josh longanecker life groups pastor at james river church

Josh Longanecker

Josh Longanecker is the Church & Community Care Pastor at James River Church. Focusing on connecting people in the community to available resources at James River Church, Josh is dedicated to showing the love of Jesus to others so they can come to know Him more.

God’s Answer to Fear and Anxiety

Whether it was the day you first learned to ride a bike or the time you had to prepare for an important job interview, it is likely you have experienced moments of fear and anxiety in your life at some point. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, the most common mental illness in the U.S. are anxiety disorders, affecting nearly one in five adults every year. So, if fear and anxiety are such big issues in our world, what is God’s answer and how can we overcome them?

One thing that can change your life!

Our words have an enormous effect on the world around us. In the same way, it only takes a spark to set a forest on fire, a careless or wrongly placed word can burn down a relationship. Our speech can turn unity into chaos, or bring pain where there should be protection. However, an encouraging word aptly placed can change someone’s entire day. You can enhance your marriage, bring success to your work, help your children, and enrich your friendships by simply letting the words of our mouths be life-giving. The decision is yours, choose your words carefully…

A Hand Up Out Of Poverty

Programs are useful, but what most people need is someone to come alongside them and help them to see life from a different perspective. In her book, A Framework for Understanding Poverty, Dr. Ruby Payne argues that one of the main things people in poverty, particularly generational poverty, need is relationship with someone who is not in their economic class. Without those relationships, it is challenging for people to change because poverty is as much a mindset as it is an economic problem.

Can We Choose Our Attitude?

When we encounter issues, we can choose to concentrate on the problem and try to solve it on our own, or we can decide to focus on Christ, give our Him problems and ask Him to show us a solution. When we do this, the key is to get our focus off our problem and on to God. Solutions come when our focus is totally on God; anxiety comes when our focus is half on God and half on our problems.

Doubt your Doubts

Faith is holding fast to the promises of God, despite what your mind is telling you, despite what your fear is telling you, or the reality of your situation. Our faith is proven by our actions, not our emotions. To win the battle against doubt, we must allow our actions and our words to be governed by our faith. Doubt may enter your mind, but do not let it enter your heart.

Where is God When You are Suffering?

As we go through life, we will experience suffering. At times, suffering is physical pain caused by an injury or disability, other times it is emotional or mental anguish. Suffering could be the result of the loss of a relationship, or an uncontrollable economic hardship which has brought us to our knees. It could be abuse, or death of a close friend, or a host of other issues. The point is that we will all suffer to some extent, but the question often boils down to, why? And is there any meaning is suffering? Well, the answer to those questions comes down to who you ask.

The Story Behind: “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

One of the things that makes Christmas such a memorable time of year is the music. The same songs, year after year, get stuck in our heads and we can often recite the words without even thinking about it. Recently, I attended an incredible performance by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra which was a dedicated to the music of Christmas. As the program came to a close, the Conductor asked the audience to join the musicians and sing a few lines of some of the most well-known Christmas carols, including several verses of “Hark! The Herald Angel Sing!” Many of the carols we sing have a rich theological tradition, and “Hark! The Herald Angel Sing!” is no exception.

How to Recognize What God is Doing

The whole city was in an uproar. The crowd screamed and shouted. They flooded into the streets waiting for a glimpse of the coming King. Finally, He was there. The King had come to Jerusalem! Jesus began His descent from the Mt. of Olives, and as He did, the crowd took off their cloaks and cut down palm branches and laid them on the ground in front of Him. They cried out, “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the LORD!” as Jesus rode into town (Luke 19:38 NLT). And yet, Jesus didn’t wave. He didn’t blow kisses to the crowd. He didn’t call out with a grand speech. Instead: He cried…

6 Tips on How to Hear from God

Hearing the voice of God can sometimes feel like a difficult process. As we look at the life of Samuel, we find six tips on how to hear from God on a regular basis.

Under the Surface

Jesus sets the perfect example of what perspective leaders should have when it comes to people and ourselves. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. See how to gain God’s perspective in your life.

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