Titus 2 referred 3 ladies to Pastor Terry Tatum at Lynn Haven UMC with our blessing to make their public professions of faith. One comes on first time profession of faith for baptism and two come for recommitment of their lives to covenant with Christ and remembrance of their baptism and membership at LHUMC. They will participate in the baptism service at Kinsaul Park at 2pm May 7th and be recognized during Services at the Transmitter campus on May 14. One brings 2 young children with her to begin growing in Christ in the Childrens Ministry! These are joyful times of celebration at Titus 2.
Lynn Haven UMC City Serve Teams Work At Titus 2. Saturday 5 families and members of Boy Scout Troop 321 arrived bright and early at Titus 2’s residence to take on the task of some significant improvements. Carpet was laid in the upstairs hallway. A new concrete pad was poured for the trash cans. New flower beds were created. Others beds were weeded and had new bedding plants added. Construction debris was loaded up and hauled off. New laundry appliances were installed, which was quite a feat as everything in the laundry room had to be moved out first. It was a very productive day and the spring update was a welcome fresh new look for the house!
Interesting data on perception of the Bible from new Barna study. As I have considered ways to evaluate the belief system of women at Titus 2, this is one of the things I evaluate…attitude toward the Bible. Usually breaks down into three: 1.) No relevancy today..just historical book of questionable value for people now, 2.) Good moral instruction for people generally, but confusing and difficult to read and understand, need someone to interpret it for me, 3.) Moral guide with value for use in my life as I study and it is illuminated in my heart through the work of the Holy Spirit. Watching women go in a few months from little or no Bible literacy to enthusiasm for the Word and the ability to read/understand/and apply it to their lives….that’s miraculous.
Had a 4th/5th step session today…what a blessing to hear the ways in which lives are being changed by new relationships with Christ! I am in awe of how great our God is. My heart is full of joy at the ways in which entire families are being touched by the witness of one changed life in their midst. We have two ladies who will be exiting in the next few weeks and four applications on my desk for interviews this week and another agency inquiry today. Every few months the names change, the circumstances change, even details in the house change as each group puts its “touch” on things to make it their own “space.” One thing doesn’t change. When a woman embraces the spiritual disciplines, the discipling friendships being offered, and study….God shows up and miraculous changes occur. An attorney who has known his client for many years responded today to some correspondence. He had met with his client yesterday after just a few months at Titus 2. His email said, “I can hardly believe the difference.” It made me and the young lady smile with gratitude for what God is doing!
There are occasions when meek, emotionally-controlled, wounded women come to Titus 2 who have been subjected to abuse in one or more forms- emotional, physical, financial, sexual, psychological, spiritual, or relational. They often have learned to be “people pleasers” at the expense of their own personhood. They are generally incapacitated, too, by anxiety and fear. Through prayer, Bible study, classes, counseling, and mentoring they discover their identity and value in Christ, learn how to set boundaries and say “no” appropriately, confront their fears, and stand up for themselves. I have witnessed several young ladies’ tentative steps in self-actualization, emerging differentiation and autonomy, practicing healthy boundaries, conquering co-dependency, and voicing their needs and desires with the confidence and perseverance necessary to actually go after those things. Each small victory is a celebration. They discover the strength and freedom they have in Christ and begin to walk confidently in their faith. A physical change sometimes occurs in them that is astonishing. It is certainly recognizable to their family and friends. They go from reluctance to make eye contact to being able to discern truth and contend with lies. They become equipped to train and discipline their children with consistency and determination. It’s a bit like seeing the joy and boldness observed in the disciples after the Resurrection in these emerging disciples of Christ today.
Loneliness….it’s not just women….”Vivek Murthy, the surgeon general of the United States, has said many times in recent years that the most prevalent health issue in the country is not cancer or heart disease or obesity. It is isolation……..In 2015, a huge study out of Brigham Young University, using data from 3.5 million people collected over 35 years, found
that those who fall into the categories of loneliness, isolation, or even simply living on their own see their risk of premature death rise 26 to 32 percent. Now consider that in the United States, nearly a third of people older than 65 live alone; by age 85, that has jumped to about half. Add all of this up, and you can see why the surgeon general is declaring loneliness to be a public health epidemic.”