Today @ The Gathering – November 2

Before I say anything about what happened today at The Gathering, I’ve got to stop and give a big shout out to all my Gathering brothers and sisters on our amazing baptism service last week.  We went out and did exactly what I hoped we would do.  And that is, we had a baptism right in the public square, the market place; a brand new fitness center called Prairie Life Fitness here in Franklin.

When we called and asked if we could use their pool to do a mass baptism, they weren’t just ok with it, they were enthusiastic. When we got there, they were glad that we were there.  They welcomed us in.  What an exciting time!

Right outside the pool there is a snack bar where we gathered and had food and talked and relaxed and had fellowship.  And then going into the pool area, it was perfect.  We cheered each and every person: young, teenager, grown-up, all being baptized.  Men, women – it was an exciting time to see the tears, the joy, and the laughter.

One guy who left said, “That is the most irreverent baptism I have ever been to,” with a big smile.  And I said “AMEN!”  This is a time for rejoicing, not dry, dusty formalism.  I’m sure if you go to our Gathering web site, g3church.com, you can see some of the pictures.  But I just have to say “Yea God” for this baptismal service.  I can’t wait until our next one.

This weekend at The Gathering we continued in our series, “Mastering My Emotional Monsters” with the message “What To Do When You Feel Depressed.”

We talked about the three things depression feels like:

1.    Depression feels like a deep hole, a place that you’re never going to get out of, a place that you slipped into and there doesn’t seem to be a bottom, or a ladder that you can get out on.
2.    Depression feels like a dark place.  That’s why depressed people like to sit in the dark.  Remember that the dark is a place for hopelessness where shame and self-condemnation breed.
3.    Depression feels like a permanent condition. It seems like it’s never going to be any better.  You can’t see that given your job, family, personal history, how anything’s going to change.

And that’s exactly what Satan wants you to feel, that you’re in a deep, dark place that will last forever and you might as well just give up.

We also talked about how you get depressed:

1.    Internalize your hurts.  It’s amazing when you talk to people how much of their present life is being controlled by something in the past.
2.    Idolize glamour and glory.  Women go for glamour.  Men go for glory.  Bottom lion is they are both, even at their best, disappointments.
3.    Rationalize your choices.  How many times have we seen people do stuff that’s really stupid, even scandalous and stand up and say, “It was a mistake”?  No it wasn’t.  It was a choice.  You did it to yourself, and until you own up to your own behavior, you’re never going to get past it.
4.    Specialize in whining. That’s a great way to be depressed.  Depressed people in public, whine.  And in private, they sleep.

We talked about the three ways to get up.

1.    Connect to God as a conscious person.
2.    Cultivate below the surface.
3.    Commit to a noble cause that demands your all.

Most people I’ve met, not all, but most people I’ve met who say they’re depressed are basically bored.  And life should be anything but boring.  Remember the Scriptures when God throws down the gauntlet of the challenge and says, “Call unto me and I will answer and show you great and mighty things which you don’t know.”

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