Saturday, March 29, 2014
THE VALLEY OF VISION’
(A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions)
The burden of the valley of vision.
Isaiah 22:1 KJV
The introductory prayer:
Lord, High and Holy, Meek and Lowly,
Thou has brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee
in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from
and the deeper the wells the brighter
thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty,
thy glory in my valley.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Monday, March 17, 2014
Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.
― Steve Maraboli
― Steve Maraboli
― Steve Maraboli
I stumbled upon these quotes today. I read them once. I read them twice. I read them three times. Then I stopped. I thought back on some times in my life that were quite ‘difficult’ (for lack of a better word). I'm a Christian, but I'm a sinner saved by grace.
On one end of the spectrum, there are some ‘things’ (for lack of a better word) I’ve struggled with letting go. I’ll never forget. I’ll never understand. I’ll never be ‘unhurt’. I can’t fix it. Forgive, yes. Forget, no. Whether just or unjust, no matter how deep the pain, no matter how my heart was broken. There’s the height of my love. The width of my love. The length of my love. To forgive. To let it go...
Then there’s the other end of the spectrum. I fully and sadly with pain admit my guilt. I’ve hurt others. I’ve been at fault. I’ve been to blame. I’ve been stupid. I’ve handled things poorly. I’ve said wrong things. I’ve done wrong things. I’ve been responsible for many heart aches. I sincerely feel a need to know. To understand. To explain. To learn. To be forgiven. To let it go...
Then there’s the reality of life. Mistakes. Regrets. Failures. Disagreements. Confusions. Disappointments. Frustrations. Misunderstandings. The list goes on. There’s been too much time, too much trouble, too much life. Admit it. Accept it. Think on it. Learn from it. Turn from it. Move on. To let it go...
Then there’s the reality of life. Contentment. Peace. Encouragement. Comfort. Blessings. Happiness. Joy. Togetherness. Love. Embrace it...
The Word of God:Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8 NLT
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:14-15 NLT
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
I’m a sinner saved by the grace of God. I’m a Christian and I love God and I have faith in God and I trust in God and I believe in God and I have major (clinical) depression and fibromyalgia. Depression? Surprised? What about the stigma? The shame?
First, I’ll begin with the words of a Christian who has depression:
“Despite the fact that I was fighting for my life, I did not want people to know it and the stigma and shame of depression was such that the friends and family on the short list who did know naturally wanted to keep matters close to the vest. It’s hard to imagine another reason for a hospitalization –whether for a burn, two broken legs, or for cancer treatment– that would produce such a conspiracy of confused silence.”
This past Sunday, I was watching a sermon on TV. I’ve watched him very many times. But, Sunday, I had to back it up several times to make sure I had heard what I thought I heard. I had.
- “If we focus on our difficult circumstances and negative feelings, we can easily be drawn into despair and depression.
- But when we fix our eyes on our great, encouraging God, He lifts us up and sets us free.”
- “...every believer has a choice to either stay in a pit of discouragement or to get out.”
- “We can either allow circumstances to drag us down into depression and despair or...”
- Blah, blah, blah
So, according to this preacher, I chose the life I’m living and I chose depression and I enjoy being sick and my focus isn’t on God and I don’t have a believer’s attitude and I’m not praying for healing and...
- Real Christians don't get depressed
- It’s your own fault
- You don’t have enough faith
- There must be something wrong with your spiritual life
- You can get over it if you repent
- You just need to rebuke that spirit of depression and tell it to leave you
- Depression is a self discipline problem.
- Taking antidepressants is playing God, He can heal you
I could go on and on and on... But, I’ll end with this:
Is it a sin to be depressed? The doctor says I have a chemical imbalance in my brain that he can treat with medication, but a friend of mine says I shouldn't do this because I just need to pray and have more faith. Who is right? I can't stand this much longer.
Let me ask you a question: If you broke your arm in an accident, do you think your friend would claim it was a sin for you to have a broken arm, and all you needed to do was pray? I doubt it.
Neither is it a sin for you to seek treatment for a chemical imbalance in your brain. The Bible says that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)–and it’s true: Our bodies and minds are very complex. Although doctors can’t solve all our problems, we should be grateful that God has enabled them to understand more about our bodies and minds, and has given them new ways to overcome many of our problems.
Don’t feel that you are somehow sinning by seeking treatment for your depression; it would be wrong for you not to seek treatment.
Don’t misunderstand me, however. God has given us the gift of prayer, and prayer should be an important part of your life as you struggle with this problem. Through prayer we draw near to God, and the closer we get to Him, the more we will realize that He loves us and wants to help us.
Make sure of your commitment to Christ, and then ask Him to guide you as you seek treatment. In addition, let God’s promises saturate your mind and heart. The psalmist wrote, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? … Put your hope in God” (Psalm 42:5).