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Applying Your Church Experience After Sunday

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Shulanda J. Hastings

Ambassador Shulanda

Ambassador Shulanda

Shulanda J. Hastings is an inspirational writer, Christian counselor and an ambassador to the faith-based community; helping them break mental health barriers. She is the author of the Beauty of My Thorns novel series and of the memoirs, Keeping My Faith While Saving My Mind.

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Did you make it to church yesterday? I know…you had every intention to do so but somehow all the Daylight Saving Time reminders bypassed you, right?

I understand. Falling back and Springing forward are two ‘freebies’ that churchgoers can use as an excuse not to attend a fellowship service on Sunday. Is there any wonder why they are scheduled on Saturday nights?!

Well, let’s just say in a perfect Christian world you were able to attend church on yesterday. You participated in praise and worship. You were encouraged by the pastor’s sermon. You responded to the invitation to leave all of your worries at the altar.  And then you left feeling better and much hopeful that your situation was going to be alright. That you were going to be okay.

But then…

By the time you made it home or later that night your happy feeling started to wear off. Instead of feeling hopeful you resorted back to a state of depression about your unpleasant circumstances. You started thinking only about your problems rather than the God who is in control of them.

What caused the downward shift?

Was it returning to your environment? Was it a negative conversation? Was it the notification of more bad news?

All of these situations could have been contributing factors that were out of your control. But you know what? There is something that is in your control that can override these factors.

Your mindset.

“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

While you were at church yesterday or anytime you are attending a church service, something is said or done to trigger alternative thoughts then you had prior to attending service. You allowed your mind to receive and think positive thoughts. You were motivated to participate in praise and worship and respond to the altar call. No one forced your mind to think this way. You were in control; therefore, you allowed it.

Once you walk out of your church doors, you must be intentional about maintaining this new mindset. You can do it!

Think about what happened at church that made you change your thoughts and feelings about your current life issues.

Craving a New Environment. You craved to change your current atmosphere; therefore, you were willing to take the step to do so. That step on Sunday was getting out of bed, preparing yourself for church and actually attending a service. On Mondays or any other weekday, you have to take this same step. You have to sacrifice getting up out of your comfortable bed and finding a location inside of your home that you can sanctify.

Praise and Worship.  There are many ways to praise God that leads to worship. Your church’s style might vary. But praises should consist of bold and honest declarations about God, singing songs and acknowledging and respecting God’s presence by showing a vivid response in your own way. This atmosphere can be set at your designated place at home. Play music that will help set the tone. If you don’t have such music, use your phone to search for some. But do not rush this stage. Surrender to God everything you are feeling. Do not leave this process until you are focused on God.

The Word. Yes, preachers are relevant to declare the Word of God. You too are a minister. Have your Bible near you so that you can be led by the Spirit to a Bible verse. You may not know where to turn to in the Bible, but the Spirt does. This is why you take this step after praise and worship. Once you have read your verse or passage ask God for wisdom on how to apply His Word in your current moment and day.

Prayer. As you are asking God for clarity, declare His Word in your prayers. God is obligated by His Word and not our feelings. Thank God again for who He is and the promises that He has made just to you. Ask forgiveness for any sins that you have committed or omitted. Petition God about any concerns you might have.

Walk in Faith. Remember when you returned back to your seat from leaving the altar? When you get up from your place at home, walk in the same faith; the same believe and hope for the future. As you continue your day, remember your experiences. Recall the Bible passage that you read. You might have to write down a focus verse to take with you. Make positive and promised declarations throughout the day even when something happens to try and shake your faith.

Remember, your church experience does not have to end on Sunday or once you walk out your church doors. It continues with you, with your mindset. Now, what are you going to do about your current atmosphere?


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