ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part II

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Cor. 13:5 “…love is not easily provoked …not easily angered…”

Intro: We began a journey, you and me, into the subject of Anger Management, even though neither of us truly wanted to talk about it! We looked at modern anger and noticed that most anger is viewed as immature or uncivilized, because most were “temper tantrums.” We also saw how that bottled up anger or sand bagging could be just as damaging causing such things as clinical depression with its symptoms of obsessions, phobias, addictions, and manic tendencies and even bipolar disorder. We noted that most people tend to express their anger through a fight-or-flight response.

Henry Drummonds wrote in “The Greatest Thing In The World,” that “No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to unchristianize society than evil tempers. For embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom of childhood, for sheer gratuitous misery-producing power, this influence stands alone.”

Anger is a good emotion used both by God Almighty and Jesus Christ! The greatest problem with anger is that it covers up other emotions like fear, frustration, and anxiety. It is only as we learn the difference between the beneficial anger and the destructive anger that we can become what we were created to be.

Today, we are going to examine the fight-or-flight response to anger.

I. Aggressive Anger: (Fight)

The symptoms of aggressive anger include these:

A. Threats, such as frightening people by saying how you could harm them, their property, or their prospects if often a symptom of aggressive anger. Finger pointing, fish shaking, and even wearing clothing or symbols associated with violent behavior constitutes a threat. How many have been victims of tailgating, excessive horn blowing, or door slamming? I have told you about the time our oldest son went to his room upset and slammed his bedroom door. I responded by removing the door and placing it in the garage until he learned this kind of actions would not be tolerated.

B. Hurtfulness, such as physical violence, verbal abuse, biased or vulgar jokes, and even breaking a confidence can be forms the fight response. Playing loud music, using foul language, ignoring people’s feelings, and willfully discriminating shows hurtfulness. Blaming others, punishing people for unwarranted deeds, and labeling others poorly may seem to be harmless activities, but they often mask the fight.

C. Destructiveness, such as destroying property, harming animals, reckless driving, and alcohol and chemical abuse should be viewed as aggressive anger. Some will set out to destroy a relationship between two people just to express their rage.

D. Bullying, such as we see on our news where this mother and daughter used the internet to bully a 13 year old girl to the point that she hang herself must not be tolerated in a civilized society. Persecuting, pushing or shoving, and shouting are often signs of bullying. Using the power to oppress others and playing on people’s weaknesses is similar to using your car to force someone off the roadway.

E. Unjust Blaming, such as accusing other people for your personal mistakes, blaming people for your own feelings, and making general accusations, such as “If it were not for the Democrats, our nation would be better!” are symptoms of aggressive anger.

F. Manic Behavior, such as speaking too fast, walking too fast, and even working too much and expecting others to follow you can spell real problems for you. Often driving too fast and reckless spending can be signs of manic behavior!

G. Grandiosity, like showing off, demanding center state all the time, not listening, trying to talk over people’s heads, even expecting “kiss and make-up sessions” to solve problems are out of the norm. Also always expressing mistrust of others, failure to delegate, and being a poor loser in insignificant matters can signals problems.

E. Self-Centerness displayed by ignoring other’s needs and not responding to requests for help can be acts of aggression.

F. Vengeance, such as being over-punitive, refusing to forgive, and bringing up hurtful memories from the past must be seen as over the line actions.

G. Unpredictability, such as explosive ranges over minor frustrations, attacking indiscriminately, dispensing unjust punishments and inflicting harm on others for the sake of it must not be tolerated. Often unpredictability is acted out by constant illogical arguments.

I know this is a long list, but many times we see these types of behaviors and never recognize them as aggression, even when we see them in our own lives! Examine your own lives in view of this list and see if the fight response is your choice of action!

II. Passive Anger – (Flight)

Passive anger is often expressed in the following ways:

A. Secretive Behaviors, such as stockpiling resentments that are expressed behind people’s backs, giving the silent treatment or under the breath muttering, putting other people down, gossiping, anonymous complaints, poison pen letters, and even conning can spell real problems. Avoiding eye contact and stealing, especially “just for the fun of it” are often flight expressions.

B. Manipulation, as seen in provoking people to aggression and then patronizing them, provoking aggression but staying on the sidelines, sabotaging relationships, and using a third party to convey negative feelings, is not the way to properly motivate people! Manipulation can be seen in emotional blackmail, false tearfulness, faking illnesses, withholding money or resources, and even using sexual provocation.

C. Self-Blame is often a tool for flight. Apologizing too often, being overly critical, and inviting unnecessary criticism fools very few people as to the true motivation.

D. Self-Sacrifice, such as being overly helpful, making do with second best, quietly making long suffering sighs without accepting help, or lapping up gratefulness can be signs of problems.

E. Ineffectualness, such as setting yourself and others up for failure, choosing unreliable people to depend on, being accident prone, underachieving, and expressing frustration at insignificant things but ignoring serious ones is often a sign of flight.

F. Dispassion is characterized by giving the cold shoulder or phony smiles, looking cool, sitting on the fence while others sort things out, not responding to other’s anger, and talking of frustrations but showing no feelings. Also dispassionate people often dampen their feelings with substance abuse, overeating and/or oversleeping, and by giving inordinate amounts of time to machines, like computers or video games.

G. Obsessive behaviors, such as needing to be clean and tidy, making a habit of constantly checking things, over-dieting or overeating should be areas of concern. Perfectionism – demanding that all jobs are done perfectly can be a sign of flight!

Conclusion: I realize that we have not begun to deal with anger management, but until we understand the signs of inappropriate anger, we can not learn how to control it. Remember, God has the answer for all our anger needs – let us seek Him and receive His help in our times of need!

~Pastor Erny

ANGER MANAGEMENT – Part I

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

I Corinthians 13:5 “… love is not easily provoked … not easily angered …”

Introduction: A puppy is kicked against the living room wall. A crying infant is caught by his heels and hurled against its nursery’s wall. A teen murders his parents, then goes to school and shoots several of his peers and a teacher. A mother walks out on the most important things in her life – her family. Another mother drops her offspring in the dumpster behind the local convenience store.

Angry people are said to be mad, and maybe that is right! Often anger causes people to act insanely! Anger will consume your happiness, steal your joy, affect your health, damage your relationships, and often leads to murder.

We are going to begin a journey, you and me, into this subject that none of us like to talk about! We are going to examine what anger is and where it comes from. We are going to seek from the Bible what God gets angry about and how He responds. We are going to look at several ways to help us control inappropriate anger responses. These will be messages that many people in Port O’Connor need to hear, but they will not unless you personally encourage them to attend. I do not know how many weeks we will be looking at this subject, but I am sure it will be several. Let’s get started!

Anger is a good emotion used both by God Almighty and Jesus Christ! The greatest problem with anger is that it covers up other emotions like fear, frustrations, and anxiety. It is only as we learn the difference between the beneficial anger and the destructive anger that we can become what we were created to be.

I. Modern Anger

A. In today’s society, most anger is viewed as an immature or uncivilized response to frustration, threat, violation, or loss. Much of the angry expressions we see are indeed just that – immature or uncivilized. When society fails to respond with penalties that are strong enough, such actions will continue. But, when parents and/or governments refuse to condone such “temper tantrums,” more appropriate actions will follow!

B. Conversely, keeping calm, coolheaded, or “turning the other cheek” is considered more socially acceptable. This conditioning can also cause inappropriate expressions of anger such as uncontrolled violent outbursts, misdirected anger, or repressing all feelings of anger when it would be an appropriate response to the situation.

C. “Bottled up anger” can lead to persistent violent thoughts or actions, nightmares, and even physical symptoms, such as ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome. Some call this anger “Sand Bagging.”

D. Anger can also aggravate an already present mental health problem such as clinical depression. It is a fact that some depression is simply the results of anger turned inwards. The reason for this is because many depressed people react to stress by turning their anger inward as a response to physical or emotional abuse or neglect. Depressed person’s who deny their anger will often have unhappy and unhealthy interpersonal relationships.

E. Another side-effect of anger is that it often fuels obsessions, phobias, addictions, and manic tendencies. People who are not able to express their anger will let it out in some sort of furious activity, which can result in clinical depression or even bipolar disorder.

F. Anger can fan the flames of paranoia and prejudice, even in normal, everyday situations. People tend to express their anger either passively or aggressively through what is called the “fight-or-flight” response. The passive flight response is repression and denial of anger for safety. However, aggressive behavior is associated with the fight response and the use of the verbal and physical power of anger to abuse and hurt others.

II. The Harm Of Anger

Henry Drummond writes in his book, “The Greatest Thing in the World,” the following:

No form of vice, not worldliness, not greed of gold, not drunkenness itself, does more to unchristianize society than evil tempers, for embittering life, for breaking up communities, for destroying the most sacred relationships, for devastating homes, for withering up men and women, for taking the bloom of childhood, for sheer gratuitous misery-producing power, this influence stands alone!

Conclusion: The term anger management refers to a system of psychological therapeutic techniques and exercises by which someone with excessive or uncontrollable anger can control or reduce the triggers, degrees, and effects of an anger emotional state. God has the answer for all our anger needs – let’s seek Him!

~ Pastor Erny

WISE MEN

Matthew 2:1-12

Matthew 2:1 & 2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi (wise men)from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the One Who has been born King of the Jews? We saw His star in the east (where it rose) and have come to worship Him.

Intro: Who were these “wise men?” They were descendants of Abraham through Keturach – his second wife after Sarah. They were inhabitants of northern Arabia. They had been told about the Messiah promise and were watching just as the Jews were. They believed God manifested Himself through fire, so they watched the stars; feeling stars were the fires of heaven. This star was possibly a meter that came just over the earth – close to the ground, not high in the heavens. However, it may have been one of those special revelations that God chooses to give mankind! They were so convinced that this star was the one mentioned by Balaam in Numbers 24:17, that they stopped their own businesses and followed it for about 18 months!

I want us to note at least seven (7) things these men did that qualified them to be called “wise men.”

I. They Observed.

They were looking for the star that was promised, they therefore saw the star! Had they not been looking, the star would have gone unnoticed by them!

II. They Understood. v.2 We saw His star

Many must have seen the star, but only those who were followers of God’s Word understood! There are many who recognize the signs of the coming of Jesus, but because they have not studied God’s Word, they just act like these signs are normal! James promised that If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask God …

III. They Acted. v.2 We saw His star … and have come

Too often we see and understand, but fail to act! I know I need to change, but we keep on going the same pathway! Not so with Wise Men!

IV. They Rejoiced. v.10 they were overjoyed

Their journey was successful! They had reached their journey’s end – completed their quest! They found what they had searched for!

V. They Worshiped. v.11 they bowed down and worshiped Him

They went from standing to head between their knees with faces on the floor. Bro. Zercher told of going to Africa to preach. While preaching, He felt the Spirit moving and stopped and said, “Let’s worship the Lord!” The preaching ended, for the people, when told to worship, got on their faces and worshipped for over an hour! He later said the word he should have used was “Praise the Lord!” But, we need to truly worship!

VI. They Gave. v.11 They opened their treasurers and presented Him gifts

These gifts were what made the trip to Egypt financially possible for Joseph and his young family! They were not symbolic of anything as far as the wise men were concerned – we have noticed that gold could represent His Kingship; frankincense could represent His Priesthood; and myrrh could represent His death for mankind, but we have no indication that the wise men knew this much about this Jewish King! They were just presenting Him gifts of great value because they had found the King they had sought!

VII. They Obeyed. v.12 having been warned … they returned … by another route.

The Glory did not keep these wise men from being obedient to the Lord’s instructions!

Sometimes, when the Spirit gives us Glory, we get so lost that obedience is forgotten about! We get so caught up in worship and praise that obedience is left out – almost seems out of place! Never so! The glory of the hour did not cloud their willingness to do what the Lord asked!

Conclusion: Wise Men, Women, Boys and Girls still

1. Observe – Because they are looking

2. Understand – because they have studied the important things

3. Act – do what they see and understand they need to do.

4. Rejoice – delighted that God leads them to new and exciting experiences!

5. Worship – know what worship is, and how to do it

6. Give – nothing too good for the Lord and His work, and

7. Obey – know that obedience is better than gifts!

~ Pastor Erny

THE GOOD NEWS OF CHRISTMAS

Message by Rev. Erny McDonough
Fisherman’s Chapel, Port O’Connor, Texas

Matthew 2:1-12

Intro: The wise men, as we call them, had traveled about 18 months following a star. They had gone to the palace in Jerusalem and asked Herod the Great about the birth of the King. He had sent them on their way toward Bethlehem. After leaving King Herod, they were glad to once again see the star and have it lead them once again. When that star stopped over the house where Jesus was, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. WHY? Because they had learned The Good News Of Christmas!

I. The Christmas News Is Divine!

It is news that God makes – news that the Holy God, Who has promised redemption for sinners has kept His promise, has sent His one and only Son, and has come in Christ for the salvation of all who trust Him. The Devine News is that God, for Christ’s sake, invites us to His Christmas table, invites us miserable sinners to share personally in the privileges and power of the Kingdom of Heaven!

II. The Good News Of Christmas Is Durable!

It is God’s Good News throughout this age of Grace! “Take heart!” God says! Here is hope, high hope. Christ, the Holy Savior of sinners, is come! Christ, the crucified One, is risen, the invincible Victor over all the powers that aimed to destroy Him. Christ lives today, granting forgiveness to penitents and gifting them with new life. Sin, oppression, and injustice are doomed and dated! Christ, the Man of God, and the God-Man, gives new life to fallen mankind in the middle of this shabby world. He raises up His new society that has a destiny in eternity!

III. The Good News Of Christmas Is Distributable!

It is God’s Good News for beleaguered humanity and for spiritually famished mankind. It girdles the globe and spans the nations. From scores of modern nations pilgrims will gather in Bethlehem on Christmas Day, mindful that the Word became flesh in Jesus of Nazareth.

IV. The Good News Of Christmas Is Highly Dangerous!

A. It bears on human destiny! It is decisive, and it calls each of us to a personal decision. For God, or against God; for Christ, or against Him; for the forgiveness of sins, or against it; for fellowship with God, or against it; for the Commandments of God or against them; for the Word of God, or against it – that is the choices we face because of Christmas!

B. The Good News of Christmas can be the best news of all, or the costliness of all! When the news is best, the cost of neglect is always greatest! News that the promised Redeemer has come is the best Good News of all!

Conclusion: If we believe in Christmas, then we must believe that that Babe born in a stable and laid in a manger is truly the Son of God!

If He indeed is the Son of God, then His mission was to die for the sins of mankind, including ours!

If He did die for our sins, then we have an obligation to Him for what He has done for us at Calvary!

He is not a dead sacrifice today, but a Risen Lord, one to whom we will have to give an accounting of our lives! As the Risen Lord, He will come again, and that, my friends, very soon!

What are we doing about the Good News of Christmas! It is very dangerous to reject it!
~ Pastor Erny

Ric Gordan Preaching Revival of Joy Dec 30 thru Jan 2

We are so blessed to have Ric Gordan here to preach a Revival meeting from Sunday December 30th through Wednesday January 2nd at the Fisherman’s Chapel in Port OConnor Texas.

Rick’s ministry of humor & music is a rolicking way to start off the New Year with joy and laughter in our hearts. We hope you’ll come join us for one or all nights of the revival, and invite others!

Watch Night Service New Years Eve

Upholding this old tradition, we will again have a Watch Night service to “ring in the New Year” by proclaiming Christ’s love for all of mankind, and having a rolicking good time while we are at it. Three local community churches will join in for this event!

If you are tired of drunken false celebrations, come join us for the New Years Eve party of the year and start off with a smile on your face – and in your heart!

Christmas Caroling in POCO, December 23rd

We will be going Christmas caroling around Port O’Connor on Sunday, December 23rd. You don’t need to be a good singer to take part, just to like to sing! If you’ve never gone carolling before, it is lots of fun – and there’s nothing to warm the heart quite like it. All are invited to come help us sing like the angels sang “Glory to the newborn King!