July 2023 Newsletter
by Pastor Mike Novotny
A few years ago, I was grabbing lunch at a local burger joint with Pastor Jeremy Mattek, whom you might know from Time of Grace, when he shared his entire philosophy of ministry in just two words.
When Jeremy pastored in inner-city Milwaukee, he saw, up close, countless hurting people. And when ministry took him to a suburban church in an affluent neighborhood, he saw, in different ways, how people hurt there too. Improved socioeconomic status and safer streets can’t save people from all the pain of living in this broken world. Therefore, Pastor Jeremy believes his primary calling, no matter where he is serving, is to bring gospel healing to the spiritually/emotionally/physically hurting.
I think he’s on to something.
Sooner or later, everybody hurts. Whether it’s the fresh bruises from an abusive boyfriend, the exhaustion of trying to make everyone in your life happy, or the deflating thoughts that fill your head when you see yourself in a mirror, you and I hurt.
But Jesus heals.
As Pastor Jeremy likes to remind us, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 34:18). That’s why Jesus didn’t keep his distance from people who were hurting; instead, he ran straight to them.
To unveil his philosophy of ministry, Jesus explained, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18,19).
If you are hurting today, find yourself in that list of the people Jesus helps—poor, imprisoned, blind, oppressed. We’re all in there. No one is left out, including you. So read it with hope in your heart for what Jesus said he came to do for you—proclaim good news, freedom, and favor; to set you free.
In a nutshell…Everybody hurts. But Jesus heals.
God’s Word not only points us to our Savior Jesus but also shows us God’s will and promises for our everyday lives. That’s why your generous support is so awesome! You help create books and resources based on God’s Word that help people around the world seek him every day. People like Trisha.
Every book I order I read immediately after receiving it….They provide me with much-needed guidance and hope in a world that is very quickly becoming unrecognizable to those of us who believe and hold on to God’s promise of salvation through his Son, Jesus. The books I receive from Time of Grace continually remind me of God’s free gift of grace and encourage me to live a Christ-centered life while navigating this ever-crumbling world.
Thank you for helping remind people like Trisha of God’s love and promises for them.
Become the best you God created you to be!
Exhausted…fragmented…fuzzy…frazzled. That’s how a lot of people describe their mental and emotional health these days.
God understands. He knows right where you’re at, and he wants to help you find healing and renewed joy in him.
That’s why we’re so excited to send you the book A Guide to Mental & Emotional Wellness: Biblical Wisdom, Practical Principles, Clinical Insight.
Written by licensed marriage and family therapist Dr. Jennifer Londgren, this book combines biblical wisdom, practical principles, and clinical insight to help you recover peace, joy, clarity, and purpose.
With more than ten years’ experience treating patients on the brink of burnout, Dr. Londgren has a passion for helping people become the best version of themselves—the version God created them to be. And she can help you too!
Request your copy of A Guide to Mental & Emotional Wellness when you give today to reach more people with God’s grace and truth. And thank you for your support!
Listen to Little Things with Amber Albee Swenson
God cares about all the daily challenges you’re facing. In God’s kingdom, the little things ARE the big things. Learn to navigate them with Amber Albee Swenson’s Little Things podcast. Listen today on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your favorite podcasts!
“I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE Little Things…I’m so thankful for this blessing! Her words are convicting and encouraging all at the same time, and it’s exactly what I need to hear. I’m so thankful God is speaking through her to me.”
Coming up on Time of Grace
Tune in to the Time of Grace television program in August for the return of the series What Is Love? If most everyone agrees that we should love one another, why is there so much hate in the world? And why do some people call hate what others think is love? This four-part series takes you straight to God’s Word to discover what love and hate really mean, what God loves and hates, and why lovers should be prepared for the haters. Watch on TV or online!
The first episode of What Is Love? is available to watch on August 6th with new episodes released each Sunday in August.
Q&A with Pastor Mike Novotny
Does God talk about mental or emotional wellness in the Bible? What does he say about it?
The Bible has much to say not only about your actions but also about your thoughts and your emotions. In other words, the Christian faith is about your hands and your head and your heart.
What does God have to say? A lot!
“We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
“Why, my soul, are you downcast?…Put your hope in God” (Psalm 42:5).
“My heart is glad…because you will not abandon me” (Psalm 16:9,10).
Your head and heart and hands are sacred spaces. That is why God wants to fill all of them with his grace and his truth.
Finding people that will help you heal is easier said than done.
Whether you are trying to improve your physical health, stay sober, or move through the stages of grief, few of us get far all by ourselves, which is why we crave community. As wise Solomon succinctly said, “Two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
But how do you find such people? Here’s a quick tip—the “Goldilocks zone of confession.”
Some people miss out on creating community because they confess too little. Fearing judgment or not wanting to burden others, they don’t open up about their hurts, fears, and challenges. Thus the conversation stays surface level, and colleagues never turn into the friends we need the most.
Other people never find true community because they confess too much too soon (this is my temptation). If I unloaded all the junk in my closet to the cashier at the grocery store, she probably wouldn’t know how to respond (besides a nervous side-eye to the young man bagging the groceries).
Choose the middle ground. Share something slightly personal with a coworker or a friend and notice how they respond. If they show you compassion and reciprocate with their own confession, that’s a strong clue that God is opening a door to the community you need.
At Time of Grace, we feel honored to start conversations that help people just like you talk about the hard things that lead to community, which leads to healing. Thank you for supporting our work to connect people to Jesus and to one another. We thank God for you!