Thursday, October 20, 2011
I want to share something with you that I read this morning. Something that really resonates with me.
From “Our Daily Bread” for 10/20/2011 My Fingernails or His Hand?
“Tough times can cause us to get our perspective turned around. I was reminded of this recently as I talked to a fellow-griever – another parent who, like Sue and me, lost a teenage daughter to death suddenly and without warning.
She told me she had been missing her daughter terribly, and she told God she felt as if she were hanging on by her fingernails. Then she felt as if God reminded her that His hand of protection was there to hold her up – that she could let go, and He would catch her.
That’s a better perspective, isn’t it? This picture reminds us that when troubles come and we feel least able to hold on to our faith, it’s not up to us. It’s up to God to support us with His mighty hand.
Psalm 37:23-24 says: ‘The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord….Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for the Lord upholds him with His hand.’ And Psalm 63:8 tell us: ‘My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.’
In tough times, we can become so preoccupied with our role in ‘clinging to God’ that we forget about his promised protection. It’s not our fingernails that sustain us – it’s His loving, upholding hand.”
Written by Dave Branon
Isaiah 41:9-10 “I (God) took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
I'm clinically depressed, and my formerly faithful anti-depressant quit working. I've been on another for a couple of weeks, but it isn't doing the job yet (can take up to 6 WEEKS). But I have an appointment with a psychiatrist next week - and I was delighted to learn that it's a WOMAN, and that she ONLY treats people OVER the age of 60. (Let's hear it for being old!)
I don't want to live on such an even keel that I'm never real happy or sad (robot/zombie). All I'm looking for is something to take the edge off so I can deal with life. Like I dealt with Mom's death in February - I grieved (and still do), but it didn't overwhelm me. This morning I cried because I forgot to take my bedtime medicine last night. I couldn't cope with things this morning and wanted to crawl into a hole, pull a rock over the top and pretend the world didn't exist.
Anyway, this isn't quite the way I meant to reveal what's up with me, but what the heck! Now you know more about me than you probably ever wanted to know (TMI).
I'm not looking for pity; just prayer, understanding, and patience. I will get through this - I'm much too onery a person to not get thru it! And yes, I do still laugh at myself.
For those who think that 'good Christians don't have such problems' - well, that is NOT true. We do have problems, but God has promised to be WITH us THROUGH the problem. Rarely does God instantly heal broken bones - He expects us to make use of professionals. That's true for mental illnesses, too.
God uses those 'bad' things that happen to shape us for His use. I'm so glad I have that certainty in my life. God loves me (and you and you and....).
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
This is the sermon I missed due to illness. I finally got a copy of and listened to the tape.
Assuring Grace How to defeat your doubts and develop faith
Matthew 9:27-31 “As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out ‘Have mercy on us, Son of David!’ When He had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and He asked them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ they replied. Then He touched their eyes and said, ‘According to your faith will it be done to you…’”
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God because anyone who comes to Him must believe the He exists and He rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
4 WAYS THAT GOD TESTS OUR FAITH AND DEFEATS OUR DOUBTS
God tests our faith through difficulties.
I Peter 1:6&7 “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you many have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”
Our disappointments are God’s appointments. Isaiah 48:10 “See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.”
1st Lesson: If I want to live by faith, I must learn to rejoice continually; not FOR but IN trials.
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
God tests our faith through assignments or commands.
Exodus 16:4 “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.”
2nd Lesson: If I want to live by faith, I must learn to obey God immediately and leave the consequences to God.
God tests our faith through dollars/abundance.
Luke 16:11 “So if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” How I handle riches has direct correlation with my spiritual strength, confidence and discernment.
3rd Lesson: If I want to live to by faith, I must learn to give generously. No one can out-give God.
God tests our faith through delays.
Deuteronomy 8:2 “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.”
4th Lesson: If I want to live by faith, I must learn to wait patiently.
Tuesday, October 04, 2011
I donated blood this morning - I like to do that because I was once a recipient and this way I can give back.
I visited my dr this afternoon and she took blood to check some of my numbers to be sure I do/don't need a change in that medicine. And she assured me that I'm NOT losing my mind.....a few things I was concerned about are frequently signs of depression, (which I've noticed is getting worse) so she's changed my anti-depressant. It may take several weeks before I see improvement, but at least I'm not losing my mind. Whew!
I don't suffer from being nuts - I embrace it! LOL I have to share something I read years ago, and hope it doesn't offend anyone - I'm speaking as someone who has a mental illness - depression.
"We don't just embrace insanity here; we feel it up, French kiss it and buy it a drink." And another: "Prozac: because sometimes I feel like a nut, and sometimes I don't." Many of you will recognize that last one as a take-off of the candy bar commercial.
Again, I apologize if anyone is offended, but I find that while mental illness IS serious, often it helps to be able to laugh at yourself. I'm a firm believer in seeking medical help if you have a mental illness. I believe/KNOW that God has provided medical professionals to help us, whether it's cancer, broken bones or mental illnesses.
Here's hoping you all have a great day, evening and a restful night so you can start another great day tomorrow morning.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Hi Everyone, I hope you've been as blessed by the "Grace" sermon notes I've been posting as I have. There are just two more - one for today, and tomorrow I hope to get the tape of the one I missed due to illness. When I get the tape, I'll listen to it and post it one day soon afterwards.
Growing in Grace
The Good News About Grace -- How to become what you are meant to be
II Peter 3:18 “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
Growth is not how many meetings we attend; verses we memorize; Christian CD’s or books we buy, or church services we attend. Growth is how much closer are we to God, how much we love, how much more is my character being changed to be like Jesus.
Three Things We Must Do:
First -- Put off the old. Ephesians 4:22a “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires…”
3 ways we TRY to grow and don’t:
1. Trying to grow by doing good
2. Trying to grow by keeping rules
3. Trying to grow by feeling bad (guilty)
Second -- Put on the new. Ephesians 4:24 “…and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”
3 things about our new life:
1. We don’t have to achieve this new life.
2. We don’t have to keep this new life.
3. We DO have to put on this new life.
Third - Be renewed in your mind. Ephesians 4:23 “…to be made new in the attitude of your minds…” Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
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