Tuesday, December 30, 2008

We Can Choose What We Will Say

A couple of things I ought to remind myself of continually:


You may not think that what we say has anything to do with depression, but it certainly does have to do with our state of mind, and besides that, Jesus said that it is what comes out of a man's mouth that makes him unclean. Because Jesus believed that words are important, we must believe that they are important too. He also said that whatever is in a man's heart in abundance will overflow out of his mouth, and too, that if we speak; believing that what we say will come to pass, we will have we have said.

This may sound like some superspiritual thing when we read it in the gospels, but really all it means is that-

when you say it, because you believe it, you can expect it to happen. That is the essence of faith, and we practice it ALL THE TIME!

Oh, yes you do. Haven't you ever said "this day just isn't going my way" and then it didn't? You accessed a law of faith. You spoke your certain expectation, and it came to pass in your life because of the law of faith.

This is dangerous. And redeeming. You see, we all have a choice! I can wake up feeling lousy, and cry out inside: "God, why aren't you helping me?!", or I can say nothing, think nothing, but turn on my bedside lamp and prop up my devotion book beside me. After around 15 minutes of this, I've put something worthwhile in my heart, to come out of my mouth. Now I will still read my bible, but sometimes I need to come to God and meditate His promises before I'm even ready to get out of bed. Then I am ready to say "God, even though I don't feel it right now, I believe You. I know that You have helped me because Your word says that You are with me, and know how to deliver me out of trials." Then, I have taken my focus off of my self, and my feelings, and have placed it on God and His promises.

Proverbs 12:13

An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble.

Proverbs 12:14

From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.

Proverbs 12:18

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

Proverbs 12:19

Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.

Proverbs 12:20

Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy.

Proverbs 12:25

Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.

Proverbs 12:28

In the path of righteousness is life, and in its pathway there is no death.

These verses speak to me not only about what I am saying, but WHAT AM I THINKING?

Vs. 20 says that those who plan peace have joy. So am I perpetuating depressed and discouraging thoughts, or did I make a point of planning peace? Thinking on what I can do to increase peace in my home?

Vs. 25 says that anxiety weighs a man down. Yes, there are "anxious things" that take place all around us, but we still have the choice! It says that a good word makes a man glad! We still have the choice of how we will react, what will we think, what will we say!

I didn't say it is easy- it isn't. In fact, we are utterly dependant on the Holy Spirit to live this kind of life. A life that chooses joy.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Easy Raw Recipe (and milk substitute)

Banana Hemp Milk (one serving)

Combine in blender: one frozen organic banana, one cup water, and two tablespoons raw hemp seeds. Blend till frothy, and use immediately. Works great over granola!
(This recipe works best with a vitamix, but any blender should be able to blend up the hemp seeds, seeing as they are soft.) I suspect that this recipe would not keep, since the banana would turn brown. : )

Hemp seeds are a great raw, vegan food; and ideal to use in "milk". They contain healthy fats, are high in protein, and contain iron! They are available at any health food store, and should be purchased fresh, then refrigerated. When fresh, they should have a very mild taste, and virtually no smell. They are a good food to introduce to children, seeing as a tiny amount can be added to other foods, and they don't have a strong flavor.

Friday, December 19, 2008

There really is hope!

Jesus said: all who seek truth come to Me. Aren't you glad that you can do an internet search and find pages like this one? How good to hear the truth, and to feed our hope that there truly is healing available through Jesus Christ. Take a look.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We Choose What Will Pressure Us

We can choose what will pressure us. Whatever goes on inside of us mentally, spiritually, or emotionally to the greatest degree, is what pressures us. If a person is afraid of airplanes, but they know that in three days they have to make a flight to be at their grandmother's funeral, those thoughts become a pressure inside of them: a voice that is pushing, squeezing, tormenting.

If a woman is depressed and haggard from lack of sleep, and her baby is sick; waking her up for the fourth time that night... Those emotions become a pressure inside of her. A volcano of pressure and emotion. A time bomb of emotional stress ticking inside of her.

Well, maybe I am exaggerating, but we've all been there. Stuck in a situation we don't know how to find our way out of, but like Eustace in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, we hear a little voice inside of us saying "Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!!!"

The pressure, the volcano feeling isn't entirely wrong- it is designed to make us do something- to do something to remedy our situation. The pressure is designed to make us take action. The trouble is that there are two types of pressure, and if we don't choose the right kind, we will end up with the other by default.

Our Heavenly Father is a gentleman. Yes, He is Almighty, but He is gentle- He doesn't force Himself on anyone. He gives every human being on earth the choice of whether we will believe in Him or not. The devil isn't like that. He doesn't wait to see if you will choose him, or if you believe in him. He is not a gentleman, and he is happy to take advantage of your ignorance. He is a thief, a liar, and he has nothing better to do than to come up with pressures for your life.

Now, being as we live in a fallen, temporal, material world, there will be pressures that come without much effort on anybody's part- it's the second law of thermodynamics- when you do nothing, it will still decay. Even an empty house will decay if left alone. What is orderly will become disorderly without intervention. And so, not everything that happens in the world is to be blamed on satan, but it still leaves us with the responsibility to choose which pressures we will allow in our lives. Good, or bad.

We take authority over the pressures that come, by creating a newer, stronger, higher pressure on the inside of us, and what pressures us to the greatest degree will be what comes out of us in abundance, and takes place in our lives. Maybe you grew up in an abusive, alcoholic home, and now you find yourself yelling at your children, even though you hate it. You are simply letting out the pressure that was built up in you all those years over your childhood. You need to choose a different pressure, you have to purposely change what is on the inside of you in abundance.

The bible calls that "renewing your mind". We do that by taking the word of God into our eyes, into our ears, into our hearts. But wait! I have to tell you, that going to church on Sunday is not enough to store that new pressure, that new information inside of you to so great a degree that it will come out of you in times of pressure- so that you can count on it to come to pass in your life. Your pastor cannot give you the whole counsel of God in one sermon- you need to have a relationship with it yourself.

After I was healed of my depression, I still felt continually plagued by depressed thoughts. Why? If I was well, and truly felt happy and satisfied, then why did I have those awful thoughts still pressuring, trying to get into my mind?

Well, for one thing, it was a habit. For 20 years I had been storing up negative, defeated thinking in my mind, my emotions, and my actions. It was like being addicted to bad thoughts! For another (as I mentioned above), satan is willing to take ahold of any area he is given. If I would have given in at that point, and yielded to those thoughts, I would have easily thought my way back into a serious depression.

BUT! I resisted those thoughts. I didn't know much how to do that, but Lydia told me to say "I reject that thought, in Jesus' name!" What does that mean? It means that I took hold of a power greater than the one I had- the power of the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord. It also means that I took authority over those thoughts to cast them out of my mind, just as if it was Jesus doing it Himself. I could do that, because I had become a believer in Christ. I believed in Jesus as my Lord, and my Savior.

Did it work? Yes, but not the short answer. During that season in my life, I wasn't only engaged in rejecting thoughts, I was engaged in storing up new thoughts. I played worship music in the house all the time- storing up happy attitudes, and thankful phrases in my emotions. I read my bible EVERY morning, storing up thoughts and words of victory in my mind, and developing a new plan of action. I read stories like: the Lord bringing the Israelites out of bondage (the way he did for me), and I read the psalms, about how the Lord made David stronger than, and victorious over his enemies (like he did for me). I read about Jesus, about how he healed people, and delivered them from demons (just like He did me). So, when I was being pressured on the outside by depressing thoughts, a needy two year old, and attacks of satan all at the same time... It came to a head. It came to my volcano moment, but this time, there was something new on the inside of me to come out of my mouth, and come to pass in my life! I went for a walk out in the field that day (a run, really), and screamed at the top of my lungs: I AM NOT CRAZY!! I AM NOT CRAZY!!! I screamed it with everything that was in me, and in a culmination of all the pressure I had been experiencing, but also with all of the strength of God that I had been storing up inside of me through His word, and His Spirit.

And you know what? Those thoughts left me that very day. They never came back.

Praise God. We can choose which will be our greatest pressure, and it will be for our benefit.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Excuses Today

Again, I am writing this mostly to myself: Today you have no excuses.

(My flesh doesn't like it when I say that kind of thing.)

But I was reading Isaiah 40:27-31...

Isaiah 40:27-31 (English Standard Version)
27Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"?

28Have you not known? Have you not heard?The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.

29He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength.

30Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;

31but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

I used to go over scriptures like that a lot after I was first healed (and especially when I had a baby who was waking me up at night), but I think that over the last 11 years I got distracted. I thought I had it all together, and wasn't focusing on scriptures like that as much. But now I see that my neglect of them brings me back to them, desiring their truth with fresh urgency: I need Almighty God to give me power today! I need Jesus Christ to increase my strength! AND, it says He WILL. Therefore I have no excuse. Yes, I may feel like I "just can't do it", and there may even be legitimate reasons for believing that I can't, but the word of God is a higher truth, and the word says that if I will wait on (tend to, pay attention to, yield to, and serve) God, I will renew my strength and mount up! Have you ever seen an eagle or a hawk soaring in an updraft? Here in southern Alberta you can see that kind of thing a lot. God is saying that He will be the "wind beneath our wings". Not just a song, but true spiritual power, and when we truly rely on Him, we will find that we can do it after all: we will run and not give way to exaustion. We will walk on, without giving up.

Today, we can do what we've been given to do, no excuses!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Bible is My Coping Mechanism

I'm writing mostly to myself these days- the more I store it up in my heart and mind, the more it will ooze out of me when pressure comes. People are like sponges- when you squeeze them, they leak out whatever is on the inside.

Pressures tend to arise. Jesus said: "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world." That's what I was thinking about this morning. That if Jesus has overcome the world, then He is the One I want. I choose to be on His team.

We can choose our coping mechanism. God has delegated to man a fearful authority, to choose our own destiny. We choose the words of our mouths, we choose the beliefs of our hearts. Often people cry out to God "Help me! God, DO SOMETHING!" And yet, we have created our own lives. We are master of our domain. A man messes up his own life and then he blames God.

Is that true, can we be blamed for the situations we are in?? Well... Even when we are in situations that seem beyond our control, we know what Jesus has warned us: Offenses will come. But He has given us the choice of whom we will call on.

It's not that God is unwilling to help. But remember, He gave us His instruction manual, the bible, and He has offered us His Spirit, if we will only recieve. He has graciously offered us NEW LIFE in His Son, so that even if we live in a world where offenses and troubles come, we can know that we don't live here for this life only. Our time here is the precursor to the life to come. The REAL LIFE. Our hope is not just for the here and now!

But what do we do for the here and now? We are placed in an awkward position: we are born again spirit beings with a home in heaven, but left to battle fleshly desires, attacks of the devil, and the general thoughtlessness and selfishness of those around us. We need some freedom! We need some hope! We need some encouragement!

My bible is my coping mechanism. And yet, that small earthy phrase doesn't even begin to some up what it means to me. It is so much more than that. It is my life. I have become addicted to the bible.

Yes, you do have coping mechanisms. You do have addictions. We all do. When we feel like we want to eat and eat and eat until we feel better, we are trying to cope. We are trying to lean on something, to depend on something. When we want to go outside for a smoke, when we "need" a drink, when we JUST CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE... We all turn to SOMETHING.

When I read my bible, I feel different. My blood sugar levels out, my pain diminishes, my symptoms leave. I believe what it says: I believe that it is health to my whole body. But not just that- I believe that it is LIFE to me. I believe that it is a Living Personality. I believe that when I read the bible, it is God speaking to me. I believe that when I say what it says, that I am being the prophet of my own life. Not a mere spectator to the things that come, but through speaking the word, I put a bit in the horses mouth, I harness my own life.

I believe that the word of God changes my circumstances, orders my day, and intervenes on my behalf. I believe that the word of God is not merely stories, but an action, a power, a SPIRITUAL SUBSTANCE. A weapon! I believe that the word of God is a COVENANT. I believe that the word of God will do what it says!

I'm not talking about religeon, I am speaking of a living, divine relationship. God. The Word. Wisdom. The Spirit of Christ. Living bread, Living water. Oh how I love God's word.

Yes, you have power to choose your coping mechanism. If you are coping right now by hiding under the covers, by weeping, by abusing, then know this: the word of God has the power to change you, if you will only open the door.

Psalm 18 (Contemporary English Version)
1I love you, LORD God,
and you make me strong.
2You are my mighty rock, [a] my fortress, my protector,
the rock where I am safe,
my shield,
my powerful weapon, [b] and my place of shelter.
3I praise you, LORD!
I prayed, and you rescued me
from my enemies.
4Death had wrapped
its ropes around me,
and I was almost swallowed
by its flooding waters.
5Ropes from the world
of the dead
had coiled around me,
and death had set a trap
in my path.
6I was in terrible trouble
when I called out to you,
but from your temple
you heard me
and answered my prayer.
7The earth shook and shivered,
and the mountains trembled
down to their roots.
You were angry
8and breathed out smoke.
Scorching heat and fiery flames
spewed from your mouth.
9You opened the heavens
like curtains,
and you came down
with storm clouds
under your feet.
10You rode on the backs
of flying creatures
and swooped down
with the wind as wings.
11Darkness was your robe;
thunderclouds filled the sky,
hiding you from sight.
12Hailstones and fiery coals
lit up the sky
in front of you.
13LORD Most High, your voice
thundered from the heavens,
as hailstones and fiery coals
poured down like rain.
14You scattered your enemies
with arrows of lightning.
15You roared at the sea,
and its deepest channels
could be seen.
You snorted,
and the earth shook
to its foundations.
16You reached down from heaven,
and you lifted me
from deep in the ocean.
17You rescued me from enemies,
who were hateful
and too powerful for me.
18On the day disaster struck,
they came and attacked,
but you defended me.
19When I was fenced in,
you freed and rescued me
because you love me.
20You are good to me, LORD,
because I do right,
and you reward me
because I am innocent.
21I do what you want
and never turn to do evil.
22I keep your laws in mind
and never look away
from your teachings.
23I obey you completely
and guard against sin.
24You have been good to me
because I do right;
you have rewarded me
for being innocent
by your standards.
25You are always loyal
to your loyal people,
and you are faithful
to the faithful.
26With all who are sincere,
you are sincere,
but you treat the unfaithful
as their deeds deserve.
27You rescue the humble,
but you put down all
who are proud.
28You, the LORD God,
keep my lamp burning
and turn darkness to light.
29You help me defeat armies
and capture cities.
30Your way is perfect, LORD,
and your word is correct.
You are a shield for those
who run to you for help.
31You alone are God!
Only you are a mighty rock. [c] 32You give me strength
and guide me right.
33You make my feet run as fast
as those of a deer,
and you help me stand
on the mountains.
34You teach my hands to fight
and my arms to use
a bow of bronze.
35You alone are my shield.
Your right hand supports me,
and by coming to help me,
you have made me famous.
36You clear the way for me,
and now I won't stumble.
37I kept chasing my enemies,
until I caught them
and destroyed them.
38I stuck my sword
through my enemies,
and they were crushed
under my feet.
39You helped me win victories,
and you forced my attackers
to fall victim to me.
40You made my enemies run,
and I killed them.
41They cried out for help,
but no one saved them;
they called out to you,
but there was no answer.
42I ground them to dust
blown by the wind,
and I poured them out
like mud in the streets.
43You rescued me
from stubborn people,
and you made me the leader
of foreign nations,
who are now my slaves.
44They obey and come crawling.
45They have lost all courage,
and from their fortresses,
they come trembling.
46You are the living LORD!
I will praise you.
You are a mighty rock. [d] I will honor you
for keeping me safe.
47You took revenge for me,
and you put nations
in my power.
48You protected me
from violent enemies
and made me much greater
than all of them.
49I will praise you, LORD,
and I will honor you
among the nations.
50You give glorious victories
to your chosen king.
Your faithful love for David
and for his descendants
will never end.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Your Word, My Daily Food

I know I've posted this link (to a list of healing scriptures) before, but thought I'd do it again, because I've been using these scriptures and confessions a lot lately. What I did was print them off and I keep them in a binder: studying a page or so a day- saying them to myself, praying them. I love to underline things and write notes in the margins.

I find that since all my life I was in a rut of expecting to get sick and having health problems, that now although I am healed, and know it, I need to keep reminding myself that this is how I am going to stay. I need to build a stronghold of health on the inside of me, and keep renewing my mind. It's easy to think sick, talk sick, and feel sick, if you aren't using the armour God gave you, and staying in health on purpose. I choose to create a stronghold of health around myself and my family, on purpose. God is gracious to meet me when I come to Him. When I call on Him for help, He is with me, and delivers me.

Here's the link, I am so blessed and impressed with this resource.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Today, I Give You Thanks in Advance

I want to give You thanks at the beginning. Even ahead of time.

I face a day in a fallen world. A world where the prince of the power of the air has access to my thought life, and nothing other to do than spend his time attempting to steal, kill, and destroy.

Well, I am going to thank You. I am going to build a fortress of love, and grace, and thanksgiving around my family, and that wicked one will not touch us.

I thank You sincerely for the Word of God. If I could think of the most monumental thing that has ever been given me, it would be this Lord. That I can have Your word for myself, know what it says, mutter it to myself in weak moments, speak it in faith during the strong ones. I live in the same world where Hitler lived, Stalin lived, to which satan has been cast down. And in this world, I have a sword of protection, a fortress to hide in, and wings to take shelter under.

I thank You that even in darkness, You are light. Even in my sins and failures, You never leave me or forsake me. You have given me more than I could have imagined, more than I could ever deserve.

You shape me, You work all things together for my good. You are HERE. INSIDE of me. You are Faithful, Healer, Life-giver, Redeemer, Restorer, Father, and Mother to me. You are my husband, my lover, my obsession, my passion. All that I have is Yours, and yet I could never give enough, and never come to an end of what I have to give.

And you gave everything. You came into this world. This dark place wrought with decay and death where mothers kill their own babies, cannibalistic tribes commit murder against each other without conscience, where death and rot takes place everyday, and where sin, sickness, death and satan and fear have lodged themselves.

And YOU came HERE, and gave YOURSELF in my place! How could I not today give MYSELF in the place of another- forgiving that one, serving this other one, when they don't deserve it either.

but it isn't about whether or not we deserve it with you.

it's about whether or not you were willing to give.

"I am willing, be clean."

O Father, what can I say? Today, let me be Your instrument of grace. Speak, forgive, serve, heal through me. Do all that you would do for these your children in this dark place through me, because even the darkness is as light to you.

Oh how I love You, Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I have been thinking about Love, and my first love for Him. Been playing with the words in Revelation over and over in my mind: remember the height from which you have fallen. Repent, and do as you did at first.

I have been so grouchy, so totally irritated. So with head on desk, during a private moment in the office, I asked Him: What? What do I need to do to have JOY? And the answer on the inside of me: Love for Jesus brings joy. To the extent that you love Me, to that extent you will know joy.

So I play with that, turning it over in my mind, examining it from every angle. And it holds. I remember when I first came to know Him, to know that He is Love, that He loves me. And everything was bright, beautiful, full of joy. The hardships weren't less then, but the pressures couldn't get past the joy- the love I had for Him.

And then I think- that whatever I do for Him, I do for the least of these. That when I receive a little child in His name, I welcome Him. And He says, Repent, and do as you did at first.

He didn't say, feel as you did at first, but do.

I hugged more. I embraced more. Forgave more. Started again more. I smiled more- prayed more. I hungered for Him more, and went to greater lengths. Everything with Him was an adventure, and He sustained me. Yes, there were terrible times, but nothing ever got between Him and me. I loved more.

I remember the height from which I have fallen, but will I do as I did? Obey as I did then? Quickly, with total trust? Will I love and smile, and serve in true humility? Will I come to Him, just to be with Him?

One of the things I did then was to keep a gratitude journal. This was truly a life transforming experience for me. (Drop by Holy Experience, and see Ann Voskamp's 1000 gifts list.) I did this each night, faithfully, no matter the hour. But the more children that came, the less I worked on my journal. The less I gave thanks. When the children were all older, I never took it up again. Will I repent and do as I did at first? Will I give Him thanks?

I thank You for a sweltering day of summer heat. Growing tomatoes and green baby pumpkins. I thankyou for swimming, laughing children. Thankyou for a bikeride: time to talk to You, and to be alone. Exercise, to help my hormones! Thankyou for ten pounds of dripping red watermelon, for early morning wake up calls (Thankyou Holy Spirit!). Thank you for the husband you chose for me, and that You also chose me for Him. Thankyou for the first day of homeschool, and for slow easy adjustments. Thankyou for grace to begin again today.

Thankyou Father, for every good and perfect gift is from You.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Seeing Him in Small Things

Bright sun sparkling bright off of water, reminding me that God is light, pure light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
A lawn chair in shade, and a chance to read Proverbs. Time to renew my mind.

Finding wild mint, fresh, and invigorating, reminding me that all of life is fragrant, and He means for us to drink it in.

A flat rock to sit on, and a tree to sit under. Everthing around me green- he makes this world a lush place, a garden for us to enjoy.

Children laughing, running, swimming with their dad and their dog. I'm so glad that their lives are care free.

Wild grain, heavy and drooping with seed, telling us that all of life is perpetual. More, and fruitful life, each year that passes.

He reminds me that unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed. But if it dies and is buried it will produce many seeds.

Am I willing today, to die to my Self, and see new life come from it? Do I trust Him that this is what He has done for me?

Thankyou Lord, for a day with no pain, and no disease. Thankyou for a day of doing things that I felt like I couldn't do. Thankyou for letting me hear your voice, when all the pressures around me were saying something else.

Most of all, thankyou that I am not alone, because You are with me. You are my Lord, Jesus.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Guard My Life, For I Am Devoted to You

Psalm 86 (New International Version)

A prayer of David.
1 Hear, O LORD, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Guard my life, for I am devoted to you.
You are my God; save your servant
who trusts in you.
3 Have mercy on me, O Lord,
for I call to you all day long.
4 Bring joy to your servant,
for to you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul.
5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord,
abounding in love to all who call to you.
6 Hear my prayer, O LORD;
listen to my cry for mercy.
7 In the day of my trouble I will call to you,
for you will answer me.
8 Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord;
no deeds can compare with yours.
9 All the nations you have made
will come and worship before you, O Lord;
they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth;
give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name.
12 I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart;
I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your love toward me;
you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. [a]
14 The arrogant are attacking me, O God;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life—
men without regard for you.
15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,
slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and have mercy on me;
grant your strength to your servant
and save the son of your maidservant. [b]
17 Give me a sign of your goodness,
that my enemies may see it and be put to shame,
for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fasting With Young Children at Home

Fasting is something that a lot of people assume they cannot do. Especially someone battling depression. If we knew how beneficial are the things the Lord asks of us, we would not hesitate, but often we don't see the results until during, and then after the fast. Nevertheless, often an encouragement or desire to fast will come up, and what then? How can a mother with young children at home (or a mother who is post partum, or battling depression) possibly fast?

First, I encourage you to recognize that you can. All things are possible to him who believes. If you have tried fasting before, and had a negative experience, or if you have kept saying "I can't fast, I have _____.", then I encourage you to reexamine things as we discuss fasting. It may not be so unattainable as you think.

First of all, peoples from every nation and time period have always fasted. We North Americans can do it too.

Second, it is so beneficial to your health, and your relationship with Jesus, that it should be obligatory- at least once in awhile.

Now thirdly, let me soften the blow with some practical advice, which will give you a vision of how fasting is possible, if you want to.

A mother with young children at home to take care of can fast, but she will have to lay aside her expectations for a day. You may need to rest for most of the day, so plan to serve the children simple meals, like yogurt and bananas for breakfast, pb&j for lunch (use healthy wholegrain bread, and raw honey if you like). For supper, put something easy in the crockpot (like a chicken) so hubby doesn't feel neglected when he comes home hungry.

Next, you will have to plan to spend time on the couch reading books to your little loved ones. You will probably need to take out of storage some special toys that haven't been played with for awhile, so the kids have an entertaining day. You will probably have to resort to some vegitales videos from the library.

This day isn't a day for you to tackle the laundry, but it isn't an excuse to be lazy. Read your bible as much as you can. Lay on the floor with the kids (so they can enjoy your presence) and read your bible while they play.

For a mom with many babies, a water fast (which I was referring to above) may not work. But you can fast with raw fruit and vegetable juices, which will help you have the energy you need to take care of babies, and will still provide the health and spiritual benefits you desire. If you have no access to raw juices, you could probable find carrot juice in the salad section of your grocery store- then just water down four ounces of this and drink every 3 hours or so. In a real pinch, you could use unsweetened rice milk, although this alters your blood sugar more than raw juice.

Fasting isn't the same as not fasting, and that's ok. We just need to make allowance for the differences. Turn the phone off, use paper plates for the kids, and remember: the fast will be over someday, but the benefits will remain. : )

If none of these possibilities work, you can still fast!!! Fast from McDonald's please. Fast from Coke, and coffee! Whatever you do, fast from sugar! Fast from wheat for awhile, and refined fats. You can do something.

If diet is a concern (health concerns), you can still fast! You can fast from TV. You can fast from the Internet. Fast from what takes up the bulk of your time, and then offer that time to the Lord in prayer, and biblestudy. Fasting is a time that we listen to Him, not try to get Him to pay attention to us. When we listen, we are not disappointed. Some of your sweetest times with the Lord, or your most momentous breakthroughs may happen when fasting- simply because you have turned your heart to Him to hear.

If it all looks too big, then just fast your last meal of the day, and then the kids are going to bed soon anyway. You can curl up in bed with your bible not long after they drop off.

Jesus Himself said that we would fast.

Be encouraged that if the Lord has put this on your heart to do, then all things are possible to them that believe.

Blessings on you, In Jesus' name!


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Patience Wins Out

Here's another good one on curtailing your emotions:

Proverbs 16:32 Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city.

I love this verse. In the face of the battles that come our way, we can know that patience, and perseverance will be better to us than warring. I love that God always makes it simple for us- He doesn't need us to be skilled at war, just to be immovably patient, and to trust in His love.

Mommies, be patient with your little kids today, and see God move on your behalf.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Fighting the Good Fight of JOY!

I spent a lot of time awake last night, struggling with my thoughts. By the time I woke up this morning, I came to a conclusion. Satan cannot lick me.
Why not? I am Christ's, and Christ destroyed him who had the power of death (that is, the devil) and through Christ I take part in that victory. I am already the winner, if I don't quit.
I read a bit in proverbs this morning- always a good place to read when you need to curtail your emotions.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Sometimes I hate the strife and bickering that can happen with four children at home all day. This says I can lead with a gentle answer, and turn away anger.

Proverbs 15:4 The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
So it's my choice today, if I will talk about myself as if I am well, or if I will say what the devil says (which is usually: you'll die young, you must have cancer, you are very afraid... The usual rigamarole). But that kind of talk crushes the spirit. This very day, I can use my tongue to speak healing in my home, to my body, to those around me. This will in turn produce more and more life and health.

Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Again, this is my choice. It may not seem like it at first, after all, if I don't have a happy heart, then there's nothing I can do, right? Not so. I am a spirit, created in the image of God. I tell my heart what to do, think, and feel. It doesn't tell me. David said in the psalms, "Bless the Lord, o my soul"! I must tell my heart today how it's going to be. I did that before I even got out of bed. Today is going to be a good day, and I am going to be cheerful. Even if I don't feel it on the inside, I will SMILE.
If heartache crushes the spirit, I will not meditate on any places of heartache. I will bring them before the Lord, like Much Afraid did, and then leave them there as a sacrifice. I don't need to carry heartaches around with me and let them needle me all day.

Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
He wouldn't have mentioned this if I had no choice about it. What good is it to be oppressed, and then have God tell you that the rest of your life will be wretched? No! I WILL have a cheerful heart, and thus, a continual feast! (For help with this, go over to Ann Voskamp's Gratitude Journal, and see how life can truly begin to be a continual feast, newly refreshed each day.)

Proverbs 15:16-17 Better a little with the fear of the Lord, than great wealth with turmoil. Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred.
*Better is little accomplished, and a simple meal eaten in fellowship, than a harried mother, and a snarly supper.

Verse 18 A hot tempered man (or mommy) stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.
*Blessed are the peacemaking mommies, for they will be called the daughters of God.

19 The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway.
This one bothered me at first. Whenever I read it it says to me: your way is blocked due to your lack of true devotion. I may not like hearing that, but I praise God that He keeps saying it, because I do want the path of the upright: a highway.

Proverbs 15:30 A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.
I here have the opportunity to do for my children what will give them a joyful heart (giving my cheerful looks) but also this benefits me, because who doesn't love the adoring gaze of a smiling child. It's like a reciprocal circle. I sow smiles, gratitude, joy, and I get it back from them. Isn't that how we could be with God? Last night I felt angry at God, bitter. Couldn't I instead come to Him in childlike faith, and say, "Lord, I believe in You, I rejoice in all You do. You are a good God, and I am happy to know You." I suspect that then my late night stewing would have quelled. Blaming God for what very well may be my own fault just isn't a source of peace. Coming to Him and acknowledging His true goodness is. It helps us to trust Him, and when we use our faith, it pleases God. (By the way, I should have just gotten out of bed and read my bible, rather than lying there stewing. I've learned this lesson before, but I guess last night was a refresher.)


Proverbs 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked but He hears the prayer of the righteous.
The Word tells me that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This verse is for me. He hears (gives audience to) my prayers. This is cause to rejoice. I have no reason to be bitter today. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Learning to Praise Him

Psalm 42:11 (King James Version)
11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Yes, I will praise Him, the Source of my mental health, the Healer of my body, and Restorer of my life. I will praise Him, who changes my attitudes, the look on my face, and the secret thoughts and intentions of my heart.

I praise You Father, for:
all the good you did in my life today that I saw and didn't see. Thankyou for the blessings that are so visible, like yellow sunflowers, red raspberries, delicate honey bees, and wispy thistledown on wind. But I also thankyou for the invisible blessings of today, like angels to guard and protect my children, safety from harm that never occured, and deliverance from sickness that can't even get close to us.
Thankyou for all the things I heard and didn't hear. For late night conversations, filled with plans and visions for the future. For children singing nearby. Thanyou for the sound of water against windows. But also, thankyou for no bad news today; no arguing; no words to tear down the bridges we are building in this family.
Thankyou for feelings: that this world is so real, and poignant, and sometimes painful. Not that I am thankful for pain, but for the ability today to experience joy, and amazement, yet also to cry and release frustration when neccessary. Thankyou for the opportunities to enfold a loved one in my arms, but also for the times to be alone, locked away with You in prayer. Thankyou for change, for seasons, for contrast. Thankyou for sameness, predictability, routine!
Thankyou that I see you all around me, even when I know I've turned my back to you, you've never turned your back to me.
Thankyou for this day.

Psalm 42
1As the deer panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.
2My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
3My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
4When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
5Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.
6O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar.
7Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterfalls: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.
8Yet the LORD will command his lovingkindness in the day time, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.
9I will say unto God my rock, Why hast thou forgotten me? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
10As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?
11Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Thought I'd bring this one up again... (it was on my heart.)

The Prayer
How can I take this bottle inside me and pour it out to You in a way that will mean something? How do I take all that is in my heart, and explain it to You when I don't know how to put it in words? I know the bible says You store up my tears in your bottle; what about the constant ache inside me, somewhere to deep for me to truly access? Can I come to You without words, and know that I've been heard?
There are too many things that have hurt me so deeply. And I know that You know. In that knowing, (knowing that You know how it hurts, how deep was the cut) can there be a taking away of the injury, a resurrection that comes from this death? Can Your life come, and fill me so completely that I don't even remember the pain?
I want to know You more than I do. I want to stop being so fake. I want to be free, I mean really and truly free, so that the old black cloud of testing thoughts can't come to hover over me when I'm alone.
Is it really all me? If I would let go of the hurt, and never allow my mind to wander there... would it really cease to hurt? Is there a way for this loss to be only gain? Father, must there be a loss?
I wish it wasn't so. I wish that I could leave this place of retreat, and live with all my might. That I wouldn't cower, and even worse, NOT CARE. I want to leave Lazy behind, and find a Spark in my soul that is so contrary to the world around me.
What are the desires that You have placed in me, and which ones are just mine? How can I see how you are leading me?
And yet, sometimes You surprise me, and the suffering is gone without my knowing how. The struggle is gone, as if it simply dissappeared without my knowing it, like a mist that was blown away, like a foam on the beach that nobody missed when the tide returned and whisked it away.
How long is my life? What do I have to do here? Lord, will I get it all done? I have wasted so much time, and been so disobedient to You.
Some days I see Your hand on my life so clearly, and I KNOW, I just KNOW. Other days, I am bogged down by the weight of my own emotions, pelted by the winds of my feelings.
I didn't know that this was what it would be like Lord. But now that I know, I want to live a life of praise. Lord, make of me a joyful woman, a woman who is beautiful and remembered because of her smile. Lord, redeem this time with my children, and help me to make every day count!
I know that at the end of this life, I will regret every squabble I had with my husband, every stubborn act of my will that drove us apart. Refresh our love, Lord, like a fire. Wash away the grit and dust of the years, and make of me a beautiful woman. A woman who gives up her very life.
But mostly, Jesus, I want You. I want to be near you, to be your partner. I want Your love so rich, and real in my family. I want Your joy. I want to spend this life, on this earth, in perpetual joy, and total abandon.
I've uncorked the bottle, I know You're listening....
Lord, I am listening.

Healed of Demonic Depression. ("Crazy")

This morning in the shower I was thinking about "CRAZY" (a word that often tries to sneak around the thought life of someone who battles depression) and I wanted to share these thoughts with you.

I was thinking about what I'd been listening to in Kenneth Copeland's teaching "Healing, it is Always God's Will". He shares a story about how his son John recieved healing (through his faith) from a serious ailment, and how through that experience he came to understand that the devil is "crazy". Crazy meaning, he doesn't follow the rules if they're not inforced. Crazy meaning psychotic, and with murderous intent. Yes, we'd have to say the devil is crazy.

Then I was thinking about how God has a sound mind. Makes sense, doesn't it? If I am God's, and have nothing to do with the devil, then I have nothing to do with crazy. I don't speak it about myself, don't see myself that way, don't use the word in jest or in passing. I don't inherit it for any reason.

Yes, I stop thinking about myself that way, and replace self-deprecating thoughts with thoughts about God, and His greatness. I replace those thoughts with thoughts of praise to God for His power, and thanksgiving for all He has done for me in Christ. I replace those "crazy" thoughts with Word based thoughts: I have a spirit of a sound mind- all things are possible to them that believe.

All those disruptive thoughts that the enemy fires at my mind; all the complaining voices that my flesh offers up: these do not mean crazy.

I also thought of what I've been reading in "Peace Child", by Don Richardson. He was a missionary to canniballistic tribes in Irian Jaya (East New Guinea at the time, I think). The terrible oppression, demon possession, and bondage that those people experienced before the gospel: living in constant fear; always witnessing death, gore and blood; having minds that were driven by grief, and a lust for revenge. That was.... crazy. To be controlled by demonic forces-- that isn't "sound".

Which leads to this point: has the gospel which brings soundness of mind come to you? Have you decided Who holds your allegiance?

When we accept Christ, we aquire the mind of Christ. Why? Because He took our place. John 3:16. We were in sin, and in bondage to satan (every one of us, because our father Adam sinned, and we were sold as slaves to sin), and Jesus took our punishment on Himself, when He died on the cross. He took all of our unsoundness, and gave us all of His wholeness- His righteousness. His deliverance. When we recieve His Spirit, then He displaces all else. We then belong to the demons and the darkness no longer.

Will the demons go away if you accept Jesus sacrifice, if you acknowledge Him as Lord? And will they stop talking to you?

Yes. But occasionally, they will come back just to check if you still mean it. Remember, satan is crazy, and doesn't obey the rules unless they are inforced. (God's word is the Rule, and we inforce it by speaking it out, in faith, and in the Name of Jesus.) You resist demons and their twisted thinking with the Name of Jesus, with the Blood of Christ, and with the Word of God, and everything in it. If you are a new Christian, and don't know what's in the bible, that's ok- just start now! Read it every day, and speak it aloud. Pray aloud (in the name of Jesus) daily, there is authority in your words as a believer in Christ.

Then: God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power; love; and a sound mind.

He hasn't given you a spirit that puts you in bondage again, but a spirit of sonship, of freedom! You belong to Him! Because He set you free for freedom, you must resist bondage, and be not yoked again with slavery or depravity. Leave behind EVERYTHING associated with a depressed, discouraged, or distracted mind. Throw it out for good. : )

As believers, we have the mind of Christ, and a mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

In Proverbs He tells us: above all else, guard your heart. He said this because you would need to.

Does the need to guard your heart against crazy thoughts mean you are crazy? Not at all, it means you are staying sound! If someone throws garbage over your fence, you just throw it back out, and build a higher fence. When we stay in His word daily, we are building our high fence. The name of the Lord Jesus is a strong tower- you can run into it and be saved.

A Heart Transformed

Something's been changing in me, something on the inside. Like a cracking, a creaking, and a breaking up of ice, I have been yielding.

Like a glacier, and you cannot see its motion, but it is moving none the less, and driven by an unstoppable force.

Yet He is so gentle, never pushing, only leading and encouraging, and praise God, He is disciplining.

I didn't know discipline when I was young. I thought I did- I got enough spankings- I was a "good girl".

But I didn't know that discipline isn't what happens when you are "bad", but it is the constant, consistent shaping of a life, the gentle guiding of the potter with his clay. The clay is unaware of the gentle shaping, the liquid touch, but it is formed according to the will of the one who makes it.

I am glad now to know His discipline. That when everything on the inside of me is rebelling, and everything on the outside of me is spewing out poison of self- then is He shaping, grinding, sanding, and blowing away the dust.

What changed I think, is the same thing that is often changing- often I have strayed from my dedication to His word, and stayed in it merely to be a good girl. To avoid punishment. But what do you do with a God who doesn't punish, but is waiting on your attention?

What do you do with Wisdom, who is crying aloud at the high places along the way? She isn't forcing, She is inviting.

So I yield. I stop, I turn, I look to Her.

This life isn't worth living without Her.

God spoke in His word of Wisdom as a woman. But did you know that foolishness is also a woman? She is loud, brash, unashamed.

Which woman am I being to those around me? The gentle, ever inviting leadership of Wisdom, or the fleshly, forceful, pushy foolishness.

I had just as hard a time getting up this morning as I have had on many other mornings. The house was just as messy, and there was possible more laundry than usual. But today, something on the inside of me was different, and I stayed in His word, just because it was His word.

The mess and the pressures couldn't find me there.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Weeds, and a Way

I sit at the island with my head in my hands, overwhelmed. I want to say something, to let Him know how I feel, and I begin: Lord, it's just too...

"Too big? The job is to big?"

And I think of all He's been showing me lately:
that He knew it would be too big.
And that He knew that I could do it.

I think of "Bruchko", and "And the Word Came With Power", and of all that others have done when it actually was "too big".

I think of how if it wasn't (too big), I might be tempted to take credit- to know that I had done it out of my ability, or skill, or knowledge.

But I don't, and I can't.

Not today, not any day.

Maybe pride came before this fall, or maybe His gentle discipline is just reminding me to be humble with others, because I really struggle too. Just in different ways perhaps, maybe at different times than when my neighbor is struggling, but we all struggle, here on planet earth.

Ouch. Lord, even in my own selfish inability, I have been so proud. Even now, what I have left undone bothers me most, because of how others would see me. That they would see how I have failed, and that I am so ordinary. This bothers me. And it bothers me that so much of my efforts have been for show, and not for loving service. That I haven't used my times of strength to kneel and help and fellow struggler. I have spent so much of my life trying to help myself.

So here I am at my island, and in recognition that the job He has given is too big, and not too big.

I think of the stewards, to whom He gave the talents that they were capable of multiplying. To translate that would be to say that He gave funds to investors, and He, being all wise, knew that they could multiply those funds many times over. And no one invests in someone that they are certain will fail, right? You don't put money on a horse who is hobbled, you must know there is a chance of an outstanding win. And He doesn't take risks- if He invested this talent (these responsibilities) in me, then He knows that I am the woman for the job! He knows that I can do this!
Remember the servant who accomplished nothing; came back with nothing to show for the investment that the master made in him? He failed because he was lazy, and because his thinking was twisted.
And at my island I think: have I really just been lazy?

Have I so desired my self life that I would rather bury this talent in the ground than to get up every day and care for it?

It makes me think of my garden, two years ago. I had so neglected it during a crucial time, that after a period of four weeks I was forced to go in with the rototiller and even mow down some of my vegetables which could not be salvaged. I had a talent going there, something worth investing in, but by not giving it priority I lost what I'd invested- time, seeds, and a harvest!

My house is like this.
If I will not get up and get at the weeds...
My children are like this, my life is like this, my marriage is like this....

but the sower sows the word.

Oh boy.
There it is, and I know it.

Oh God, why am I so dull still as to think I can neglect Your Word, Your Living Water and still flourish? And why, when struggles come, do I think it is unrelated to wether or not I am holding to Your instruction manual? And why, when I hit the snooze button, do I fail to recognize that it will lead to sitting at my island with my head in my hands.

I can't do it, Lord.

"I know you can't, but I can."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Words That Work!

Psalm 147:12-20 (The Message)
Jerusalem, worship God!
Zion, praise your God!
He made your city secure,
he blessed your children among you.
He keeps the peace at your borders,
he puts the best bread on your tables.
He launches his promises earthward—
how swift and sure they come!
He spreads snow like a white fleece,
he scatters frost like ashes,
He broadcasts hail like birdseed—
who can survive his winter?
Then he gives the command and it all melts;
he breathes on winter—suddenly it's spring!
He speaks the same way to Jacob,
speaks words that work to Israel.
He never did this to the other nations;
they never heard such commands.

Don't you love the part at the end where it says that He "speaks words that work"? God speaks words that have the power to turn winter into spring! That will turn an ice age into a season of blessing!
Yes, Father! So be it! Turn the wintery places in our hearts into flourishing spring! Do it by Your Word, Your Word that WORKS.
Praise the Lord.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Each Moment Filled with Wonder

Father, my eyes are alight with Your Beauty, my heart is amazed at all You have done.

A train of children stretched out before me, who marvel at God's creation and stoop to see: minnows, kittens, goldfish, puppies, wildflowers, garden herbs... just one more thing, just one more minute!

Walks, talks with big boys, and a heart full of joy at what God has restored.

The wind in my face as I drive out to the fields with farmer husband, so much beauty in the sky that I can barely take it in.

Awe in knowing what He has done, when I look out at our fields, our land. A sense of being very small, in comparison to Him, and yet very loved. So humbled, and He exalts me, makes me worthy. Worthy of His Son.

A smile that I thought I'd lost, a laugh that comes naturally, which I didn't know I had!

Grace, Strength in the midst of what I know I am truly incapable of. His hand guiding my circumstances and whispering in my spirit, gently showing me, reminding me: "I help, I have helped, I am HELPER." Dear, precious, Holy Spirit.

Mornings starting early, sun flooding my bedroom, and bible propped open on pillow- these words are Spirit, and they are Life.

Sun, Warm, Sand, and Water. Play for hours, simple pleasure of digging in sand. The sweet, painful feeling of loving, and praying for family.

A hard heart, learning to love, and not to be afraid. To offer myself, and trust Him.

P.S. If you haven't yet, stop by Ann Voskamp's Holy Experience. She writes with a spirit that imparts gratitude to the hearer. God makes every moment alive, and full of His Glory.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Desperate for an Answer

So many times the women I talk to are open to healing. There are some who are not, but many are willing, they just don't know how to recieve it. Often they are desperate for healing, their hearts are crying out to God, and they can't understand why He won't answer.

I don't know that, but what I do know is that He isn't not answering. Did you get the double negative? If we aren't getting, it is not because God is not giving.

We know that the word of God is true, even when it is not what we are experiencing right now. Think back to the days before you recieved Jesus Christ as your Lord, and Savior. Was the Gospel still true, before you'd experienced it? Yes.

Well what if you've recieved the message of healing. Why hasn't it manifested in your body? After all, you believed the gospel, and you were saved. Why not believe the healing and be healed? Well...

Sometimes the trouble is in what we believe. We know that Christ was the salvation afforded to mankind, so then anyone who recieves Him can be saved at any time, no matter who they are, or what they have done. Anyone can be saved because the sacrifice has already been made. It is all finished, we just enter into it. But when we are believing for healing, often people believe that they have to convince God to give it- they don't know that it's already been given.

When Jesus sacrificed his blood in our place, and atoned for our sins, He also sacrificed His body, in the place of our suffering. He became the curse for us, so that we wouldn't have to have the consequences of sin in our bodies (sickness, death). We can be healed, because we've been forgiven.

Again, why are there depressed Christians who believe for His healing, and don't seem to recieve? Lord, we are willing, we are desperate for an answer.

If a person has something in their path that is blocking them from recieving the gift that God has so certainly already given, I may not know that specific reason, but it is not an excuse for not recieving. If we know His word is true, and that the sacrifice is already made, then we know that the healing is already ours. We recieve it by faith, even if things don't begin to look different right away. Plus, we expect that we do recieve it, since it is ours, and we think about it, talk about it, and act as if IT IS OURS. And we resist the devil who would like to see that we do not ever enjoy the fulness of what Christ has done for us.

Also, we remember the Giver. We remember that Jesus Christ is really the only answer, and that there will never be another. We don't give up or quit, but know that He HAS answered us- He sent us Jesus; He gave His Spirit into our hearts, and HE GAVE US HIS WRITTEN WORD WHICH IS LIFE TO THOSE THAT FIND IT AND HEALTH TO THEIR WHOLE BODY. We keep in close contact with God through His word, and through prayer, and He reveals to us the things that have been blocking us from recieving.

It helps to know that God loves you, and He is holding nothing against you. He wants you to be healed, even more than you do, and because of this, you can be cofident that you will. That you are. Healing always comes.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Adam and the Redeemer, Part One. (Why Stay Home)

Why stay home?

Why stay home when there are a hundred other fascinating things to do, a dozen other scintillating places to see, a generous handful of other faces to enjoy?

Why stay home when the sun is shining, and the park is beckoning, and there are other children to be played with; other mothers to laugh and chat with?

Why stay home?

Why stay home when items need to be purchased, errands could be completed, garage sales abound, and there is just one more thing to be discovered second hand?
Why stay home?
Why stay home when there are piano lessons, and memberships at the outdoor pool; riding lessons, and home school co-ops; vacation bible school, and hockey, and soccer, and T-ball?
Why stay home when there are countless papers to be filed, lives to be saved, knowledge to be amassed, ladders to climb, mortgages to be applied for, brand new vehicles to be driven?
Why stay home when there are missions to accomplish, ministries to be carried out, churches to be served, doctrines to be written?
WHY simply stay home?!

The reason we stay home is that home is our outpost. When God created Adam, and gave him a beautiful, sparkling, brand new green world, He said: It is not good that this man be out here in the earth alone. I will make him a counterpart, and I will place her in a garden.
Eve had a home. She and Adam were assigned to rule the world, to have dominion over the animals, but they did it from the central outpost of Eden. Eden was their stronghold. Their fortress.
Stronghold? Why have a stronghold in a perfect, sinless, spotless brand new world? You only need a fortress if you have an enemy!
Well, there was an enemy. Satan (Lucifer) had already been cast down from heaven and had been busy wreaking havoc on the earth. God placed man on the earth to keep it, to guard it: to clean house. To take back, and to amass God's territory.
In Genesis we see God reforming the earth, and turning it over to man (Adam). But in this story, God knows that there is an enemy force already at work, and He tells Adam- don't eat of the tree of knowing good and evil. If you do, you will die. Paraphrased: "There is an enemy on this beautiful earth Adam. An enemy of all things right and true. But I've made you a safe place, a haven. It is Eden. Your garden: your home. I've put Eve here with you, and she will help you to take care of the garden, and to guard it. But you are a creation that I have entrusted with Free Will, Adam. None of the animals you are in dominion over have this. You are unique. And because of this, I am leaving you a choice. Here, in this very garden, I am leaving the tree of knowing good as well as evil. If you eat of this tree, you will side with the enemy who is resident on this earth I have given you. Then you will not only know good, but also evil. The guaranteed result of this 'knowing of evil' is death, Adam, but the choice is yours. Today I am setting before you life, and death, good and evil. I am trusting you to do the right thing."

I guess we all know the end of the story. Adam listens silently as his counterpart (helper) Eve has a discussion with the Serpent (the enemy that God had warned Adam about, and had placed him on this earth to curtail). This "serpent" was in the garden illegally (as Eden was a specific area, set apart by God for Adam) and yet Adam and Eve do not evict the serpent, but merely listen to what he says.
(Please, let us know by now, that nothing good ever comes from listening to what the serpent says.)
The serpent chooses his words carefully, phrasing things so that Eve doesn't notice that the serpent has misquoted God. She freely misquotes Him herself, which leads to a train of thought that is contrary to what God has told Adam. God told Adam that he could eat of any tree in that garden. However, to eat of the knowing good and evil tree would result in death. Eve however discusses with the serpent that they cannot even touch that tree, or they will die. This is not so, but Adam who is sitting nearby does not correct her. He wants to hear what the serpent has to say. He is actually considering his offer.
Now God didn't tell our distant relatives that they couldn't touch the knowing good and evil tree. I believe that had they chosen God with their whole hearts, they could have easily cut down that tree once and for all. But Adam hadn't yet decided for God completely. If he had, he would not have been entertaining the serpent.
Serpent presents Eve with the idea that: God must be trying to keep something from her- something good. "God knows that if Eve eats of the tree, she will become a competition- a threat to Him, so He is trying to keep Adam and Eve from eating of that tree for His own protection. God must not be truly trustworthy, and Eve should surely take things into her own hands, and eat of that fruit. After all, it is truly beautiful. It has a flavour like none of the other trees in the garden. And besides that, it will open up an entirely new world to Eve! A world of enlightenment and power!
Eve licks her lips carefully, and handles the fruit. She doesn't die!! God must have deceived her after all- this tree does have a truly valuable fruit! Better than anything else God has given them!
Adam looks silently on.
Eve forgets the waiting, expectant, desiring serpent, and thinks only of herself. She forgets Adam, and their future together in the garden, and thinks only of what she desires most in that moment. She forgets God who made her, God who loved her, God who knew her, and has been protecting her...
She bites. Oh, Pleasure.
Overcome with ecstasy, Eve passes the fruit to Adam, who is only to glad to indulge with her.

And then,

it is over.
Suddenly, the garden God made for the two seems like a frightening place. Never before have Adam or Eve seen shadows: before they were only aware of Light. Now they are surrounded by the watching animals, and a cold breeze descends on them: awakening them to the fact that they are naked.
The voice of God's spirit that they had pushed aside during those moments by the tree is now silent, and Adam is very, very afraid.
Adam knows God- that He is an awesome and terrific God who expresses His wrath every day, and now Adam knows that he could be on the receiving end of that wrath.
He hides.
God the Father walks through the garden in the cool of the evening and knows what has happened. He sees the curse (the result of Adam breaking his covenant relationship with God) already beginning to act on His creation. He knows fully and completely the severance from Him of His son, His Adam, His man. And God too is alone (and not alone).
He approaches Adam from a distance, and pleads with him to take responsibility for his sin. Perhaps even yet, there is an opportunity for redemption, an opening to right what has gone wrong...?
But Adam blames Eve.
Eve blames the serpent.
God doesn't bother listening to the serpent. He pronounces curse over the serpent, and also his defeat by a coming Redeemer.
God cannot make things right, not right now. But One is coming....

This is why we stay home.
Because now we see that God's original plan was best. Eve stepped outside of that best plan, and invited her husband to come along. The disappointing outcome was that Eve had terrible sorrow in the bearing of her children. She had a strong and opposing desire to all that Adam valued, and Adam was given authority over her. Before, they had simply been ONE. There had been no contest while in the garden: Eve didn't even have a name until after she left the garden, signifying how truly she had severed herself (by eating the fruit) from fulfilling her calling as the God-glorifying helper that God had made her to be. Before, when the Lord had called Adam (Man), Woman would come running too. But now, she was her own, lonely woman. She was a fallen woman.
And as a result of what Adam had done in listening to (siding with, rather than correcting and protecting) his wife, rather than obeying God's word, he saw curse spread like disease over all the earth that God had given him. Now instead of beautiful fruits, the ground was producing briers, nettles, and stings. It was rebelling against the man who had been formed of it! Adam was divorced from the ground he had been made from and had been given to rule over.

But God was gracious, and thinking ahead. He knew that if Adam and Eve stayed in the garden of Eden, they would have access to the tree of LIFE. This was a tree with the fruit of Eternity, and with an irreversible result. If Adam and Eve ate of that tree (made that decision) now, in their fallen state, then the Redeemer could not come and make things right. Adam and Eve would have lived forever in sin, and in perpetual curse, as would have all of their descendants!
Loving Heavenly Father loved Adam and Eve (and you and I) too much to see this happen. He forced them out of the garden, and told them to go and increase on the earth. A Redeemer would come.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Depression in Homeschooling

Depression in Home Schooling

Is it possible for you to keep home schooling while struggling with depression? Yes, very much so. Depression is not a reason to quit.
Should everyone who is depressed continue to home school? I can’t answer that. What I’m saying is: don’t assume that you must give up.
Why not?
Well, examine the reasons why you began home schooling, and you will still see all the reasons that you can keep home schooling. Your reasons may be different than mine, but I think my reasons for home schooling are fairly common, so we will use them for an example.
1. I want my children at home with me.
Is it unhealthy for your children to be at home with you if you are battling depression? Not always. Can your children have any benefit from being at home with a mother who is engaged in such a battle? Yes. The problem is when they don’t see you battling. It isn’t wrong or unhealthy for your children to see that something difficult has come against you and you are fighting to overcome it, the damage is from them seeing you give up, and quit. You are not a quitter. You can get up and keep fighting for your family. You can do it! Depression is not strong enough to defeat you.
2. My faith.
If you are depressed, should you put your kids in school? Not necessarily. Not even a Christian school can impart to your children your faith. Now most of us have made the decision to home school partly based on our religion- we don‘t want our children to follow the world‘s influence, but to stay in our church. But distance yourself for a minute from your religion, and take this personally. What about your faith. No one can believe their way out of this depression but you. You can believe for your healing! Jesus healed everyone who came to him. Your children will benefit from being at home seeing you grow in your healing. It will build their faith, not destroy it, when they see you overcoming depression through your faith in God’s word.
3. Family.
Your family can suffer because of depression, or you can use this time to see ways that your family life needs to change. Have you been doing too much, wearing yourself out? Maybe you need to cut down on extracurricular activities, and focus on family bonding at home? Are you carrying all the weight of the household responsibilities? Maybe your 10 year old can learn to do the dishes, or your eight year old could learn to vacuum and clean the bathroom. Maybe you won’t get everything done that you want to, but what CAN you do? I bet you can rest on the sofa with your kids and read them a great book. I bet you could go for a walk to the park with them. I bet you could choose easier, healthier meals; like fresh fruit, and whole wheat bread. If you put some things aside for now, this can be a healing time for your family to draw close, not to be destroyed by depression.
4. Education.
Yes, there is a temptation here for your breathing to quicken, thinking about all the things you are not doing- but don’t yield. You may just need to change your expectations for awhile. You can still give your children an education at home, and be a good example! Educate yourself, and let them see you learning! Read a library book on healing, and then tell them what you’ve learned. Rent some educational movies with them, and make a scrapbook page about what the video taught. Let each day be a day where your children can learn something, and be excited about doing it!
If you are severely depressed, even these things can seem too big, but don’t lose hope! Educate your children by letting them watch your life, and get some help. Let your children see you strengthen your faith for healing by receiving prayer at church, or by going to a bible study. If you are too depressed to read, get a bible on cd (or mp3) and listen to it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Get some bible stories on cd for your kids to listen to during this time.
If you are depressed, you can talk to someone. There are people around you right now who have been where you are, but maybe haven’t mentioned it. If you will talk to a trustworthy, optimistic friend, it can help you feel unburdened. Find a godly doctor, or health practitioner, and let others lend you a hand up. If you are in a pit right now, remember, the Lord’s hand is extended to pull you out.
In psalm 107:20 it says: He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction.
Psalm 40:1-3 says: I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the Lord.

You can be free of depression.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Seizing The Day You Get

I am thankful that I don't have pain right now.

I am thankful that it is a beautiful sunny day so that my children can play outside in peace, and enjoy the creation of God, and be blessed with His presence in so doing.

I am grateful for a husband who didn't condemn, get frustrated, or point things out, but merely kissed me and sent me back to bed.

I learn so much of God from my gracious forgiving husband.

I am thankful for my garden, a reason to go outside. Thankful for sun on my head, meadowlark on the fencepost, dirt on my knees.

On my knees.

I am thankful that I have strength to work in my garden in the first place, to care for my children, and that all in all, I have health. Health is mine, because I am His.

I do not have to do it on my own. I will quit trying.

I am thankful for encouragement at Holy Experience.

I am grateful that all that really matters today, is did I live it with Him. and I know I did: He never leaves me or forsakes me. I am grateful for His word, which is my living in relationship with Him. He never gives up.

Today is a good day.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Love- the Path to Emotional Freedom

1 John 3:18-24 (The Message)
18-20My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love. This is the only way we'll know we're living truly, living in God's reality. It's also the way to shut down debilitating self-criticism, even when there is something to it. For God is greater than our worried hearts and knows more about us than we do ourselves.
21-24And friends, once that's taken care of and we're no longer accusing or condemning ourselves, we're bold and free before God! We're able to stretch our hands out and receive what we asked for because we're doing what he said, doing what pleases him. Again, this is God's command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.

This was part of my bible reading this morning. I was thinking especially about verse 19, (that love is the way to shut down debilitating self criticism) because what it said to me is that LOVE is the path to emotional freedom. Love takes all the focus and attention off of SELF, so if I practice LOVE, then I am free from tormenting thoughts, burdens of my past, and perfectionistic expectations of self and others. Love makes FREE.

I also liked verse 18, that love is something we will need to Practice. It's not something that will come naturally, it will take discipline, repentance, and forgiveness. To love is going to take some practice.

And in verse 22 (we recieve what we asked for, because we're doing what pleases Him) is a key to answered prayer. (A key to Healing from Depression.) Love is that key, not because He won't give you anything if you won't love (none of us will ever earn His grace), but because when we love, our attention is off of ourselves, and "all the reasons that we don't deserve it", and "can't expect to recieve it from God". It places our attention and intimacy in Him and then we are relaxed and free to let Him do His good, pleasing, and perfect will in our lives.

Today is a new day, with many opportunities to practice. Let's love, because Love is of God.