Creativity

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

We serve a God that is creative and has given His creation that ability as well. For some, this creativity is expressed  with written words or works of art made with our hands.  For others it is expressed through dreaming up new ideas or innovations.  We are all gifted uniquely and should use our gifts according to our own ability.

For the past few years God has been working through the gifts of some very talented musicians and songwriter here at Palm Valley Church.  This new music video is their latest work.

Can I tell you how proud I am of the heart behind their work?  As their Pastor, it brings me joy to share this with you because of their desire is to use their gift to draw people towards Jesus and what the purpose of Christmas is.

Luke 2:8-11. “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”

That last phrase…He is Messiah, the Lord.  This is not just another baby.  A king is born this night, the savior they had all been waiting for.  The repeating chorus of the new song “This Child” emphasized what this baby will one day accomplish.

‘Cause one day this child will empty a grave.

At the hands of this baby death will be slain.

His Kingdom will triumph, Jesus will reign.

Heaven will open, so don’t be afraid.

So enjoy this gift of music.  Share it with friends and family and if you are not connected to a church family, we would love to have you join us at Palm Valley Church this season.  For Christmas Service times go to www.palmvalley.church

 

To listen to the whole album, you can find Palm Valley Music on your preferred music streaming platform.

Are You OK?

Are you OK?

Has anyone asked you that question lately? If not, I am asking you today because I care.

Mental and emotional health is one of the most challenging issues facing our culture today. One in five adults suffers from mental illness, yet only half who suffer will ever seek treatment. As a culture, and even in the church in general, we have placed a stigma on mental and emotional health. Too many people are afraid to speak up.

The stats are alarming*.

  • The average time lapse between initial symptoms of mental illness and treatment is 11 years!
  • Suicide is currently the second leading cause of death among people ages 10-34 in the US.
  • The overall suicide rate has increased by 31% since 2001.
  • The suicide rate among our veterans is twice as high as the general public.
  • At least 8.4 million people in the US provide care for another adult with a mental or emotional health issue.
  • These caregivers spend an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care.

As a pastor, it breaks my heart that so many people suffer in silence. I want people to feel comfortable about letting someone know they are struggling.

So, what are we, the church, supposed to do?

For the month of November, we focused on the issues of mental and emotional health. We took the time to shine the heart of God on topics that may be difficult to talk about. We preached sermons.  Brave members of our church families shared their stories. We recorded podcast interviews. We held our first ever mental health seminar with 150 attendees.

Over these weeks, countless people came forward for help. Many of them for the very first time felt comfortable enough to let the people around them know that they were not OK.

Even though the series has ended, our work is only beginning. We need to keep the conversations about mental health going. If you missed the series, or if you do not attend Palm Valley Church but would like to check out some of the resources, check out the page www.palmvalley.org/areyouok for links to the teaching series, podcast episodes, testimonies and more.

If you or someone you know suffers with mental or emotional health, I believe you will be encouraged through this series. There are practical applications for you and connections to additional resources. You will also learn how we, as followers of Jesus, can care for our fellow brothers and sisters who are suffering in this area.

*All mental health statistics taken from The National Alliance on Mental Illness, (https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers)