A life well lived

What can you say about someone’s life when it comes to an end. If they have lived a long life, you can say that they have truly had a great run of it in some respects. If they are not so lucky and they have come to the end by some strange accident or even something which is incurable at a young age, then you think, “Man, they died so young? What happened?” A very strange way to begin a post about living successful, I know, but sometimes it just has to be talked about.

Life is funny that way. You get to live a long time and have a life that is almost like having a “Midas touch” where everything or almost everything just works. Then, there are some of us, the normal people, who make mistakes almost on a daily basis and never seem to get much right at all. A life well lived is actually where all of the normal people spend their time actually. It is also something…a place which doesn’t get any “air time” because you are so normal. Nobody seems to care what happens to you or your family until something actually does happen and even then, if the crisis is over too soon, nobody cares.

Your family cares and maybe your church cares for a little while, but after a few months everyone moves on and nobody asks how your health is any more because simply, “NO ONE CARES!”

That is where I am right now. My depression is creeping back in and I am beginning to hate my life again because apathy has come home and taken root in our house and our extended family. The problem seems to be that this seems to have an effect on absolutely nobody except me. I am the only one who seems to notice and I feel like a wimp or a cry-baby, but that is what depression does to you.

It makes you feel as if you are worthless. Like you don’t matter and that nobody cares about you or your life! The problem with this is that it is a LIE! God does love us, each one of us, regardless of the huge size of the universe and our tiny, microscopic place in it! He knows where we are and why He put us where we are. Our place and our reason for being here are important to God, the Creator of it all! Isn’t that GREAT!

Yes, many people see this as a cop-out or a crutch to lean on, but that is not the way that I see it. Think about it like this: The Creator of EVERYTHING knows you and me and He knows exactly where we are, what we are doing and what we are capable of doing! We matter!! If you look at a model of the universe from the limits of our telescopes, you can barely see the galaxy that we live in, let alone the solar system and the star! So why do we matter to God?

Because He said that we do and because this planet is the one place where He has decided that His attention should be. Why? I don’t know, ask Him! Yes, there are trillions of other planets out there that He could’ve paid attention to, but He chose here and He chose to create mankind on this one. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be another race created in the future on another world, but right now the one that we know about is ours. God loves us and all of creation on this world. He takes note of the birds of the air and every other life on this rock in space. Why? Because He is God and He can do whatever He wishes to do.

I apologize for the down nature at the beginning, but that is how today has been for me. Sometimes it takes a little writing to pick myself up and start over from the place that I am supposed to be living, not the one that Satan is trying to get me to live in.

Thanks for listening and I hope that it might help you too.

Live your life like a sermon

I got this in an email from a friend, I hope that you enjoy it too:

Some things to think about before it is too late. Real life stories that teach you many things in life. Excellent reading; These are based on true incidences both wonderful and inspirational.

1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class. When I
asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”

2. Today,I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70’s – what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking,and do something no one else is doing.”

3. Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”

4. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.

5. Today at 7 AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3 PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride,we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.

6. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”

7. Today,I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.

8. Today,in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She
replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?”Because that’ s where I keep all my stuff,” she said.

9. Today,when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

10. Today,a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me.He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”

11. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I’m a phone call away ” It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.

12. Today,I was travelling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.”

The best sermons are lived, not preached!
Andy Reese, Retired,USA

Depression, a thief which steals your joy!

I have been staying in God’s Word lately, every day, because the spirit of depression is trying to come back into my life, into my head, and I don’t want it there! God’s Word is truly like a two-edged sword because it cuts out what Satan tries to put into your life, if you will let it. God loves us and He doesn’t want us to live a life defeated and down, depressed because of whatever Satan wants to saddle you with at the time. I am not saying that you will live a life of wealth and health and prosperity like some “preachers”, but God doesn’t want to leave you in the ditch either.

Jesus came so that we could live an abundant life in Him and through Him and it is up to us to hear His call on our lives, and decide to follow Him…to ask Him into our lives. Don’t walk away when you know that it is Jesus calling to you! You may not wake up tomorrow and tonight may be your only chance to come to know Him. It doesn’t matter whether you are young or old, Jesus takes you as you are and transforms your life and you into the person that He knows you can be!

Don’t let Satan have a laugh at your expense, cling to Jesus and ask Him to give you the strength to fight back the “bad days” of depression. He will do it and you will be better because of Him.

Live victorious!

Your life and mine are tangled up in life and all that it brings with it. The bills, the worries and frustration of daily life, running from here to there and barely being able to cope with it all. Life is tough, but it is also beautiful and full of hope.

Victory can be yours over many of life’s problems, you just need the right team to work with. Some can find it in a team which you have worked with for a long time like police departments or at a fire station. But, many of us don’t have that camaraderie in our everyday lives. We long for the fellowship and close-knit ties of friendship that comes from shared experiences and trials, but most of the time it is out of our reach. Because we are all different. Everyone doesn’t want to be in a department, even though we like the idea of having close ties with others like they seem to have.

That is what fellowship is for. Nobody can be alone for their entire life, it isn’t natural nor is it healthy. We all crave a little “alone time”, but for an extended period it is not a good idea. This is why our inner self or your soul craves the Presence of Jesus. Whether you believe in Him or not is not the point. There is always a spot inside you that you have felt that something isn’t right, like something is missing and until you find out what goes there and fix it then it will always be an empty feeling.

That is where seeking Him out comes into play. If you feel that emptiness and long to fill it, seek Jesus out. Even if you aren’t part of a church or a family that believes in Him, seek Him anyway because when you are looking for Him, He will find you. He is always close by, waiting for someone to ask Him to come into their lives. The problem in our world is that there is another who is also waiting, ready to provide a counterfeit of Jesus in your life too.

Seek out the company of a believer or a church, get into the worship service and read the Bible. Pray for God to show you what you need and He will do just that. This is the way to a complete life, one that is fulfilled and on the way toward a future in eternity and one with a True purpose. Give your heart and life to Jesus and He will give you a passion for Him and a purpose to show others what you have found and Who you found.

Is this the end?

Many times in our lives, we wonder if the problems which I am facing today are too much to handle? Is today the day that I am just going to end my life? I don’t want to go on, I don’t feel like I am worth anything, nobody likes me and I can’t talk to anyone about this! Can anything be done? Is there a hope that I can latch onto that can give me a reason to truly live?

I know the feelings that you feel. I have contemplated suicide myself, I have attempted it myself, but God has a plan for my life and yours and He is the Hope and the strength that you need! God does love you and He cares about our lives, every life no matter where you live or what you are going through, God cares! His Word, the Bible, is full of hope and love and peace that is poured out on this world and it is directed at each person on this Earth. Whether you feel it or not doesn’t matter, if you seek Him out then He will come to you and give you the strength to get through your day, your week, one day at a time.

Suicide and the pain associated with the thoughts of it is tough. It is tough on those who are thinking about it, it causes pain and heartache for the parents and the teachers who wonder if there was anything that they could’ve said that would’ve changed the outcome. Suicide and depression each cause more problems than they fix and many times it is a tool that Satan uses to keep you from being a blessing to someone in the future. Because if he can get you down low enough to cause you to take your own life, then Satan will use that against you.

The best outcome of this is that, whether you have accepted Jesus as your Savior or not, you can come to Him and He will forgive you and bring healing into your life and strength enough to overcome the enemy’s arrows of doubt and fear and hopelessness. Jesus can give you that strength that you need, from the Psalms to the New Testament, God’s Word is more powerful than anything that Satan can throw at you. But, you need to pray while reading it and seek God’s wisdom in it because Satan knows the Bible too and he can use it against you by twisting the words into something that is close but not quite the same as the Word.

Seek God out in His Word, pray to Him and ask for His power and guidance in your life, ask Jesus to come into your heart and forgive you for anything that you may have done or said, then seek Him out in the Bible. Learn as much as you can about Him and what He has for you because He will never leave you and He is always there with you no matter what.