Tree of Life – Part 1
Can I Have Hope Again?
Spiritual burnout is a humbling experience. You are not only worn out physically, mentally and emotionally, you also have lost much of your hope and your ideals. You are well past over-engagement and over-reactive emotions, and now your blunted emotions are taking you further into disengagement.
You are now demoralized, depressed, and disillusioned. You might even be angry with God. In your growing state of helplessness and hopelessness you may have questions like these: “Will I ever have hope again?” “Will I ever trust God again as much as before?” “Am I ever going to get my zeal back again?” “I don’t even feel like going to church. Will that change in time?”
At Smoldering Wick Ministries we want to befriend you and help you in the direction of healing. One of the best ways we know to do just that, is to disciple you in “Tree of Life” living and ministry. By helping you plunge into the Tree of Life we will be helping place you in a position where the Holy Spirit can do His deep inner healing. Whether you ever return to the ministry will ultimately be your decision, but with healing from burnout and a sound life-giving approach to life and ministry, the desire to return to your calling may become strong again.
Your zeal, however, will be tempered by your wisdom and experience. No longer will youthful idealism that is exaggerated set you up for disappointment. No longer will insecurity haunt you as a ministry leader. No longer will you take people’s freedom away and try to make them over in your own image. No longer will you try to solve everyone’s problems yourself. No longer will you be driven to frustration by hard-to-get-along-with people.
We all love God with our whole hearts. Some of us, however, have loved and served God with an incorrect approach that has hurt us and our followers. If we are left disillusioned by our experience in the ministry, it is because we first believed in an illusion!
At Smoldering Wick Ministries we have free tapes, articles, and counseling to take away the illusions, and introduce people to the Tree of Life (Jesus). We also promote a number of books designed to educate leaders in the direction of the Tree of Life and a sound healing relationship with our Lord Jesus. Check out all these resources at the Smoldering Wick Website.
Kathy and I slaved away for twenty years, ministering in a legalistic denomination where the underlying operating system was fear and control. God in His infinite wisdom brought three people into our lives that changed our whole approach to life and ministry. Malcolm Smith, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, taught us the fallacy of legalism and religion, and introduced us to Father’s unconditional love in a way we had never understood it before.
While this mind and heart opening process with Malcolm was occurring, we met Ted Haggard for the first time. What impacted us powerfully was Pastor Ted’s way of thinking. It was about as far from our legalistic denomination as you can get. He was filled with love and encouragement. His views were optimistic, and truly life-giving. We were learning a whole new way of thinking! After moving to Colorado, we were introduced to Dr. Larry Crabb, all the pieces fell together and great inner healing continued in our spirits. This booklet is a compilation of what we learned through our burnout after 23 years in the ministry, and what we learned through the healing process. We hope, with Father’s grace and blessing, that this information will help you heal and, further, help prepare you for a ministry with the Tree of Life as the modus operandi.
We will begin with a look at the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and see how this tree can mislead even the most sincere ministry leader. What happens when we are operating out of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?
Then we will take a close look at what the Tree of Life is all about, and what an incredible difference in thinking and living this tree makes in our lives. We hope you will read and study this booklet several times and plunge yourself into the Tree of Life in your personal life, family life, and your future ministry as God reveals what that will be. God bless you, and please do use your burnout as a launch pad into a brighter, properly fulfilling future.