Care (3)

PTAP: Mental Health in Arabia

Pray for individuals currently receiving treatment for mental health conditions.  Pray for freedom from their illness, and for their hearts to feel heard and loved.  Pray for their safety and for cultural acceptance despite acknowledgement of their need for help, especially at this time where many of the Gulf countries are under quarantine.
Pray that God would heal the stigma that exists around mental health in the Arabian Gulf culture.  Pray for families to come around those with mental health challenges instead of push them away.
Pray for a particular local teenager, we will call her Sarah.  Pray that Jesus would completely heal her from the depression she has faced for the last several years.  Pray that suicidal thoughts would cease completely.  Pray for her to have dreams and visions of the Healer while she is receiving inpatient care.  

Pray for professionals working in the mental health arena in the Arabian Gulf.  Ask for wisdom, cultural insight, and innovation as they seek to provide care.  Ask for people with influence to be emboldened to share facts, to quash lies/taboos, and to point people to places they can receive treatment from these professionals. 
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Lance Wallnau, says, “You get to choose the environment you create. You can create an environment that draws people to the Kingdom or pulls them out.” 

Rather than adopting your street with the intention of implementing program, folks who join ‪ and sign up to adopt their street spend time talking to God about their neighbors before they talk to their neighbors about God .… engaging in the ministry of presence and becoming more aware, alert, and awake to the fullness of the immediate moment.

Neighborhood transformation occurs best when we let go of an “event” mentality and replace it with an “environment” mentality. Programs and plans have their place—moments matter—but all the pieces must be seen against the backdrop of a larger atmosphere and experience that never stops. 

Followers of Jesus who have adopted the lifestyle of “pray, care, share” live “environmentally.” We do not adopt our streets and prayer walk our neighborhoods as “volunteers” offering an hour a week. Instead, the hours we spend with people, working for justice, come from places we live, shop, play and work as part of our everyday life. We hope to spend years together living life in the Kingdom.

Like Jesus, we need to live and walk with an awareness that the Father's blessing is upon us. We come to be “with” our neighbors. Think of how different the dynamics are when a new parent joins a parents group in need of a place to share the loneliness/ tediousness of caring for a new born child versus a church that sets up a day care center. We come out of a “mutual” relationship sharing in what God is doing.

We become conduits of God’s work, pointing out what God is already doing, or where there are already resources right here to help. We therefore never run out of gas. We are truly energized. Of course we will offer our own resources not as a solution but because we are friends, part of this social reality God is bringing into being.

Neighborhood transformation brings us into an environmental understanding of the Christian life—an understanding that is “here and now”—“worship and work”—“life together”—“places and people.”

When I serve on Kairos teams at Union Correctional Institution, I find the same emphasis upon environments. Of course, there are “events” within environments, and even in the Kairos Prison Ministry such is the case. But the three-day weekend is never viewed apart from the environment, which both preceded and followed them. It is when we "listen, listen, love, love" that we can properly appreciate and participate in the events.

But the moment is made even more meaningful as we remember that the river never stops flowing. The flow of water through the arteries of the St Johns River is larger than the water we encounter at the riverbank.

Transformation never stops coming. Our moments of encounter are memorable, but not definitive. The environment enriches the event. It is when the River captures us that we can love our moments on the riverbank.9651023101?profile=original

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Take the LoveJax2020 Challenge

"It's a cultural change that needs to take place," said Sheriff John Rutherford, who was joined by several pastors. "...We cannot arrest our way out of a murder problem or violence problem. We have to start changing hearts." The Sheriff is correct. The only real solution to the culture of violence in this city is to change people. And, the only way to change people is through a transforming encounter with God.

We would like to invite you to join us in a movement with the goal of giving every person, young and old, in Jacksonville the opportunity to be authentically loved by at least one committed follower of Jesus Christ by the end of the year 2020. This authentic love involves followers of Jesus praying for their streets and neighborhoods, loving their neighbors in practical ways, and eventually sharing the Gospel with them. We call it the LoveJax2020 Challenge. This movement is drawn from a question asked to Jesus recorded in Matthew 22:36 and following.

"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"

Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments."

God can use you to begin loving your neighbors into the kingdom as a vital part of Transform Jacksonville & NE Florida​'s LoveJax2020 Challenge (visit for details.) We encourage you to Adopt-Your-Street - Jacksonville. Start by taking periodic walks through your neighborhood and quietly pray for your neighbors. Then, look for opportunities to express Christ-like care for their physical or "felt" needs. Lastly, look for ways to share the Good News of Jesus. It is as simple as, pray, care, share!

Those of us accepting the challenge will seek to be conformed to the standard of loving God with all of self and to love those around us with the same degree of care with which we attend ourselves.

We believe those who honestly, humbly, seeking, praying, and confessing engage the LoveJax2020 Challenge will emerge on the other end changed. And, when a group within a community is changed, the community will begin to be changed. And so, the ripple can go...all the way to changing a city.

How about you? Do you have the courage to take the LoveJax2020 Challenge? Our city is at stake.

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