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.

Revelation Walk 2016 Eden Westside Baptist Church Pell City Alabama | 205.338.7711

What to Do with Teenagers on Halloween

What to Do with Teenagers on Halloween

Parenting teenagers is quite a new experience. What thrilled them a couple of years ago merely induces eye rolls and groans now. They’re too old to trick-or-treat and too young to hit the town on their own. What on earth can you do with teenagers on Halloween?

Host a Bake-A-Thon

What do all teens have in common? They love to eat! There are so many fun, frightening, and ferocious goodies to make and bake for Halloween. Put a new twist on the old Halloween party and invite teens to come for an evening of creativity in the kitchen. You can stock up on all the ingredients, or have partygoers bring their own. This is even more fun if you play some spooky soundtracks in the background.

Hold a Frightening Film Fest

If it weren’t for scary movies, Halloween would probably have gone the way of Arbor Day long ago. Teens might enjoy seeing a little of everything, but you might want to keep it closer to a G-rating, opt for some black-and-white scary movies from the 50’s and 60’s or some Halloween-themed cartoons, like Peanuts or Disney.

Offer to Chaperone Younger Trick-or-Treaters

Teenagers can still have fun trick-or-treating, while pretending to adult, by chaperoning some younger kids. This is an excellent idea for groups of friends with all age children — the teens can escort the younger children, while the grownups enjoy a parent’s night at home or on the town. If you aren’t comfortable putting the little ones in the car with the big guys (or maybe if your teens don’t drive yet), drop them off at a local church for trunk-or-treat or a fall carnival instead of turning them out on the city streets.

Have a Backyard Bonfire

For those on a budget (and who isn’t?), you can enjoy a very inexpensive — yet terrifyingly fun! — Halloween with nothing but a stack of limbs and a couple of lawn chairs. Host a bonfire. Teens can even step it up a notch by bringing their own hot dogs and marshmallows to roast! This is the perfect solution if you just finished the fall yard work and have some limbs, bushes, and other trimmings to discard of. Hint: Contact the fire department ahead of time to make sure there are no burn bans in effect and to get any needed permits for the bonfire.

Come to Revelation Walk!

Better than the best haunted house, Revelation Walk is a unique experience atop the mountain behind Eden Westside Baptist Church. Take a thrilling ride up the mountain and then enjoy a stroll through the dramatic live scenes and performances depicting numerous life events, as well as a Biblical account of the End Times. In this season of fear, Revelation Walk is a real yet uplifting message of hope in these uncertain times. Thousands attend every year, and groups are welcome!

Revelation Walk 2017 Dates:

Saturday, October 7, 2017 (BOGO Night)
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Saturday, October 21, 2017
Friday, October 27, 2017 (BOGO Night)
Saturday, October 28, 2017

Gates Open at 7:00 PM and close at 10:30 PM.

For Revelation Walk reservations, please visit our website or call the church office at 205-338-7711.

#RevelationWalk     #HalloweenEvents  #HalloweenActivities #ThingsToDoForHalloween

 

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.

Eden Westside News

Here are a few announcements to take note of what’s happening around the Eden Westside Baptist Church campuses:

Painkillers Series
Join us tonight as our Pastor talks about REAL PAIN with REAL PEOPLE
and how the REAL JESUS is working in and through their lives.
Don’t forget to check out the daily devotions on our website www.edenwestside.org/painkillers or subscribe to the YouTube channel, Eden Westside Baptist Church.

We want to extend the 90–Day Tithing Challenge to you!
Join us October 1st – December 31st.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

Power of Prayer
Come join us on Thursday Mornings at 8:00am
In the Sanctuary at the Eden Campus for prayer (Everyone Welcome)

Mark Your Calendars for the Fall Festival
It’s that time of year! Please begin now bringing candy! We are so blessed to have around 1,000 people on our campuses for this night of fun for our community.
Eden Campus, Wednesday October 25th 6:00 – 8:30pm
River Campus, Tuesday, October 31st 6:00 – 8:00pm

Register for Upward Basketball NOW till Nov. 4th
Early Registration Ends Oct. 14th
Registration link is registration.upward.org/upw64982

Revelation Walk
Make your reservations for the walk TODAY
Oct. 7th, 14th, 21st, 27th & 28th

River Campus Outreach Visitation this Sunday, October 1 at 2:00 PM
MIC / Membership Information Class
Held on the 1st Wednesday every month at the Eden Campus and the
3rd Wednesday every month at the River Campus from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Deacons on Call: 10/2– 10/8
Mark Perry 699-2240 / Alan Davis 699-8677 / Bill Ayres 473-4569

Check our website often for news, updates and events and please LIKE US on Facebook! For more information about any of these events, please feel free to call the church office at 205.338.7711.

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!

Eden Westside News

Here are a few announcements to take note of what’s happening around the Eden Westside Baptist Church campuses:

We want to extend the 90–Day Tithing Challenge to you!
Join us October 1st – December 31st.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

Power of Prayer
Come join us on Thursday Mornings at 8:00am
In the Sanctuary at the Eden Campus for prayer (Everyone Welcome)

Mark Your Calendars for the Fall Festival
It’s that time of year! Please begin now bringing candy! We are so blessed to have around 1,000 people on our campuses for this night of fun for our community.
Eden Campus, Wednesday October 25th 6:00 – 8:30pm
River Campus, Tuesday, October 31st 6:00 – 8:00pm

Register for Upward Basketball NOW till Nov. 4th
Early Registration Ends Oct. 14th
Registration link is www.registration.upward.org/upw64982
Please contact Kala Wichmann for more info.

Revelation Walk
Make your reservations for the walk TODAY
Oct. 7th, 14th, 21st, 27th & 28th

Painkiller’s T-Shirts
T-shirts will be available for purchase in October

MIC / Membership Information Class
Held on the 1st Wednesday every month at the Eden Campus and the
3rd Wednesday every month at the River Campus from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Deacons on Call: 9/25– 10/1
Gene Castleberry 640-7740 / Nathan Lane 812-4536 / Mickey Pinson 369-9083

Check our website often for news, updates and events and please LIKE US on Facebook! For more information about any of these events, please feel free to call the church office at 205.338.7711.

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

Eden Westside News

Here are a few announcements to take note of what’s happening around the Eden Westside Baptist Church campuses:

We want to extend the 90–Day Tithing Challenge to you!
Join us October 1st – December 31st.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

Power of Prayer
Come join us on Thursday Mornings at 8:00am
In the Sanctuary at the Eden Campus for prayer (Everyone Welcome)

Mark Your Calendars for the Fall Festival
It’s that time of year! Please begin now bringing candy! We are so blessed to have around
1,000 people on our campus for this night of fun for our community.
Fall Festival, Wednesday October 25th 6:00 – 8:30

Register for Upward Basketball NOW till Nov. 4th
Early Registration Ends Oct. 14th
Registration link is registration.upward.org/upw64982
Please contact Kala Wichmann for more info.

Men’s Night Out with Special Guest Robert Smith
Thursday, September 21st @ 6:31
Fellowship Hall at Eden Campus

Revelation Walk
Dress Rehearsal Saturday, September 23rd at 5pm

Make your reservations for the walk TODAY
Oct. 7th, 14th, 21st, 27th & 28th

Painkiller’s T-Shirts available for purchase, please see Beth Cooper for details

MIC / Membership Information Class
NO MIC Classes will be held in the Month of September
Held on the 1st Wednesday every month at the Eden Campus and the
3rd Wednesday every month at the River Campus from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Deacons on Call: 9/18– 9/24
Perry Poe 405-4659 / Johnny Thompson 566-1631

Check our website often for news, updates and events and please LIKE US on Facebook! For more information about any of these events, please feel free to call the church office at 205.338.7711.

Painkillers Video Devotions are coming at Eden Westside Baptist Church at www.EdenWestside.org/painkillers and on our YouTube Channel so please subscribe

Painkillers Video Devotions

Painkillers Video Devotions: Hey Eden Westside! My name is Stephanie Newton, and I am so blessed to be the leader of our small groups for adults (both LIFE Discovery and Disciple U). I get to spend my time caring for people and teaching others how to care for people. The role of the church is to lead people to a relationship with the Lord Jesus, and disciple them so that they can be transformed into someone who looks, acts, and speaks like Him. We have found that so many of us have tremendous hurts, and Eden Westside is called to be a church that facilitates restoration. Church, we are blessed to be entrusted with this awesome privilege. We work on the Lord’s behalf! To quote our Pastor, “WOW, we GET to do this together!”

Painkillers Video Devotions

That’s why I am so so so so excited about Pastor’s new sermon series “PAINKILLERS”. So many of us look for ways to numb or kill our pain. We have to take our pain to the One who can heal us. Each week, Pastor will be exploring a different way that we try to “kill” our pain. We want to keep his message in your mind and heart all week long, so our team has been preparing since May to this series. One part that I am so excited about is our VIDEO DEVOTIONAL SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! For the first time ever, we are producing a 3 to 5 minute video devotional series, Monday through Friday, so that you can keep interacting with the sermon’s content ALL WEEK LONG! It is our team’s prayer that you will find healing, and that you will help someone else find healing as you engage in the topic for 5 additional days past Sunday.

We need your help to spread the word. Here’s what we would LOVE for you to do:

1. Log on to our website www.edenwestside.org/painkillers -or- our YouTube page (Eden Westside Baptist Church) on Monday, September 18th. Watch the video! (YouTubers: Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to keep those notifications coming each day.) There will be a new video each day, Monday through Friday through the sermon series.

2. We want you to share, share, share, these Video Devotionals and the sermon series on your social media. Look for links on the church’s Facebook page, the share button on YouTube, etc. Please post them to your feeds, and let all your followers and friends connect with us. You never know what kind of miracle God may make in someone’s life all because you shared.

3. We want you to PRAY. Pray for restoration. Pray that the sermon series sets many people free from the bondage of pain. Pray that the video devotional series encourages many people who might not walk into our church, to encounter the Lord today. Agree with our team in prayer that God is able and willing to do a miracle in the life of each person who comes in contact with the PAINKILLERS series. We are believing on Him for great things.

Painkillers Video Devotions

Our church family is such an encouragement to the Servant Team. You are so faithful to help in so many ways. Thank you for loving us and for loving others as you share what God is doing at the exciting Eden Westside…you know, it really is such an exciting place to be, because the Lord is always at work here!

Grace and Peace,
Stephanie

PAINKILLERS: real pain, real people, real Jesus

Access Painkillers

Eden Westside News

Here are a few announcements to take note of what’s happening around the Eden Westside Baptist Church campuses:

River Campus Outreach Visitation
TODAY, August 27th from 2-4pm

Revelation Walk Script Reading
TODAY, August 27th @ 3pm, Fellowship Hall at Eden Campus

AWANA Training
Awana Training for all Awana volunteers and anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering for Awana Clubs will be held TODAY, August 27th immediately following the 11:00 service (fellowship hall). Lunch will be provided.

Power of Prayer
Come join us on Thursday Mornings at 8:00am
In the Sanctuary at the Eden Campus for prayer (Everyone Welcome)

SIMPLIFYING YOUR FAMILY
Join us for this 4 Part Series Beginning Sunday, September 3rd
With humor and a passion for the family, Dr. Chris Crain will share four biblical concepts to simplify your family.  More information at: http://www.edenwestside.org/events/simplifying-your-family/

Brand New Sermon Series “Painkillers”
Begins Sunday, September 17th
More information at http://edenwestside.org/painkillers

MIC / Membership Information Class
NO MIC Classes will be held in the Month of September
Held on the 1st Wednesday every month at the Eden Campus and the 3rd Wednesday every month at the River Campus from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Deacons on Call: 8/21– 8/27
Bill Ayres 473-4569 / Mickey Pinson 369-9083

Check our website often for news, updates and events and please LIKE US on Facebook! For more information about any of these events, please feel free to call the church office at 205.338.7711.

Simplifying your family four part teaching series Eden Westside Baptist Church Pell City and Leeds Alabama

Simplifying Your Family Series Begins September 3, 2017

Simplifying Your Family

Our culture has complicated marriage and family. In their confusion, many have given up the struggle for healthy relationships. With humor and a passion for the family, Dr. Chris Crain will share four biblical concepts to simplify your family beginning Sunday, September 3rd at Eden Westside Baptist Church. “Simple” doesn’t mean “easy.” Yet, the “simple” Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God for restoring and preserving your home! This 4-part teaching series will include topics: Getting Organized – Understanding God’s simple plan for the family, Making Better Decisions – Finding God’s grace to overcome the dysfunction of the past, Communicating Effectively – Resolving conflict and speaking truth in love and Continuing Your Legacy – Passing the baton to the next generation. You will not want to miss this special series.

View more information at:  http://www.edenwestside.org/events/simplifying-your-family/

Eden Westside – a place to heal, help and call home.

A Note From The Pastor – August 17, 2017

Jacky Connell-w50w50A Note From Your Pastor –

August 17, 2017

Hello, Eden Westside Baptist Church Family,

What another EXCITING week God has blessed us with! Before we look forward, let’s reflect on this past Sunday! It was an INCREDIBLE day, Sunday morning was fantastic and Sunday night was phenomenal. Thank God for Ddendyl, who was here. It was just a wonderful day, all day Sunday. We want to welcome our new members, Chloe Shelton, Christopher and Breanna Casey and Liz Hughes. I am really, really, really excited because we are seeing so many people that have been out for a while coming back. That is so encouraging! It makes my heart feel glad to see people returning back to Eden Westside and getting involved. We have been praying that God would move in that special way and He is. To God be the glory, great things He is doing.

This coming Sunday, we have a lot of things going on. I especially want to invite you to come and bring a friend Sunday morning as we talk about “Unarming the Enemy”. Then Sunday night is our Harvest Prayer Time, where we specifically pray for the lost in our families, community and our region. I am telling you, I have an exciting announcement to make Sunday night to let you know about some things that are happening as a result of the leadership of the Lord during the third Sunday night prayer service.
I look forward to seeing you on Sunday. To God be the glory, great things He has done.
God is at work at Eden Westside Baptist Church.

God bless you,
Bro. Jacky

Eden Westside News

Here are a few announcements to take note of what’s happening around the Eden Westside Baptist Church campuses:

Recording Artist Ddendyl Hoyt in Concert
Join Us TONIGHT, 6pm @ Eden Campus

Power of Prayer
Come join us on Thursday Mornings at 8:00am
In the Sanctuary at the Eden Campus for prayer (Everyone Welcome)

F.A.I.T.H. Riders / Zaxby’s Fundraiser Night
Come join us for dinner on August 15th from 5pm – 8pm at Pell City Zaxby’s

Lord, Move that Mountain Retreat
Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg
September 18—21, Final Payments are due TODAY

Revelation Walk Script Reading
Sunday, August 27th @ 3pm, Fellowship Hall at Eden Campus

Special Friends Ministry Needs Help!
Special friends is in need of someone who can assist in class and more
Importantly ride the bus. Contact Pat Shipp at 205-296-4891

SIMPLIFYING YOUR FAMILY
Join us for this 4 Part Series Beginning Sunday, September 3rd
With humor and a passion for the family,
Dr. Chris Crain will share four biblical concepts to simplify your family.

MIC / Membership Information Class
MIC Class will be held at the Eden Campus on August 13th, 12:30 – 3:00pm
Held on the 1st Wednesday every month at the Eden Campus and the
3rd Wednesday every month at the River Campus from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Deacons on Call: 8/7– 8/13
Don Morris 515-4065 / Perry Poe 405-4659

Check our website often for news, updates and events and please LIKE US on Facebook! For more information about any of these events, please feel free to call the church office at 205.338.7711.

A Note From The Pastor – August 10, 2017

Jacky Connell-w50w50A Note From Your Pastor –

August 10, 2017

Hello, Eden Westside Baptist Church Family,

What a blessing it is to be back home with all of you! As you all know, we have been in the land of Haiti and God moved in a very special way during our time there. We had 16 team members with us and I am so proud of each of them. They represented our church family and Christ in a very excellent manner. God used them in a wonderful, wonderful way in ministering to the people of Haiti. The people of Haiti love the people of Eden Westside Baptist Church. I am so thankful we get to be a part of what God is doing in the Haiti people. I want to thank God for Dr. Kevin Blackwell who stood in the gap on Sunday. I heard that his message was incredible. Thank God for the Worship team and all the beautiful music and worship on Sunday night. We have such a great team of people that minister to us through songs and worship. I want to thank them for that. I also want to welcome our new member, Cheyenne Moore.

Wednesday night service was wonderful! We had a great crowd and it was a wonderful Bible Study. I was encouraged to see all the people, even though school started this week, who came to church on Wednesday night and engaged in Bible Study. It was a blessing to see what God did on Wednesday night.

This coming Sunday is going to be a BIG, BIG, BIG, did I say BIG, day!! Sunday morning I going to bring the first message of a three part series on Strongholds in your life. I encourage to come and bring friend. Ddendyl Hoyt will be with us Sunday morning and in concert Sunday night! We will also be having baptism. It is going to be a great day in the life of Eden Westside Baptist. I look forward to seeing you and meeting your new friend.
God is at work at Eden Westside Baptist Church.

God bless you,
Bro. Jacky

Eden Westside News

Here are a few announcements to take note of what’s happening around the Eden Westside Baptist Church campuses:

Lamplighter’s Meeting
August 8th @ 10:30
Eden Campus Fellowship Hall

Power of Prayer
Come join us on Thursday Mornings at 8:00am
In the Sanctuary at the Eden Campus for prayer (Everyone Welcome)

Faith Riders
Come join Faith Riders at Zaxby’s
August 15th @ 5pm

Lord, Move that Mountain Retreat
Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg
September 18—21
Final Payments are due by August 13th
205-338-7711 ext. 222

Revelation Walk Script Reading
Sunday, August 27th @ 3pm, Fellowship Hall at Eden Campus

Special Friends Ministry Needs Help!
Special friends is in need of someone who can assist in class and more importantly ride the bus. Also, someone capable of lifting approx. 90lbs.
Contact Pat Shipp at 205-296-4891

MIC / Membership Information Class
MIC Class will be held at the Eden Campus on August 13th, 12:30 – 3:00pm
Held on the 1st Wednesday every month at the Eden Campus and the
3rd Wednesday every month at the River Campus from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Deacons on Call: 7/31– 8/6
Joel Masters 405-1575 / Danny Newton 405-7228

Check our website often for news, updates and events and please LIKE US on Facebook!  For more information about any of these events, please feel free to call the church office at 205.338.7711.