Experiential Overload

Recently I have been teaching on how God has always provided a place He referred to as a place flowing with milk and honey.  The Israelites failed to possess this land because they saw giants in the land and failed to believe that God would give them the ability to overcome all and every obstacle that would oppose them.

Jesus tells us in John 10: 10 that we have been given the ability to have life and have it abundantly.  One translation says we have the possibility of experiencing life to its fullest.

I see that as God’s promise to us as believers that we too can possess a place “flowing with milk and honey.”  The book of Hebrews calls it a place of rest.

The human model of how we become who we are is the following: body – mind – spirit.  Our bodies experience feelings, emotions, circumstances, experiences, ups and downs, etc. which influence how we interpret things.  Our minds become programmed by our experiences in life.  We form opinions, prejudices, etc. by what we experience in life.  Our spirits, the inner most parts of us, are formed by what we have experienced throughout our lives.

According to the human model of personal formation we are what we have experienced in life and how others have influenced our thinking.

By God’s design we have a limited life span with experiences we will PERSONALLY have to face in life: OUR successes, OUR failures, deaths of those with whom we have come to know and love in life by close, physical, face to face relationships, etc.  All these experiences have to do with us, PERSONALLY.

God has given us the ability even as non-Christians to handle what we experience, PERSONALLY.

Sadly today, our personal experiences are not the only things that will form us.  Social media: texts, emails and all the other social media avenues are bombarding us with the experiences of others.

Facebook is especially an avenue of what I call Experiential Overload.  No longer do I have to face my personal experiences which affect my life but the experiences of all my so-called Facebook friends.

True personal communication is over 90% body language and tone of voice, both of which are not experienced by social media communication.  However we will experience the successes, joys, failures, tragedies, heartbreaks, pain and sufferings of all those individuals who post their own personal life experiences.

We are bombarded by the experiences, both good and bad, of our so-called Facebook friends.  Their experiences, their opinions and especially their expressed feelings toward us have an incredible influence on our feelings and emotions.

We were designed to handle the experiences of the limited people we come to know by personal contact in our lives.  We were never designed to handle the incredible amount of experiences of all those who we call friends on social media.

I am always amazed how our younger generation is mesmerized by social media.  Is it no wonder that this generation is facing such mental issues as depression, anxiety, worry and fear.

They are being bombarded by the problems and bad experiences of others.  That is what I have coined as Experiential Overload.

God has given us a remedy for Experiential Overload.

God’s model for our formation is different than man’s model.  God had provided a place of rest, peace and happiness for us even though we will to face our personal challenges and experiences.

I will explain this wonderful place and how to get there in my next blog.

-Pastor Jim

Look What the lord has done!

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” Revelation 12:11

One of my favorite things in life is to listen to stories. Story time was my favorite part of the day in Elementary school. Stories are captivating. I love sitting down with people and hearing their life story and how God has moved in their lives. When I hear the story of how God is moving in their life, it brings my soul joy and brings my heart to worship the Lord. One thing I can confidently say for my House on the Rock family is this: GOD IS MOVING!

I recently sat down with my sister in Christ Nancy Collett to hear her story. For a while she was struggling with back pain. It was hard for her to do daily activities and was becoming a huge problem. She went to the doctor to see what was causing all this back pain. After numerous tests, the doctors found a mass on her pancreas. This led to more and more tests to see if the mass was cancerous. We came together as a family and began praying for God’s healing and to take the pain away. Nancy returned to the doctor to continue to run tests and begin the process of treatment. The doctor ran four tests and was astonished at the results. The scans that had showed a mass on her pancreas a month ago, now showed no signs of a mass anywhere. All four tests came back CLEAR!

Nancy walks in to the church the following Sunday bursting with joy and telling everyone of God’s goodness.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13