Hello, its been awhile

Life has a way of placing things in your way to keep you from keeping up with things sometimes. Like this blog. I haven’t been here recently, as you may have noticed.

I have been busy with diagnostic tests and all of the stuff that goes along with them. I won’t have to do it again for five years, thank God!

I won’t go into the details but I think you can guess what went on so I will just leave out the gory details. Anyway, life really can throw you for a loop sometimes no matter who you are or whether you are a Christian or not. I will not get “preachy” any more than usual today. Truly, we should thank God for all of our blessings every day. Many of them we don’t realize are true blessings, such as being able to get up and go to the restroom or to be able to walk at all. For many people in the world, they can wake up but they can’t get up to go to the bathroom or to the table to eat breakfast.

So, just waking up this morning is a blessing, drinking your coffee is a blessing, looking at the newspaper or television news (as depressing as that sounds) is a blessing sometimes. Just being able to breathe and get around at all is a blessing. All of these, or at least many of them, we take for granted. We think that tomorrow will always be there, but we’re not guaranteed tomorrow. If you are awake, then today is the day of salvation. Preferably, right now.

See, God gives you your breath and even though it is something that we don’t have to tell ourselves to do, it is still a gift from Him. Every action that we take, from getting up and putting our clothes on to fixing the coffee, is a gift from God. Your children are gifts from Him to you and it doesn’t matter how much they are troublesome or hyperactive, they are still His gift to you so that you can learn from the experience. Some of us don’t like the “learning curve” that raising a child is, but if you put God first in your life and allow Him to direct your actions daily, life itself isn’t really that bad.

Yes, there will be days when you just want to kill yourself and others too, but seek Him out during those trying times and His Wisdom will help you to calm down. I know, most of us have been taught that we should be self-sufficient and able to handle any situation. But, when reality sets in and you realize that self-sufficiency isn’t all that it is “cracked up” to be, the only One Who can truly help is available to you, if you will give your life to Him and ask for His strength and His wisdom in your time of need. It doesn’t matter if you need Him to help you find your wallet or your keys or to make a decision on a new home or car, God cares about you and wants to be in your life.

He is a triune God, even though many religions don’t recognize Him as such. When Jesus was baptized, all three of God’s manifestations were present. The Son, the Holy Spirit that looked like a dove and God the Father who said, “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.” It is true that the Bible doesn’t relate to the three as the same, but in Genesis God said, “Let us make man in our image”. Proper English translation is that He was referring to the three of them. Jesus told His disciples, unless I go back to my Father, the Helper (Holy Spirit) can’t come. God is the only Creator, but He is in three Persons and able to be in more than one place at a time.

God loves all of mankind, He just doesn’t love the sinful ways that we live our lives. Think on this and please attend a Bible teaching church while we are still here to make the choice of allowing Him into our lives so others can see Him in us.

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Today is….different.

I have good days and bad days just like everyone else, but today is…well, different. It feels different. It is also hard to explain. I am hopeful at times and then I feel like I want to kill myself. Switching back and forth between hope and hopeless.

It actually doesn’t suit me much because I don’t like the idea of suicide or the results of it either. Nothing good comes from killing yourself. Grief, pain, heartache, anger from family members directed at a dead person who can’t change anything. Then, the spiritual aspect of it comes to mind. Standing in front of God knowing that you had a hand in killing yourself. You have committed murder because you had to think this through and it was pre-meditated and intentional.

I pray that I don’t have many days like this because I don’t like them. But, writing here is like talking to a hotline or at the least a cheap ‘shrink. Maybe someone will get something out of this and turn to God before making this decision permanent. I don’t want to imagine my family going through this because financially it would be devastating. Physically and emotionally it would cause too much pain, even though I wouldn’t feel it…they would.

I pray that God will see me through this and I hope that if you, who are reading this, will decide to turn your life around and give your heart to Jesus then He will see you through it too. Today there are too many easy ways to kill yourself and many of them are available on the Internet but God loves you and you deserve so much more than an end to life. He can give you that! A purpose and a reason for living, here and now because life is a gift from God to you every day that you wake up. Treat today as if it is the most precious gift that you have ever received and ask God to help you get through the next hour, then the next hour and the next.

Pretty soon you will have made it through today and you will wake with the morning tomorrow, and God will help you through that day too.

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.

What do you need?

Many times we look around us and wonder, “Is there anything that I need right now?” Are you sure that you really need what you think that you need right now?

I know, it sound sorta confusing doesn’t it? The point is that we are always looking for something in our daily lives, whether it is our glasses or our car keys or even a flash light, it seems that we are always losing something. When you are depressed, or down whichever way you look at it, you have lost a little of yourself. Some part of you, the happy part maybe, is either asleep or is hiding in a closet somewhere not wanting to come out.

I have felt this way. I still feel this way on some days, but then there are times when you have to get up out of the closet in your mind, dust your pants off and just do…life. I know this sounds simplistic, and when you are deep into the dark recesses of your mind, you really don’t want to come out. That’s OK. Everyone has had a day or a couple of days like that and sometimes it takes going to a clinic or a doctor to get past the door of your closet…your dark place.

Needing to get going, to go past your mental doors that may be keeping you from engaging the rest of your family or the world is something that those of us who have been depressed or maybe still are depressed is hard to do at times. You may not even want to get up and go to the doctor’s office. I didn’t. I don’t have insurance and many insurance plans don’t cover “mental illness”. It is like we made up something…that those of us suffering from this just think up some “condition” to have so we can get medication, so they choose not to cover it.

Nobody CHOOSES to be depressed! Nobody wants to feel the way that this makes you feel, so why do people seem to think that it is just something that we need to “get over”? Maybe because they are denying that they have ever felt this way? I was in denial about it because I finally realized that I have been depressed a lot longer than I thought!

My “way up and out” was when I actually admitted to myself that I was depressed, not just down. I had actually thought about suicide, not tried to accomplish it but the thought had crossed my mind a few times. Something that a Christian shouldn’t think about, let alone the pastor of a church, which I am. God has helped me through this so far and He will lead me through it, one day at a time. I am reading and praying about this daily through Psalms and Proverbs, so I have a long way to go yet, but that is fine. My life will be richer for it and I will be able to empathise with others better.

Call on Jesus, admit that you are not the problem but that you have a problem, He will help you to get through this too!

God will be with you during this period and if you feel that you need prayer or just a friend to vent to, drop me a comment or an email. I am not an expert, but He is and together we can get through this!

Do you feel blue?

Eeyore

Continuing the theme of Pooh, Eeyore is the most down and out of the entire troupe of friends that Pooh has. Is it simply because he has such terrible luck? Or is it just because he is depressed and his mood reflects his life? Or maybe his life reflects his mood? I have been feeling like him for about three months or so and I can tell you that my problem, my depression didn’t reflect my life…it just happened.

I can’t give a reason for it nor a real honest explanation for any of it, which is what makes it so frustrating. I can’t find anything which would or could be typed as the trigger or the cause of it, at least not a specific cause. So what can be done about it?

Go to a doctor and then a “shrink”, then be prescribed some pills that will force my brain chemistry to behave maybe? I can’t afford any of that! I don’t have any insurance and I don’t want to consider the affordable care act options because they are not options for me.

My feelings are getting better with time and reading God’s Word as well as these writings that I am doing here. Believe it or not, this…the act of writing this stuff out is actually therapeutic or at least it seems to be helping in some way. Very likely the hand of God is doing this and using the act of writing my thoughts and His revelations to me as a way of healing my screwed up emotional state.

I apologize about the rambling nature of this but as I said, it does help.

Whether you think it will help you or not, try it. Sometimes just the act of writing your thoughts and feelings down can help, because you have to think about what you are writing and you have to (sort of) make it “make sense” and not just be a jumbled up bunch of words.

God said that “he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 and He never breaks a promise. So cling to Him, lean on Him and His strength and not on your own because ours will fail and falter. He never does.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mentality

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”  

Actually, I had put up this site and others for a witness for Jesus to draw in some who might otherwise choose not to read my other blogs. But, this has been so therapeutic for me in other ways until I can’t keep from changing the tone to one which points toward the mental health of everyone who may read this. I went through an illness in December of 2012 which permanently disabled me. Prior to this, I was able to go and do mostly what I wanted within reason and sanity.

During this time of illness, I had some dreams (for lack of a better way to describe them) which brought me to a point which, I believe, was like a stepping off place. One that would eventually take me to places that I really didn’t want to go, but it did whether I was willing or not.

My “mental state” has always been suspect (if you will allow me) since my parents divorced when I was very young. I have been and grew up being an angry young man, and but for the grace and prayers of my family I might not have survived through my teenage years. Because I was angry at my parents and at the world in general, I couldn’t or wouldn’t see my problem and I didn’t for a very long, long time.

All through 2013 I struggled with my state of mind because it seemed to point back to the fact that I couldn’t work and because I really didn’t know or understand what was happening to me. Why was I feeling this way? Only recently, within the past six weeks, have I finally come to understand that my mental state…my depression was at the root of my biggest problem. It was not my inner ear balance which was causing my anger and frustration, it was my “inner mind”.

I pray that the Physician of the Universe, our Creator will touch your lives and mine with His healing hands through this project and through, possibly, something that I have said or written or even something that other bloggers have written. God is an awesome God and He has created us in His image but sometimes our image becomes a bit blurred by the cares and consequences of this world. The most encouraging thing is that He loves you beyond anything that you can know or feel and will carry you through it if need be.

http://acanvasoftheminds.com/2014/01/07/blog-for-mental-health-2014/

This time of year is rough…

During the holidays, regardless of which one it is, people get depressed…sometimes enough that they may commit suicide and that is wrong. Do you know someone who is down and depressed? Are you feeling that way? There is a new year coming in a few hours, one that has had no murders or rapes in it and nothing stolen in the year 2014 (although that could change).

The point of this short post about sadness and suicide is that it doesn’t have to happen. Jesus loves you far more than you could ever know or understand and He is with you in your darkest hour, no matter where you may be! I want to share a photo that I found on my Facebooksuicidedoesnothelp page and I think that it will illustrate exactly what I mean.

It really doesn’t help and if you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior, your terrible circumstances will only be beginning. You will be in hell forever!

Give your life and your heart to Him, and you will have the strength to get through whatever life is throwing at you!

Regarding your success….

There are many things in life that can side-track our walk. Your walk and mine, we believe is toward a successful life with all of the connotations and rewards that go along with it. We want the money, the house and car that show that we are successful, some of us want a family to share the success and the excesses which come with it. All of this is normal, every person wants a life of meaning and purpose deep down, whether they admit it or not. But..can you arrive at your success and enjoy its rewards? Or do you become anxious about losing that which you think that you have gained?

Anxiety, fear, worry, doubt are all emotions which come as a result of not realizing the place and person that has rewarded you with your success. Isn’t it me, you may ask? Your hard work and education may have a factor in your successful life but are you being a good steward of that success? Are you using it to be like the rest of the world, just getting more stuff so you can win the race (the one with the most stuff wins!). Do you realize how many people wake up hungry and afraid every day? There are people like that in America and in many so-called developed countries.

I know that many who may read this will think, “So what, that is their problem not mine.” Is it really? What would happen if your success was taken away from you? If every dollar was worthless and your stuff is taken away because you can’t pay for it, what condition would you be in?

Success is relative to what you do with what you have, regardless of how much you may have.

We cannot and must not be selfish enough to think that our success has been given to us only for our reward. It is given to us, not by our individual strength or will, though many think that it is, by God Himself. Success in life, no matter what business that you may be in, is given as a reward to each of us so that we can be a blessing to someone else.

Whether that someone else is in your family or not it doesn’t matter, the point is that each person’s success is given to them by God so that you and I can be more successful at giving. Because when you give away that which was given to you, the value derived from it is far greater than the value that it had when you became the possessor of it. As life itself has meaning and purpose bound up in it, so does your success.

The meaning that we each have to grasp in regard to our success in life, regardless of the business that we may be in, is that your life and mine are temporary and so is the success that we may have. So, what will you do with what you have so that it lives on past its usefulness to you?

Living well in our culture

The culture that we live in, whatever it may be, determines our focus. What we believe, why we believe and how we believe, regardless of the object of our belief. So, what is your cultural belief? Is it religious or secular? Is it centered around a religion or is it atheistic?

Living well means that we are enjoying life. In what manner we enjoy our life is determined by our beliefs and the morality that we were taught while growing up. There are many who think that as long as you aren’t hurting anyone, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you are enjoying it.

What is your focus in life? Is it materialistic? Do you think that whoever dies with the most toys wins? Especially if they are expensive toys? OK, if that is your belief then who gets your toys when you die? You can’t take them with you and it is for sure that you won’t enjoy them from that point on. What is the point in a person’s life in acquiring more “stuff”, expensive or not, when that stuff can’t help you in life at all!

Yes, some stuff can impress people but today is that necessary? Some people say “yes”, but why? Do you really need or even want some “thing” to impress people about you or should they be impressed with your character and your life? Truly, they should be impressed with you and your character, not what you are wearing or driving.

Stuff, is just like idols from ancient times. We worship things like cars, jobs, and positions even though many don’t realize that we place far more importance in these things than we should. Many times, we look at the beauty of a car, or the salary that we are getting from our job or the position that it affords us in society and we don’t see that we are putting too much emphasis on those and not on our personal integrity.

Is it possible to have integrity in your sales position or your specific job, whatever it may be? Do you check the advice that you give to others with your conscience, your own moral code before you give it? Have you considered that life and health and your job all follow each other? How healthy you are is reflected in your life, but it also affects your job and your performance in that job. If your health is not so good, then it will show in other areas of your life. If you are having problems at home, regardless of the kind of problems they are, they will be reflected in your job and in your health.

Your faith in God can help in all of these situations, whether you have faith in Him will affect all of these situations because He is the source of truth and conscience in our lives whether we admit to it or not. Many of the wise sayings that are accepted in our culture come from God’s Word. They may not be quoted that way and it may not be shown as the source, but much of the wisdom that is in so-called “self-help” books that are so popular has its basis in Biblical wisdom.

His love and compassion for all of us was and is shown through the grace that is given to us each day that we wake up to a new day. We should cherish it as a gift, thank Him for it and purpose to do with it something which will edify and glorify Him in the process. In doing this, our life will be blessed, our job will be blessed, the customers that we serve will be blessed and our stress levels will be far less than they would’ve been. Think about it.