, is a good thing. Our society is taught to value independence. We teach our children to recite the Declaration of Independence. We celebrate ‘Independence Day’. Women are hailed for being ‘independent’ when they are able to succeed without having to depend on a man for her income. We attend ‘Independent’ churches and we praise people who are ‘financially independent’. Can independence be a bad thing?

What Separates Good Independence from Harmful Independence?

Independence, in the sense that you are capable of taking care of yourself and don’t have to rely on others for basic necessities — is a good thing. But a spirit of independence — that is, the idea that you don’t want or need anyone else, their opinions, or their approval — is a different matter entirely.

The problem with independence is that it isolates you, and once you are isolated, your own mind runs amuck. Normally, people who are well-connected with strong relationships get good feedback from others. When they withdraw into an independent spirit, it’s extremely easy to get sucked into all sorts of other twisted thinking.

Humans are designed from the beginning to function together. After God created the world, He said everything was all good, except for one thing: man didn’t need to be alone. From the moment God created a companion for Adam, humans have been more secure, safe, and even successful when they operate together.

All Humans are Dependent by Nature

For many years, experts in psychology believed that dependence on others was a trait of human weakness. But now the field of psychology realizes that, in order to be mentally, spiritually, and emotionally healthy, we must all have a degree of dependence on others. From the moment humans are born, they only survive based on their dependence on others, usually their parents, to take care of them.

Even the healthiest, highest-functioning adults are, to a degree, dependent on others. The CEO can’t handle all the production work and customer service calls, plus sweeping the floors and taking out the trash. He must depend on a team, sometimes many teams, to get it all done. Similarly, family units are dependent on each other to work together for the mutual benefit of all. We are social creatures by nature and by necessity. We’re simply designed and built for dependence on one another.

The Independent Spirit is Often Born out of Pain

But how can you know when your independent-mindedness becomes something that isn’t healthy?

This life is tough. As the old saying goes, “No one gets out of here alive,” and that’s true! Along the way, people get hurt. Parents hurt children. Spouses hurt one another. Siblings fight and feud. Friends betray friends … It’s impossible to get through this life without experiencing some pain.

People deal with pain in different ways. Some try to hide in the bottom of a pill or liquor bottle. Others get involved in unhealthy relationships so they don’t have to face the pain alone. But many people fall into a dangerous painkiller called the “Independent Spirit.”

The Independent Spirit causes us to stop relying on others, as we are designed to do, and begin relying only on ourselves. We depend only on our wisdom, our knowledge and experience, and our abilities.

Let’s see how this works out in real life. Which is safer, walking to your car late at night by yourself, or walking with a group of friends? Could you raise children without the help of friends and family, and even some babysitters? Would you invest a large sum of money without getting the advice of a financial counselor? How would you do at work if no one else showed up Monday morning, and you had to do everything from answer the phone to cleaning the windows to making production — all on your own? Everything we do is better, faster, and easier when we work in concert with one another. Many things are completely impossible to do all alone.

But deep emotional pain causes us to retreat from other people. We start believing we’re better off doing our own thing and making all our decisions on our own. This leads us to make many costly mistakes, because the Bible tells us that, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.”

The Independent Spirit Leads to Vulnerability and More Hurt

Just like the lion and the jackal separate their pray from the herd before an attack, our enemy Satan likes to separate us from the safety of others so that he can attack us. When we aren’t surrounded by a strong support system, it is so easy for him to attack our minds, telling us things like “I don’t need other people,” and, “I’m better off alone.” But once we are isolated, living our “independent” lives, we no longer have the safety, security, and comfort that God intends us to have in one another.

Have you fallen into the trap of the Independent Spirit? People who get caught up with an independent spirit quickly fall into other traps, as well. For example, since they’re hiding from pain, they begin being afraid of their standing with other people. They become insecure, and often callous or indifferent to the feelings of others.

Independence also causes us to hide our pain behind a mask of pride. We want to believe we can do it all alone and we want others to think we can do it without them, so we become even more isolated and afraid to let anyone see our real pain.

Overcoming the Independent Spirit

It’s important to understand that an independent spirit doesn’t kill pain at all. In fact, it can lead to all sorts of other hurts and heartaches. It damages our relationships with others, isolates us, and blocks our ability to deal with life circumstances in healthy ways.

If this spirit of independence sounds like you, I have great news! Eden Westside Baptist Church is in the middle of a fantastic new teaching series called Painkillers. We’ll talk about different unhealthy ways people try to cope with or escape from pain. We’ll also learn how to deal with pain the right way — through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Join us Sunday at 8 a.m. or 11 a.m. at our Eden Campus or visit our Leeds River Campus at 11:00 a.m. to hear more about your Ultimate PainTaker, Jesus. You can also see the entire Painkiller Teaching Series, along with many other helpful resources, at Eden Westside’s Website.

Painkillers Series: Inappropriate Relationships

Painkiller Series – Inappropriate Relationships

“I’m such a jerk magnet.”

“Women are just cruel.”

“Men are all the same — liars and cheaters!”

Do any of these statements sound like what you said to your best friend after your last breakup? And the one before? And even the one before that? If so, you may be caught in a cycle of unhealthy and inappropriate relationships. How did you get here? More importantly, how can you get out of this hurtful, harmful cycle?

How Did I Get Here? Finding the Pain Behind Unhealthy Relationships

People don’t start out looking for bad relationships. But people who have been deeply hurt are afraid to get into another situation that leaves them so open and vulnerable. Bad relationships lack the true intimacy, freedom, and closeness that good relationships offer. That means that bad relationships actually seem like a safe place to hide, where you don’t have to fear closeness and intimacy — the hallmarks of healthy relationships.

Painkillers Inappropriate Relationships How to Deal with Pain Eden Westside Baptist Church Pell City Alabama Leeds

Behind all unhealthy and inappropriate relationships lies a pain that you’re trying to cover up. Sometimes, adult children hide from the pain of abuse and neglect by entering a long series of bad relationships. Other times, the pain happens to someone after they’re already grown up. Perhaps an early relationship or young marriage ended painfully, and that kind of open intimacy is just too risky again.

Rejection by a romantic partner, cheating, abuse, and selfishness in intimate relationships — all these cause pain and heartache. Some people are injured by close friends, extended family members, or even employers. A job you lost unfairly. A friend who stabbed you in the back. A family member who callously left you out of something. All these and many other injuries lead to pain. And one way to cover up or temporarily get your mind off the pain is by hiding in an unhealthy, inappropriate relationship.

These hurt people don’t want to be alone — alone is too hard, and alone means you aren’t worthy of having someone else in your life. A good relationship is too risky — all that trust, openness, and vulnerability is just plain scary! Bad relationships offer enough companionship to not be alone, but not enough closeness and intimacy to be a real threat.

But these relationships become a brand new source of pain — restarting the harmful, hurtful cycle all over again. Psychologists call these ‘irrelationships’.

How Can I Know if I’m in a Bad Relationship?

How do you identify an irrelationship, or a dysfunctional relationship that stands in the way of real intimacy?

  • Do you enter a relationship to try to ‘fix’ the other person?
  • Do you enter a relationship hoping they will ‘fix’ you?
  • When you talk about ‘love’ do you really mean ‘take care of’?
  • Do you keep giving, even when you aren’t receiving?
  • Do you keep taking, even when the other person isn’t receiving much from you?
  • Does the relationship leave you feeling exhausted?

But bad relationships don’t cover the pain and don’t make it go away. Actually, inappropriate relationships just build up more layers of pain that you have to deal with. These relationships do not offer support, encouragement, and security — all of which lead to healing. Instead, they cause insecurity, resentment, and low self-esteem, all of which are painful and make it harder to ever build and enjoy a healthy relationship in the future.

How to End a Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships

First, you need to recognize that inappropriate and unhealthy relationships are a sin. [II Corinthians 6:14 says: “14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”] When you’re messing around in a relationship you know isn’t right, you are actually cheating on the person who will one day be your spouse! Plus, God can never send the right person along when you’re involved with the wrong one.

Second, you need to realize that everyone has sinned [Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”], and that there is a way out of sin and judgment [John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”].

There’s a way to get rid of the guilt and hurt and heartache of a long series of bad relationships, and get right with your heavenly Father, who created romantic relationships to be a joy to us, not to send us more pain. Isaiah 53:4 says, “Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.” Jesus is standing, waiting for you to give your pain to Him, because He already bore it and overcame it on the Cross!

There is only one relationship that can ‘fix’ you. That’s a relationship with Jesus Christ. We often make the mistake of thinking, “I can’t go to Jesus until I get my life straightened out! He won’t accept me with all this sin in my life!” We are so happy to tell you, He wants you to come as you are. You don’t get your act together and then come to Jesus. You come to Jesus, and then He gets your act together for you!

The Bible tells us in Romans 10:9, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Confess to Jesus that you’ve tried to hide your pain in unhealthy relationships instead of turning to Him for comfort and healing. Repent of your sins, and commit in your heart that you’re no longer going to try to hide from pain by heaping more pain on yourself through bad relationships!

After this conversation with Jesus, you will feel cleansed and renewed. But it doesn’t stop there. He doesn’t just hear your prayers and walk away. He stays with you. He continues to walk with you, not only to help you face temptation when another potential ‘bad relationship’ comes around, but to heal your pain and comfort you and protect you from future pain.

Some pain, especially deep hurts, old wounds, and pain that took years to accumulate (such as during an abusive childhood or long-term unhealthy relationship), doesn’t heal quickly. Sometimes, it takes a long time, praying, reading the Scripture, and walking with Jesus. Just like any other pain — whether physical or emotional — you will soon notice it isn’t as bad. Then, you’ll realize you hardly ever think of it any more. Finally, it will be a distant memory, erased by the love and healing that only the blood of Jesus can bring.

If you have never started a relationship with Jesus, you may have some questions. We’ve created a video just for you! In this short video, you can learn exactly what it means to “get saved” and find out how it works. If you pray this prayer along with Bro. Jacky, or if you still have questions about salvation and how Jesus came to end your pain, please call us at 205-338-7711.

If you would like to learn more about how Jesus is our ultimate PainTaker, please join us for this powerful sermon series on Painkillers! Eden Westside Baptist Church in Pell City offers services each Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. Or, visit our River Campus in Leeds, right next to the Shops at Grand River at 11:00 a.m.  We look forward to seeing you and helping you get close to our Ultimate Painkiller: Jesus!

Painkillers Teaching Series How do you deal with pain and the things we run to as we cope with pain

Painkillers: Isolation

Painkillers: Isolation

“What’s the point? If I get close to someone, they’re just going to hurt me. Again.”

It’s a phrase that’s been screamed or muttered or pondered silently countless times over the course of history by more souls than we will ever know. But history really isn’t relevant when you’re hurting, right here, right now.

The human body recoils reflexively from pain. Just as your hand instinctively jerks back from a hot stove, and your eyes shut tight to block a flying object, your psyche also responds to the potential for pain. It retracts instantly and furiously from whatever looks painful.

The trouble is, this life is (and will continue to be) painful by nature. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” [John 16:33b] We can’t avoid pain here, even if we totally shut ourselves off from everyone.

But what’s wrong with trying? Why isn’t it okay to just want to protect yourself from more pain?

There are actually several problems with isolation.

  1. When we are isolated, we can’t fulfill our purpose toward others.
  2. When we are isolated, we can’t receive good from others.
  3. When we are isolated, we’re not trusting God to protect us.
  4. When we are isolated, we become very self-centered and selfish, which is a sin.

Let’s look at these one at a time.

#1 — We can’t fulfill our purpose toward others when we are isolated.

There’s an old saying that goes, “No man is an island [unto himself].” It comes from a devotional poem by that name, written by John Donne, way back in 1624. The Apostle Paul said something similar in Romans 14:7, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.”

What this poet and Paul meant is that none of us, no matter how hard we try, are truly separated from other people. For example, if you take a job or buy a home or park in a parking space, by nature that means someone else can’t fill that position. You have changed them even without ever seeing or speaking to them. Similarly, if you quit a job or leave a home or vacate a parking spot, you’ve opened a position for someone else, even without knowing them at all.

In this, and innumerable other ways, all people are interconnected and interdependent on each other — even if we do everything in our power to separate ourselves completely from others. It’s impossible to be a complete island, all alone and unaffected by anyone.

Just as no one is truly an island, everyone has someone they can help or support. Maybe it’s your children, or your crazy cat lady neighbor, or even an animal that’s lost and in need of comfort. If you are isolating yourself, you aren’t fulfilling whatever purpose God has for you here on earth. Galatians 6:2 admonishes us to, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Isolating yourself may mean that your ministry here on earth goes undone. Who is suffering while you keep to yourself?

#2 — We can’t receive good from others when we are isolated.

When you isolate yourself, you shut off the chances that anyone can do something good for you. “Wait,” you say. “I’ll gladly give up any good thing someone may or may not do for me in exchange for never being hurt again!”

But God won’t let us get by with that. We have both good and bad things about ourselves, and Jesus freely accepts us, faults and all. So, we must accept both the good and bad in others, as well. God never intended us to be alone. After He created Adam, He said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” [Genesis 2:18]

We usually think about this in the physical, but what we can’t see is the spiritual. Have you ever heard the safety tips from law enforcement officers and self-defense specialists? They always recommend, whenever possible, for women, children, and others who feel vulnerable, to travel in groups.

Just as our physical enemies don’t want to attack a group — because groups are stronger and more powerful — so does Satan shy away from a group of believers banded together. If he finds one alone, like the lone sheep easily overcome by the wolf, Satan and his demons feel freer to attack. When you bond together with other believers, you make yourself stronger and less of a target, for both physical and spiritual enemies!

Other people don’t just bring love and companionship and blessings into your life. They also bring a measure of both physical and spiritual protection. Even if they’re less than perfect, they sure beat standing alone against the armies of Satan!

#3 — We’re not trusting God when we are isolated.

Did you know that if you are saved, you don’t even belong to yourself anymore? You belong to Jesus. When you isolate yourself to protect yourself and your feelings, you’re actually telling Jesus, “Hey, I don’t trust you to take care of me.”

The opposite of trust is fear. As long as we have fear, such as the fear of being hurt that keeps us isolated, we cannot have trust and faith. The Bible says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” [I John 4:8]

Do you trust the Lord? Do you believe in His love enough to let His other children into your life? Rejecting other people isn’t just mistrust in Jesus. It is also a rejection of His other children that He loved and died for.

#4 — We become very selfish and self-centered when we are isolated.

Proverbs 18:1 states, “One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires; he rejects all sound judgment.” Even if we didn’t have selfish feelings when we set about to separate ourselves from others, the very act of spending all that time alone causes us to shift into the center of our own personal universe. That’s self-centeredness, and it always leads to acts of selfishness.

It works like this: When you have family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and even acquaintances in your life, then you must spend at least part of your time doing for them, thinking about them, and interacting with them. When you’re isolated, all of that time is free, and your focus is always on you. What you want. What you need. How you feel. What you think.

Philippians 2:3-4 also warns us about this: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” This is scary in the natural! But when you are perfected in love and know that King Jesus is looking out for you, it becomes no problem at all. You take care of them; your Lord and Savior takes care of you.

If you find that you’re always worried, always troubled, always drowning in your problems … the best thing to do is step back and refocus your attention on others. You’ll find that the more time and effort you spend helping others with their problems, the fewer problems you seem to have of your own.

For example, if you spend an hour serving food to folks who are homeless, your drippy faucet in your 2-story, 3-bedroom home doesn’t seem like such a big deal. If you spend time volunteering at a nursing home, your slight crow’s feet or a touch of arthritis in your fingers won’t bother you at all. Spend some time at a children’s hospital and you’ll be grateful for your own kids, nieces, and nephews, even if they aren’t everything they could be. Helping other people with their problems has a mysterious way of causing our own not to look so bad.

In closing, Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, “… let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Most Christians agree, that Day is breathtakingly close.

How can you encourage others if you’re in isolation? Step out of your comfort zone, and allow the healing power of Jesus to bind your wounds and protect you from harm. After all, that’s His job, not yours.

Access Painkillers

#Painkillers #Isolation #HowWeDealWithPain

Vacation Bible School 2017 - June 5-9 Eden Campus and Leeds River Campus July 24-28. 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for all children ages 4 through 8th graders.

Vacation Bible School 2017

Vacation Bible School 2017: School getting out is an exciting time! That is, until the second week, when every dish in the house is dirty, there are laundry piles in the corners tall enough to hold a rappelling competition, and the living room floor looks like the US Marine Corps used it for obstacle course training. Then you start counting the days until the big, yellow bus once again chugs down your street so early in the morning.

Vacation Bible School 2017 - June 5-9 Eden Campus and Leeds River Campus July 24-28. 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for all children ages 4 through 8th graders.

How are you going to survive the summer?

Easy! Bring the kids down to Eden Westside Baptist Church for Vacation Bible School, where they can do some fun activities, learn some nifty stuff about the Bible, and you can have a few hours to get your sanity back!

Vacation Bible School 2017

This year, our VBS theme is “Victory.” We’ll be talking about how important Bible characters like Joshua, Gideon, and King David got victories in their day, and how Jesus Christ gave us all victory once and for all on the Cross.

Our campus in Eden has Vacation Bible School this year from June 5-9 and the River Campus holds their VBS from July 24-28, 2017. Both Bible Schools are from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the evenings. VBS is open to all children ages 4 through 8th graders.

Vacation Bible School is a free summer event.

Students will get to meet lots of other kids and experience arts and crafts, Bible study sessions, play time and more, in a fun, high energy way. Students will learn Bible verses, get lots of chances to earn fun prizes, and even get yummy snacks!

Register online at www.EdenWestside.com because you will not want your child to miss this year’s exciting VBS.

Come a little early on the first night so we can confirm your kiddos registration. Don’t forget to bring your friends’ and neighbors’ kids so they can get some much-needed “adult” time this summer, too.

If you would more information, please contact LeighAnne Jones, our Children’s Ministry Director, at 205.338.7711, extension 242.

Greeters Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church - one church with two campuses: Eden Campus in Pell City and Leeds River Campus. | 205.338.7711

The Greeters Ministry at Eden Westside

The Greeters Ministry at Eden Westside

Seven minutes.

Seven minutes seems insignificant. After all, what meaningful thing can you accomplish in just seven minutes?

Time-management gurus tell us that we can do lots of life-changing things in just seven minutes. You can fold and put away a load of laundry, clear the kitchen sink of dirty dishes, or even tidy a small half-bathroom in that length of time.

Productivity blogs tell us that we can actually make a significant contribution to our careers in just seven minutes. That’s enough time to shoot off a few important emails, have a constructive conversation with a colleague, or brainstorm in a personal journal.

Fitness instructors say we can get healthy in just seven minutes per day. Seven minutes of daily ab exercises helps tone the ole tummy, and a really fast runner can complete a whole mile in just seven minutes. The world record for the notoriously rigorous exercise called “burpees” is 161 burpees in seven minutes! Most people can’t do more than a few of those at a time without collapsing from exhaustion.

What can you do at Eden Westside in just seven minutes? Our greeters change lives, investing just seven minutes (or less) at a time.

Greeters Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church - one church with two campuses: Eden Campus in Pell City and Leeds River Campus. | 205.338.7711

Studies show that most people make a decision about whether or not to make a church their home within seven minutes of pulling into the parking lot. That means those decisions are sealed before they even hear a single sermon. If you’re depending on Pastor to bring in new members, he may never get the chance!

Greeters Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church - one church with two campuses: Eden Campus in Pell City and Leeds River Campus. | 205.338.7711

At Eden Westside, our greeters use that seven minutes to make a difference in the lives of the people who come to our church. Whether it’s the first time they’ve ever stepped onto the property of a house of worship, or have been in the faith for many years, greeters make them feel welcome, wanted, and worthwhile.

Our lead greeter at our Eden Campus, Terri Turner, recently realized just how important this little 7-minute ministry really is, "I'm a 'greeter' at my church, Eden Westside Baptist.

Lead greeter at our Eden Campus, Terri Turner, recently realized just how important this little 7-minute ministry really is, “I’m a ‘greeter’ at my church, Eden Westside Baptist. I stand outside at the top of our parking lot. I stand under a huge blue umbrella and welcome everyone. I’ve never questioned why, I just like doing it. Well today, I had a young friend visiting. He is 11. I was taking him to children’s church, but I had to greet first. After about 10 minutes he said, ‘I know why you’re out here. You’re just here to lift everyone’s spirits.’ Sweet boy! Yes, that is why I am a greeter.”

Greeters Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church - one church with two campuses: Eden Campus in Pell City and Leeds River Campus. | 205.338.7711

Our greeters don’t have to know lots of Bible verses by memory. They don’t have to have a degree in theology, or be able to list all the Apostles’ names, or even remember who wrote the book of Leviticus. What they do need is a heart for making people feel loved and welcome when they come to the house of God, whether that person is a saint of 30-plus years or a sinner in the depths of despair. They are all cherished and needed at Eden Westside Baptist Church.

What can you do in 7 minutes?

EWBC’s Greeters Ministry changes lives!

Greeters Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church - one church with two campuses: Eden Campus in Pell City and Leeds River Campus. | 205.338.7711

Our greeters help newcomers find out where to go (it’s a big campus!) and help them get their children settled into the right classes. They also shuttle members and guests to the building in our famous golf carts, as well as helping our senior adults cross the street safely from the senior’s parking lot across the street. Other greeters help by opening doors to our various buildings, by signing children in to our amazing children’s department, and by handing out bulletins as everyone arrives to services.

Greeters Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church - one church with two campuses:  Eden Campus in Pell City and Leeds River Campus. | 205.338.7711

To learn more about becoming a part of the Greeters’ ministry at either campus, please contact Denise Miller at 205.338.7711 or denisemiller@edenwestside.org.

Eden Westside Baptist Church is one church with two campuses:  Eden Campus and Leeds River Campus.

Neighborhoods 2017

Going Starts Next Door…

but sometimes, it’s not easy to go.

Neighborhoods 2017: Going Starts Next Door...but sometimes, it's not easy to go. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, | Eden Westside Baptist Church

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever
I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you always,
even unto the end of the world.  Amen.”
Matthew 28:19-20

Neighborhoods 2017

I am your neighbor. I live down the street. I wave every time I pass you at the mailbox.

I want you to know that I am a Christian.

I want you to know that I am not perfect. I get mad when the trash guy leaves spills my trash. I fuss at my kids from the porch. I get busy and forget to cut the grass.

I also want you to know that I’m here if you need me. My church is here for you if you need us. I’d love to introduce you to Eden Westside. I always feel like I belong there, and you will too. I want to invite you to our Easter series, the “Power of His Resurrection”.

Please consider coming with me this Sunday.

Invite Your Neighbor this Week!

Eden Westside Baptist Church is one church with two campuses – Eden Campus and Leeds River Campus.  Join us this Sunday for Life Discovery (Sunday School) at 9:35 AM and Worship at 8:10 AM (Eden Campus Only) and 11:00 AM (Both Campuses)

The Power of Suffering

Join us this Sunday morning, April 2, 2017, for The Power of Suffering with Pastor Jacky Connell at Eden Westside Baptist Church.  This Sunday is Part Two of the four part sermon series, The Power of His Resurrection, exploring the resurrection as we celebrate the Easter season in worship of our Lord Jesus Christ.Join us this Sunday morning, March 26, 2017, for The Power of the Resurrection with Pastor Jacky Connell at Eden Westside Baptist Church. | 205.338.7711

Eden Westside Baptist Church is one church with two campuses – Eden Campus and Leeds River Campus.  Worship each Sunday morning is:

  • Eden Campus:  8:10 AM & 11:00 AM
  • River Campus:  11:00 AM

Please don’t miss this important teaching series and plan to join us this Sunday morning.  Also, please invite your friends!

Eden Campus
223 Wolf Creek Road North
Pell City, Alabama 35125

Leeds River Campus
1441 W. Riverview Road
Trussville, Alabama 35173

For more information, please contact our church office at 205.338.7711.

Where Do You Search for Answers?

Where are you searching for answers to important questions of life? Are you searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo or asking your friends for answers?

People look for answers in many places, but be sure to look for answers in the right place. Please take a moment to watch this short video that shares how you can find the right answers!

Searching for Answers

#SearchingForAnswersInAllTheWrongPlaces #FindAnswers #FindTheRightAnswers #FindTruth

Where are you searching for answers to important questions of life? Are you searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo or asking your friends for answers?

Food Pantry Ministry at Eden Westside

Food Pantry Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church:  Most of us think nothing of opening a refrigerator full of milk, lunchmeats, cheese, fresh veggies, and a whole collection of condiments and drinks. Or peeking in the kitchen cabinets to find four different kinds of cereals, three types of crackers, and a hefty stash of various canned soups and vegetables.

Food Pantry Ministry at Eden Westside

But not everyone can. Many people in our very community have bare cupboards and empty refrigerator shelves. Even for those who qualify for government assistance programs, it can take weeks to receive benefits. Often, these benefits programs provide just a few dollars a month, not even enough to fill a grocery cart per month.

Food Pantry Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church: Most of us think nothing of opening a refrigerator full of milk, lunchmeats, cheese, fresh veggies,

That’s why Eden Westside Baptist Church operates a Food Pantry. In our Food Pantry, local families who find themselves in need can get a few essential grocery items to carry them through the tough times. Every year, Eden Westside provides a week’s worth of groceries to about 300 families in our community. That means kids won’t go to school hungry and parents go to work fully nourished and able to perform their duties.

Bring Food Items Each Week to Stock Shelves for Needy Families

Supplying the Food Pantry with quality foods is a never-ending task. The Food Pantry exists solely on the generosity of our church members, who donate money and/or food items to stock our pantry. Families who come aren’t just treated to filling meals; they are also invited to hear and accept the Gospel of Jesus, and are offered the chance to feed spiritually, as well as physically, by coming to our church services.

Food Pantry is Available Because of Your Partnership

The Eden Westside Baptist Church Food Pantry is open every week, Tuesdays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m. We are continually in need of food and money donations, so please consider contributing. To donate monetarily, please mark your envelope “Food Pantry” before placing it in the offering plate. Bring any food donations to Building C, right next to the sanctuary at our Eden Campus or bring to your Life Discovery Class at our Leeds River Campus and Brother Scotty will take care of delivering it to the Food Pantry.

Could Food Pantry Be Your Place to Serve?

For questions, to donate, or to volunteer to help families who come to the Food Pantry, please contact the head of our Care Ministries, Scotty Pinson, at extension 229 or contact our church office at 205.338.7711.

6 Awesome Benefits of Attending Sunday School That You Never Even Knew Were a Thing

Have you decided that going to Sunday School or Life Discovery class is a big waste of time? Maybe you started skipping because you were constantly running late on Sunday mornings, or perhaps you started a new church and just never got connected with a class. Whatever your reasons, Sunday School isn’t just for the kiddos! There are lots of reasons why connecting with a small group or class can benefit your life in ways you haven’t even thought of. For example …

1. Develop a Sense of Belonging

Even the biggest churches seem smaller when you attend breakout sessions. If you’re longing for a little country church where “everybody knows your name,” Sunday School or Life Discovery class is just the thing for getting to know people one-on-one. People tend to listen and leave in “big church,” but small groups usually linger in classrooms and get to know one another personally. Before long, you’ll start recognizing familiar faces in the sanctuary, and those people will introduce you to other people … soon you’ll fit right in, even in the largest of churches!

2. Get to Know Your Community Better

Where’s the best place to get an affordable, stylish back-to-school haircut? Which local vets specialize in exotic pets? Who’s available to cut grass during the summertime, or babysit for your date nights? Sunday School is a great place to get to know people, places, events, and other local conveniences. There may not be a pediatric dentist in your class, but you can bet there will be at least one person in there who knows one!

3. You Can Ask Questions!

Sermons are one-way communication. In Sunday School class, you can ask questions. What are spiritual gifts? Why do we still follow some Old Testament laws but not others? What does the Bible say about discipline and immigration and economic policy? Sunday School and Life Discovery class is where you can ask those pressing questions and gain a deeper, more comprehensive understanding of the Bible and what it means for our daily lives.

4. Join Others in Prayer for Specific Needs

Do you often leave church feeling like you still have needs that are unmet? In Sunday School, class members talk about their lives. They share their needs, goals, and worries with one another, and they take time to pray for the needs and concerns of individuals. If your heart is heavy about an illness, a wayward child, or another issue, Life Discovery class is the best place to get the prayer, support, encouragement, and guidance you need.

5. Get Different Perspectives on the Bible & Faith

Because Sunday School allows for open discussion and questions, you can gain perspective from a number of different people — all from different backgrounds and differing walks of life. You can even choose what group you fit best in. Some classes are made up of people who were once Atheists, or who love to ride motorcycles, or who have small children. Others are an interesting mix of different people with different perspectives on life and faith. You can learn so much by spending time in one of these small groups.

6. Socialize Your Kids in a Safe & Nurturing Environment

Are you in desperate need of some “adult time”? During Sunday School, you can place your kids with loving, nurturing caregivers, while you get some one-on-one with big people. Your kids will thrive there, learning fun Bible stories that will benefit them for the rest of their lives. Kids learn how to sit still, pay attention to the teacher, ask questions in an orderly fashion, and even share books and toys — all the skills they need to succeed in school and in life.

At Eden Westside Baptist Church, we have dozens of Life Discovery (Sunday School) classes to choose from, including a diverse mix of classes.   Whether you’re a young adult, married, single again, senior adult, have youth, children or preschool, it’s the best place to be!

Join us at Eden Westside Baptist. One church — two locations!

Eden Campus

223 Wolf Creek Road North
Pell City, AL 35125

Leeds River Campus

1441 W Riverview Drive,
Trussville AL 35173

For more information, please contact us at 205.338.7711.

Pastoral Education & Training

Do you feel like your ministry is stuck in neutral because you don’t have the pastoral education you need? Whether you’re a preacher in a small congregation or a Sunday School teacher, or simply a serious student of the Bible, a Biblical Studies Diploma from Samford University is the most convenient, affordable way to get the pastoral education and training you need to succeed. This program is brought to you by the Samford University Ministry Training Institute (MTI) and Eden Westside Baptist Church.

Pastoral Education and Training

A Biblical Studies Diploma takes just 10 8-week courses to achieve. You will receive intensive training and instruction from qualified instructors on deep Bible subjects. The Ministry Training Institute program was developed to help small town pastors, lay ministers, and other preachers and teachers to obtain the training and doctrinal instruction they need to lead classes, congregations, and entire church bodies.

Samford MTI-Eden-Logo-2

The classes are held once per week, on Monday evenings, from 6-9 p.m. Each class is just $50, a small fraction of the cost for the same number of credit hours at Samford University. Each class is worth 3 credit hours. Classes are held at Eden Westside Baptist Church Eden campus, building A, next to the sanctuary. Rick Earnest is the instructor. Classes are developed and administered through Samford University and Director Dr. Kevin Blackwell. A real Samford diploma is issued to all students who successfully complete all of the required courses plus four of the elective courses (a minimum of 30 credit hours).

The first of the required courses begins on August 22, 2016, with a new course scheduled to begin every three months thereafter. Check back for the next set of dates as they are announced. A Biblical Studies Diploma is achieved by completing 6 Required Courses and 4 Electives.

Biblical Studies Required Courses:

Biblical Interpretation
Old Testament
New Testament
Paul’s Letters
The Minor Prophets
Biblical Foundations
 
Biblical Studies Electives (Student May Choose Any 4):

The Person of the Holy Spirit
Baptist Doctrines
Spiritual Doctrines
Overcoming Church Conflict
Christian Ethics
The Book of Revelation
 
If you missed the deadline to register for our first session on August 22, 2016 no worries! You can jump in at the beginning of any of the courses and work your way through them one by one. Just sign up for the next round of classes. To register, go to samford.edu/go/mti. For more information, call our church office at 205-338-7711.

So What is Each One Reach One

So what is “Each One, Reach One”?  Glad you asked!  This our church’s one-on-one discipleship program. Several  years ago, God laid this plan on our Pastor’s heart, to find a better way to disciple people.   From what was in his heart, some testing and evaluating, and some tweaks along the way have given us  “Each One, Reach One”.  I’m probably a little partial since some of my hard work is in that little black book, but I really believe that it is the best tool for helping someone grow in their walk with the Lord.

“Each One, Reach One” is 52 weeks of 20 minute talks.  Each week takes a look at a topic from the perspective of a person that has no background in church.  We don’t use big words like “Sanctification” unless we define it for you.  So even a newly saved person can do “Each One, Reach One” with their family.  This takes all the fear away that people sometimes have about church stuff.  We all wonder if we know enough to be any use to someone.  If you can read and speak, you can do “Each One, Reach One”.

In the next several weeks, I look forward to sharing more about “Each One, Reach One” with you.  In the meantime, send me your stories, questions, and thoughts about “Each One, Reach One” @ stephanienewton@edenwestside.org.

Grace and Peace,

Stephanie


Stephanie Newton is the Education Director for Eden Westside Baptist Church located at 223 Wolf Creek Road North, Pell City, Alabama  35125.

Each One Reach One

Perhaps you didn’t know, most often, the way people come to know Christ is through someone they know.  More than movies, tracks, letters, and social media, one person just living out the Christian life intentionally in front of them made a difference in their eternity. Intentionally is the key!  Someone began a series of conversations about the Lord with them, and it made all the difference.

Each One Reach One

My name is Stephanie, I have the wonderfully unique privilege of overseeing our church’s one-on-one discipleship program, “Each One, Reach One”.   It’s in my heart to start a series of conversations with you about this very thing.

So, if Each One Reach One is brand new to you, then get ready to learn about the heartbeat of our church’s discipleship program.  If you have been on either side of “Each One, Reach One”, then please send me a note about your experience to StephanieNewton@EdenWestside.org.  I would love to hear from you!

Grace and Peace,

Stephanie


Stephanie Newton is the Education Director for Eden Westside Baptist Church located at 223 Wolf Creek Road North, Pell City, Alabama  35125.