Tuesday, December 30, 2008
A couple of things I ought to remind myself of continually:
Namely: WHAT IS COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?
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.
An evil man is ensnared by the transgression of his lips, but the righteous escapes from trouble.
From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man's hand comes back to him.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue is but for a moment.
Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil, but those who plan peace have joy.
Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.
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
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
Thursday, December 4, 2008
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
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"?
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!