* In fight against #Depression I PREACH 2myself: #faith = often NOT understanding. Still, God is pleasd I believ him when I dont FEEL like it.
* #Depression is very real for ALL, tho we like 2deny it. Perhaps bcuz #faith is supposed 2cureall. #Jesus IS our hope ESPEC in midst of fire.
* #Depression usually manifests when I’v tried 2TAKE OVR some aspect of my life – 2MAKE sumthin happen. #EvidenceImNotYielding2SpiritsLeading.
* #Depression is not ALWAYS an indication of a lack of surrender. Sumtimes there’s grief that invades &drowns the voice of Hope. #TheGoodFight
* More than ever Im persuaded that HOPE gives birth 2FAITH. So when Im battling #Depression I must actively HUNT 4voice of HOPE 2find LIFE.
* My experience = I can “feel” when weight of a #Depression (oppression) lifts. &Always this comes after I express my longing heart in prayer.
* I can KNOW I must pray & give my “groanings” 2God as an offering, BUT in midst of pain it feels like THE most impossible thing! #Depression
Be BLESSED, Beloved ❤
I won’t go into too much detail here, because I don’t want to give cause for a misinterpretation of events; but this little incident was too good not to share. Stay tuned for one tiny peek at an unplanned and unexpected but very welcome Redemptive Moment. 🙂
I WAS FIRED.
I was fired. Yep – not from my present job, but the job I had before. It’s been nearly 8 years since I went through very rough waters with a former employer, both sides feeling justified in a growing distrust and mutual dissatisfaction, and a painful ordeal that was only survived with some grace because of a gracious mediator who walked us through the transition that would ultimately lead to me training my own replacement.
This was a life-altering experience for me – not just because it was so devastating to not be believed, not be trusted, and feel I had NO earthly way to rectify the opinions of others, but mainly because this was a small family owned business, and these were people I had known for YEARS before working there, had gone to CHURCH with them, had what I thought was a loving relationship with them and their kids outside any workplace association. Yet in the months when everything unraveled and in the subsequent mutual parting of ways, everything in our friendship and association also vanished.
MEMORY IS A TRICKY THING.
From what I understand – and please, I’m not a scientist, so let’s just chalk this up to being a bit of an internet and news junkie – our brains RE-remember every time we visit a “memory,” and HOW we perceive is fluid, always changing – almost as if the memories themselves are living things – and yet our CONVICTIONS about what we remember are equally as strong in the 10th telling (which for some people will be much more varied from the first telling than others) even if the content (unbeknownst to us) may differ in significant ways.
Perhaps that’s a good argument for keeping a journal – provided we can be trusted to recount events honestly to ourselves, which sometimes may be a big “if.” 🙂
As for me? Here? I remember more the emotions, the hurt, the suspicion, or the anger – even the fury – sometimes directed at me. I remember returning some of the same. Present emotions often register as shame, regret, sorrow, that wishful longing that things had been different, that I had DONE things differently.
A BROKEN WINDSHIELD TO HEAL.
By happenstance, my car recently suffered (another) windshield injury. I looked up a repair shop online, not fully registering the location of the address, and mistakenly assessing it to be closer to my job for a quick lunch visit. In fact, this shop was several miles away, in the neighborhood of my previous place of employment. And I arrived to learn my windshield was non-repairable – I would have to reschedule for another visit to have the whole thing replaced. So by happenstance *ahem* I found myself with some time to kill before going back to work, AND within just a couple blocks of this place which attaches to so many significant negative (but growth-inducing) emotions.
So I decided to drop in for a visit.
And I found that the son has since bought the business from his parents, the wife (daughter-in-law) now manages the main office and the books, and though the mom no longer works there, the dad still weaves in and around the office, cheerfully advertising, don’t you know, that the KFC founder didn’t really get his business feet under him till he was 80 years old, so there!
I found that the gal who had replaced me was years gone, and the gal I had replaced more years before was now working there again. I found that the business had weathered the economic downturn seemingly well, and that the gracious mediator I had hoped to revisit had resigned just a few months before to pursue more missions-minded work in another city. How fitting. 🙂
There was shock expressed over how much weight I’ve lost (they all knew me at my unhealthiest), there was curiosity about the house I’ve recently purchased, my now living near my sister so many miles away from my current job, and the nearly 8 years I’ve now been with the same employer. We visited about changes in our church experiences, changes in our country, and in short how the years mature us .. if we let them. 🙂
There were smiles, even a few hugs, and they let me wander out back until I found the 80+ year old dad lifting his face to soak up a little sun behind the shop, enjoying a quiet smoke break, standing just exactly as I remember him .. I got to visit with him for a few minutes, and … was that “relief” spreading over his face? To learn that I was now in such a good place, healthy and happy and well cared for …. I left well-wishes for everyone, and asked the dad to take a love greeting to his wife, my former boss, too.
Then another round of hugs and affirmations for the healing time can minister, and we all marveled once again at how .. Paths can cross and sever, but God is still God of us all, and – for those who will humbly yield to it – his grace is greater than what we allow to divide ….
I think I will never again feel as much GRATITUDE as I did that day for a badly timed rock bouncing on the freeway on my commute to work. 😉 Miracles can spring forth from the most unlikely of places, don’t you know.
And just for the record, I don’t believe in “happenstance.” 😉
I have made a TERRIBLE mistake.
The other night, I was up late, browsing online, and I stumbled onto a little tip from an otherwise reputable journalist concerning signing up for one of these “online survey” sites where you can get PAID to offer your OPINION. Which for someone like me – with approximately as many opinions as I take breaths in a day – this sounds like a dream come true, right?
At last, over an hour into clicking here and clicking there, I am tired and it’s well past midnight, and I realize I’ve submitted my email address to half a dozen or so sites, completely awash with the foggy delight of possibly making a few dollars out of those extra minutes I “waste” by wandering around online any given day.
And then I woke up the next morning.
In less than 24 hours I was ‘bot-blasted with hundreds of spam-like emails and over 20 phone calls to my cell phone for weight loss and educational offers – Oy! and to make matters worse, I had GUARDED against giving out my number for precisely the fear of landing in various telemarketing schemes that I would never be able to un-domino once the first piece was knocked over. And with every escalating argument with a caller, and every half dozen new email “opportunities” from which I had to “unsubsubscribe” – the cumulative effect being the loss of HOURS of my time pooper scooping – HOURS for which I received precisely ZERO redemptive dollars, by the way – I could only keep hearing in my head the mantra of “Stupid Stupid Stupid Girl!”
I had brought this mess on myself in a moment of weakness. And I couldn’t even really be justified in getting mad at these people – or the “system” I am so prone to rail against – because I had VIRTUALLY (literally) INVITED them into my world.
I allowed a tiny promise to deceive me into thinking I could “redeem” my wasted TIME, and it cost me far MORE in wasted time than I could have spent in all my online traffic in ten times as many days.
EVERY decision, whether it concerns the spending of a MINUTE or the spending of a DOLLAR, has consequences.
I am reaping what I sowed.
I must remember to view each of these things – my minutes, my dollars, my words, too – as SEEDS. If I am more intentional about what I SOW, and if I am more attentive to the GUARDING of the field in which I am planting, I can have realistic CONFIDENCE about precisely what I will harvest and that my Produce will be healthy and nourishing in due season.
What a painful little reminder. I am going to be cleaning up this mess for many days to come. Here’s hoping that is the worst of my consequences. 😉
PS – Related, here is a sermon by Pastor Chuck Stanley on Reaping and Sowing you might appreciate. ❤
Listening to the radio on the way back from Dr. appt ~ talk show reflecting on nature of Heaven according to Scripture, and the very “physical” (in contrast to misconception of “ghostly”) experience we will have there. I was SO blessed to be reminded of the truths laid out in Revelation 21 and 22, and where we will be together forever with our Lord! …
“Then he who is seated upon the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new!’ … Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the thirsty water without price from the fountain of life. The victorious shall inherit these things, and I will be God to him and he will be son to me….‘ … Then he carried me away in spirit to the top of a vast mountain, and pointed out to me the city, the holy Jerusalem, descending from God out of Heaven, radiant with the glory of God. Her brilliance sparkled like a very precious jewel with the clear light of crystal.
“…I could see no Temple in the city, for the Lord, the Almighty God, and the Lamb are themselves its Temple. The city has no need for the light of sun or moon, for the splendour of God fills it with light and its radiance is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. The city’s gates shall stand open day after day—and there will be no night there. Into the city they will bring the splendours and honours of the nations. But nothing unclean, no one who deals in filthiness and lies, shall ever at any time enter it—only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
“Then he showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal as it flowed from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of the street of the city and on either bank of the river grew the tree of life, bearing twelve fruits, a different kind for each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.
“Nothing that has cursed mankind shall exist any longer; the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be within the city. His servants shall worship him; they shall see his face, and his name will be upon their foreheads. Night shall be no more; they have no more need for either lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will shed his light upon them and they shall reign as kings for timeless ages.
“Then the angel said to me, ‘These words are true and to be trusted, for the Lord God, who inspired the prophets, has sent his angel to show his servants what must shortly happen.’
“‘See, I come quickly! Happy [Blessed!] is the man who pays heed to the words of the prophecy in this book.’ … ‘See, I come quickly! I carry my reward with me, and repay every man according to his deeds. I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the Beginning and the End. Happy [Blessed!] are those who wash their robes, for they have the right to the tree of life and the freedom of the gates of the city. Shut out from the city shall be the depraved, the sorcerers, the impure, the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practises a lie!
“‘I, Jesus, have sent my angel to you with this testimony for the Churches. I am both the root and stock of David, and the bright star of the morning!’
“The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ Let everyone who hears this also say, ‘Come!’ Let the thirsty man come, and let everyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift….
“He, who is witness to all this, says, ‘Yes, I am coming very quickly!’
“Amen, come Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all his people.”
(from JBPhillips NT)
Today has been a very TRYING day! … Calling to mind bits from Ps. 37 (NKJV mixed w/a little of The Message) to keep my mind stayed on HIM who is my Source and my Strength, and my Protection, and my BELOVED!
“…Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land and feed on HIS faithfulness!….Open up before God, keep nothing back…Trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light….Quiet down before God, be prayerful before Him….Do not fret – it only causes harm….Bridle your anger…Those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth!….THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT THE EARTH, AND SHALL DELIGHT THEMSELVES IN THE ABUNDANCE OF PEACE!”
Ah, thank you, Lord!! ♥
“…A little that a righteous man has is better than the riches of many wicked…the Lord upholds the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the upright, and their inheritance shall be forever…The wicked are moral weaklings, but the righteous are God-strong…They shall not be ashamed in the evil time, and in the days of FAMINE they shall be SATISFIED!…In hard times, they’ll hold their heads high; when the shelves are bare, they’ll be FULL!…The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand!…The Lord loves justice, and does not forsake His saints; they are preserved FOREVER!….”
“The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, and his tongue talks of justice….[He] chews on wisdom like a dog on a bone, rolls virtue around on his tongue. His heart pumps God’s Word like blood through his veins!…None of his steps shall slide….Wait on the Lord, and keep His way….Wait passionately for God, don’t leave the path. He’ll give you your place in the sun while you watch the wicked lose it….Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for THE FUTURE OF THAT ONE IS PEACE!…The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; HE IS THEIR STRENGTH IN THE TIME OF TROUBLE. And the Lord shall help them, and deliver them….And save them, because they trust in Him!…The spacious, free life is from God, it’s also protected and safe. God-strengthened, we’re delivered from evil – when we run to HIM, He saves us!”
or a Foolish approach to a (nevertheless) Genuine desire to serve Christ?
I have learned of a family (2 parents, 4 children all under age of 10) “raising support” for a so-called 6-week missions trip to Africa to the tune of $30,000…a trip during which they MIGHT be helping this ministry to do some construction, and they MIGHT be teaching vacation Bible school to some local children, that is IF they are allowed in, and if not, well – this ministry would just enjoy the family’s company as they visit, so would you please make your checks payable to Family-Dad/Husband by such and such date….
WHAT?? I do not see anything of the Spirit of God in this! – NO calling, NO clear direction, NO confidence that the Lord has prepared the way for the declaration of his word, NO “transparency” as far as the ethics of raising that kind of sum, NOT EVEN a way to have spiritual oversight for the trip? such as would be required to raise money through AT LEAST a sending church?, and an up-front resignation to the fact this may just be a 6-week vacation, basically, for their family of six, and so, would y’all be so kind as to fund it for them?? I will be so bold as to cry: Fraud and veritable Embezzlement in the name of Christ!! (My boldness comes, too, in part for knowing some of the family dynamic, here….)
I find this intolerable!! (and an OFFENSE to my heart, for Christ’s sake!)
So, I hope I have advised my friend wisely – I have directed him to follow the pattern set forth in Matthew 18:15-20 – Approach your “brother” whom you believe to be in sin, openly (humbly) asking questions so you are able to DISCERN if this is just foolishness or willful selfishness; offer either confrontation of sin, or wisdom to correct the folly, and if your “brother” remains unteachable and unsubmissive to the Spirit of Christ, involve a mediator – In this case, I suggested my friend seek the input, then, of your family’s elder in your church, perhaps ask some more questions to gain additional discernment, and approach your “brother” again with the elder present. If your “brother” still remains unteachable and unsubmissive to the Spirit of Christ, be prepared, because this may need to be brought publicly before the whole church – especially if your “brother” has sent this “support” letter to other members w/o the Leadership’s knowledge/approval/support, and is therefore potentially sinning against (stealing from!) the whole Body.
Oh, God help us, we are ALL of us foolish at times. Sure enough! And I hope, by GRACE, that if I were so publicly zealous in my folly (before God, I am sure I have been, at times!) that I would be approached lovingly and carefully by a brother/sister in Christ to at least seek out my motivation, discern my heart, and offer counsel if not correction. And if I were so “foolish” to SIN blatantly in this way, I would hope for Christ’s sake! that someone would intervene that I might not bring such shame to the cause of Christ.
But still? And failing all other intervention? I pray that God, by his GRACE, would nevertheless cover ALL of our own foolishness and sinfulness with the blood of Christ and STILL bring about some good for his Glory, that we might nevertheless say with the Apostle Paul – imprisoned and bad-mouthed by other “preachers” of the Gospel, and exactly in a situation when we might expect him to “defend” himself and rebuke the nay-sayers/abusers – in Philippians 1:12-21 ~
They Can’t Imprison the Message
12-14 I want to report to you, friends, that my imprisonment here has had the opposite of its intended effect. Instead of being squelched, the Message has actually prospered. All the soldiers here, and everyone else, too, found out that I’m in jail because of this Messiah. That piqued their curiosity, and now they’ve learned all about him. Not only that, but most of the followers of Jesus here have become far more sure of themselves in the faith than ever, speaking out fearlessly about God, about the Messiah.
15-17 It’s true that some here preach Christ because with me out of the way, they think they’ll step right into the spotlight. But the others do it with the best heart in the world. One group is motivated by pure love, knowing that I am here defending the Message, wanting to help. The others, now that I’m out of the picture, are merely greedy, hoping to get something out of it for themselves. Their motives are bad. They see me as their competition, and so the worse it goes for me, the better—they think—for them.
18-21 So how am I to respond? I’ve decided that I really don’t care about their motives, whether mixed, bad, or indifferent. Every time one of them opens his mouth, Christ is proclaimed, so I just cheer them on!
And I’m going to keep that celebration going because I know how it’s going to turn out. Through your faithful prayers and the generous response of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, everything he wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don’t expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this jail only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless of whether I live or die. They didn’t shut me up; they gave me a pulpit! Alive, I’m Christ’s messenger; dead, I’m his bounty. Life versus even more life! I can’t lose.
Glory to God! and Help us all, in JESUS’ name….
Had this thought, while pondering President’s Day – And the “legacy” of Lincoln – and the “controversy” of some of his pre-civil-war (and pre-conversion to Christ, to my knowledge) quotes about the inequality of blacks and whites, but nevertheless the fullness of his “legacy” in laying perhaps the GREATEST foundation for that very equality (politically)….
Every man is flawed and broken. We are not made “great” because we are perfect. Even the best of us are not remembered by a legacy because it is untainted by past mistakes and sometimes wrong convictions. Rather, we are made “great” to the degree we have been touched by the DIVINE. We are made “great” to the degree we are accomplishing the GOOD that God has designed and is bringing about, his work of REDEEMING a lost and fallen world and people, HIS WILL ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN! …
We are made “great” to the degree we are made PARTAKERS of His Spirit, because of the BLOOD of Jesus!
Thank you, Lord, for your unspeakable, immeasurable GRACE!!
An unpopular message from Hurricane Sandy: Government is not your Savior, and you may not be able to rely on your neighbors in a crisis because they’re too busy having to take care of themselves for survival or recovery. The reality? We are all too dependent, myself included, on electricity, prepackaged foods, cell phone towers, ATM’s and gas stations. How full is your pantry? How well established is your communication network with your family? Would you know how to get in contact with the people you need to reach if your cell phone was gone or couldn’t be powered up?
Here’s the deal ~ Worse days are coming. Be there another hurricane Sandy or Katrina or surprising inland earthquake, or ravaging tornadoes or oil rigs exploding in the gulf, or a simple rain that gets out of control and floods your basement or a fire that takes your home: You will experience hardship! How will you handle it?
I’m not advocating doomsday preparation in the sense of stockpiles and ammunition etc. (necessarily. ;)) You prepare for catastrophe by thinking ahead, doing what you can, seeking to be wise, and not yielding to fear!
…BUT! in truth, there is a Storm coming that NO one can escape. Death comes for ALL of us. You can be the most prepared among us for another hurricane, but what lifeboat will you cling to when God seeks to bring you home, to spend eternity with Him in joy and love, only to find your sin nature has stolen heaven from you…
Unless your sin nature is crushed, you cannot survive the holy presence of God, no matter how much he loves you, no matter how much “good” you think you’ve done. The only power that can crush your sin and yet purify and save you is the Holy Spirit of God, applying to your heart the shed blood of Jesus who, though crucified, raised from the dead, once and for all conquering (!) death because he did not have a sin nature! And he did this to give us access to the miraculous…so you and I could stand and survive the presence of God and enjoy Him forever!
Jesus is our only true Ark of safety. Are you prepared to LIVE (!) through the storm that no one can, apart from Jesus, survive?
Not so much two-faced, rather more like broken-into-two-HALVES, I started this discussion concerning this kind of “imbalanced” maturity in my spirit, as if a zipper got jammed, and I can’t figure out how to untangle the teeth to get things back on track.
But I know there is revelation waiting for me, here. So I’m recording some of my considerations for the reasons listed in my below post, and to paint a picture for myself of what, God willing, will be a remarkable transformation. 😉 This isn’t a “coming of age” story; perhaps it could be considered an “overcoming past abuses” story ~ I’ll ellaborate on this perhaps in a future entry; but it most definitely is a God-sanctifies-his-children or God-brings-the-broken-to-wholeness story.
And I think I’m in good company – The Apostle Paul refers to himself in different places in his letters as “Not-I-but-sin,” in one respect (Romans 7), and “Not-I-but-Christ” in another (Galatians 2:20-21). So there is not a lot of surprise for ANY follower of Christ that we may have some measure of duality to our spirit this side of Glory. BUT, then again, James writes to the new church that a “double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Easily tossed about. (James 1) And Paul also uses this imagery of being tossed about, and connects it to childishness, and being easily deceived…. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
Like waves crashing up against an un-anchored, bobbing mass in the sea ~
An un-captained, un-manned, a dead-weight, a directionless, unstable, ineffective mass
Waiting only to be capsized and sunk, or washed up on some remote island shore.
Washed up. Used up. Sunk.
We even use these images to evoke similar meaning for people who are otherwise Undone.
And WHO would be satisfied by ending up like THAT?! 😉
So, I’m presented with a bit of a paradox ~ to achieve wholeness (is this the same thing as being singleminded? or of single purpose?), I must ask God for wisdom and “believe and not doubt,” (returning to James 1), which means I am in some manner coming from a place of singlemindedness even in the asking.
That’s all right ~ I’m asking according to His PROMISE, not a mixed motive. I KNOW he wants to heal me (Jeremiah 17); I just don’t yet know HOW. Or how long this will take. Put another way? My wholeness is hinged to HIS faithfulness, and therefore I have a confident expectation.
A hint of the remedy? Also “hidden” in the above referenced passages:
Delighting in the law (Word) of God in my inner being, Christ IN me
Gazing intently into the “perfect law that gives freedom” ~
and doing whatever HE says!
Doing my “part”, and building up his Body in love….
So I am confident we’ll see a measure of maturing as I noticeably continue to grow in love for God AND others, instead of operating from a position of such self-preservation, or self-defensiveness, or self-glorification (which all have at their root some measure of self-deception, and not seeing God as he really is ~ ie: some “idolatry” setting itself up over and above God in my heart).
Today? I am asking God for this one thing:
“One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” (Psalm 27:4)
(Note, the whole of Psalm 27 may prove to be very much more relevant to this continuing reflection. I think, perhaps, I should memorize this chapter….)
TO BE CONTINUED: