Category Archives: Reflections

Hope for Bipolar Depression

Even in our darkest places, we will eventually realize that there is hope to get through our tragedies and hardships. What may seem hopeless one day, will lead into another, that will assure us that depression does not last forever. When we are in the middle of it, we cannot see the light, but upon reflection, many realize that there is room to grow and learn from our experiences, no matter how bleak and dark. I know this to be true when attempting to fight off the darkness that never seems to end.

Depression is an element of bipolar disorder that we can never escape, but it is truly in reaching out for help that will bring us on a journey of recovery and acceptance that makes it okay to not be okay. It is imperative to know that clinical depression is not always triggered by something in particular, and there is often not a ‘reason’ for the experience. We are plainly dealing with a mental illness that often has no specific logical circumstantial indicator. As we travel through the valleys, we just have to remember than one day, we will once again soar into a place of stability and balance. Taking the first step by reaching out may be the most difficult, but it is also one of the most vital decisions that you will ever have to make.

Keep your heads up guys and know that you too are worthy of understanding, acceptance, and empathy. Never be afraid to ask for the help that you so rightfully deserve.

Advertisements

In Jesus’ Name

“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” (John 14:13)

In the gospel of John there are at least six promises that if we pray in Jesus’ name, God in Christ will answer our prayer. The first is in our text, which promises that God the Father may be glorified in God the Son. Note also the equivalent promises in John 14:14; 15:16; 16:23-24, 26.

DA1122E0-9BAD-4CB3-B6BC-1DD472AC0B2F.jpeg

Such promises seem almost too comprehensive and unconditional to be understood literally. The key, however, is the significance of the phrase “in my name.” This obviously means more than simply beginning or ending our prayer with this or some similar phrase.

C0EB73CC-6677-41EE-AFEC-A1F45EE8A00D.jpeg

In the first place, we must recognize that it is only through Jesus Christ our mediator that we dare enter the presence of the omnipotent God at all. “No man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), He said. That being true, it also implies that our prayer must be in agreement with what Christ Himself would pray. No Christian should ask for something he knows to be against God’s will. “If we ask any thing according to his will . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).

1D87D1A5-B643-4A10-82DB-A93812244BA7.jpeg

When we come to the Father in Christ’s name, we are in a very real sense representing Him. Therefore, we must come with clean hands and motives worthy of the One in whose name we profess to come. Unconfessed, unrepented sin would surely misrepresent Him, and we could hardly speak in His name in such a case. Finally, acknowledging His power and promise, we must come believing, not doubting His Word.

Then, not only is the Father glorified, as says our text, but we shall rejoice. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. . . . ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24). HMM

39564FBE-F31D-44F9-9A45-1E2BA4C5B70B

How Should We Respond to Criticism

E97D4588-D5B2-4BE0-82F0-F23EFDCDCA4C.jpeg

I want my words to be life giving, to build up others. Because of our sinful nature, we can often be critical. In our ignorance we can think we are right and doing the right thing to offer our critical opinion. We need to guard our hearts against being opinionated. We can pick apart the way people do things differently than us.

Overcoming a Sensitive Spirit to Criticism

We have to become deeply assured of who we are in Christ. Being confident in our calling will keep us from being derailed by criticism. We should not be driven by praise. Therefore, don’t let compliments go to your head or criticism go to your heart.

One way to respond to critical people is to respond carefully, not rashly or instinctively.

A thoughtful answer can give a critical person a different perspective. If you wait to send that text or throw back a defensive comment, then you can think about your response. This allows you to act out of wisdom.

17C5433D-57A3-4ACA-B27E-B3F965D26D44

Often, the criticism isn’t about you. Most angry people are actually hurting. They have a past hurt or something about themselves they don’t like.

Forgive in real time, don’t wait months or years to forgive. It will steal your joy and make it hard to love others. Resist the urge to defend yourself or explain why it is not fair. If we let the Spirit help us we can get above it.

Constructive Criticism

Accepting constructive criticism can help us be better. If there are not several things you have changed in the last year because of constructive criticism, then you are missing out on the opportunity for growth.

Miracle

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible,  oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing

 

Miracle

Have you stopped reaching?
No longer seeking greater things
Have you forgotten you have a Father listening? oh
He tells the sun when to rise
Gives the wind it’s breath
Swings a door wide open and moves in a moment you least expect

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing

Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
How many chances?
How many answers pass us by?
You know it takes faith to step on the waves when you’re terrified
So when you’re packed in a corner (corner)
And can’t wait any longer
Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
Feels like the presents the words you’ve spoken
They go unnoticed like drops in the ocean
Just beyond the veil of your vision
Your mountains are moving, moving on
Remember the works his hand has done
Where you once were and how far you’ve come, oh

Don’t you give up on a miracle
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh
You’ve got to pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up on a miracle (don’t you give up)
You’ve got to speak to the impossible, oh (you’ve got to speak, keep on believing)
Pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Don’t you give up
Don’t you give up on a miracle
Pray till you break through breaks through the ceiling keep on believing
Songwriters: Jason Walker / Chad Mattson / Tedd Andrew Tjornhom / Jon Lowry
Miracle lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Capitol Christian Music Group
Feedback

Seeds of Faith

image_54264495245728

If you have faith the size of a mustard seed it will be multiplied exponentially.

Some seeds when planted produce a hundred fold. Do not compromise when it appears God is not working the miracle for which you have prayed and believed. Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean God isn’t working in you. As a seed grows underground we do not at first see the work that has started, but in due time there is a harvest.

If God met all of your expectations, He would never be able to exceed them.

Never stop believing for a miracle.

LifeChruch Sermon Series: Exponential

Seed of Faith

Key Scriptures

Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” But Abram replied, “O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son?” …

Genesis 15:1-2 NLT

Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”

Genesis 15:5 NLT

If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed …

Galatians 3:29 NIV

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Galatians 6:9 NIV

Start talking. Find a conversation starter for your group.

• When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

• Do you have any dreams for your life or family that feel impossible? Will you share them?

Start thinking. Ask a thoughtful question.

• What do you think causes people to settle for less than God’s best for their life?

• Read Galatians 6:9. What are some good things that are easy to grow weary of?

Start sharing. Choose questions that create openness.

• Have you ever been disappointed by unmet expectations for your life? What happened?

• Share a story when you couldn’t see it in the moment, but at the right time, God completely exceeded your expectations.

• What seed are you waiting to see the results of? What new seed is God leading you to plant in faith?

Start praying. Be bold, and pray with power.

God, You are so incredibly good and faithful. Your ability to multiply our smallest efforts is immeasurable. We can barely begin to comprehend the width and depth of Your love and plans for us. We trust You. Give us faith to plant the seeds You want us to plant. Amen!

Start doing. Commit to a step and live it out this week.

• Write down or list out loud a few of the big blessings in your life. Then, write next to them the initial seeds that over time multiplied into these blessings. Finally, thank God for what He’s done.

• Write down, or list out loud a few of the big, maybe unbelieveable dreams you have for your future. Then, write next to them the seeds you can plant in faith. Finally, commit your seeds of faith to God.

• Find a Bible Plan to start with your friends: www.life.church/plans

Breathe

Gently breathe in God’s spirit, that spirit which, if not barred out by selfishness, will enable you to do good works. This means rather that God will be enabled to do good works through you. You can become a channel for God’s spirit to flow through you and into the lives of others. The works that you can do will only be limited by your spiritual development. Let your spirit be in harmony with God’s spirit and there is no limit to what you can do in the realm of human relationships.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may become a channel for God’s spirit. I pray that God’s spirit may flow through me into the lives of others.

Relax, “Let Go & Let God”, Everything Will Work Out for Your

God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggle and a reward for your Faithfulness. Don’t give up! God’s word teaches us to Cast our care upon the Lord. “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” [1 Peter 5:7]

I realize that learning to “let go” and “let God” is not as easy as it sounds, however, the bible reassures us to …”Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” [Psalm 55:22]

EXAMPLE:

Let’s consider Job’s trials. Job said: “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” [Job 13:15]

QUESTION:

I pose this question to you: If you’re in constant turmoil and worrying, why do you pray? Is it just something you do because it’s tradition, or, do you truly seek God for peace and understanding?

1). Forming a “real” relationship with God provides a sense of security, revelation knowledge and mostly, “a peace that surpasseth all understanding.”

2.)The Bible says to, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” [Psalm 37:4] What we should understand mostly from this passage is the fact that there is a process of learning just how to “delight yourself in God.”

ASK THE HOLY SPIRIT TO HELP YOU

As you study God’s Word, you will learn to “Let Go & Let God!” Pray and sincerely ask the Holy Spirit to order your footsteps as you prepare to study God’s Word daily.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” [Jeremiah 29:11]

Worn

I love Worn by 10th Avenue North

https://g.co/kgs/3MHFJZ

I’m tired

I’m worn

My heart is heavy

From the work it takes to keep on breathing

I’ve made mistakes

I’ve let my hope fail

My soul feels crushed

By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest

So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win

Let me know the struggle ends

That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise

From the ashes of a broken life

And all that’s dead inside can be reborn

‘Cause I’m worn

I know I need

To lift my eyes up

But I’m too weak

Life just won’t let up

And I know that You can give me rest

So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win

Let me know the struggle ends

That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise

From the ashes of a broken life

And all that’s dead inside can be reborn

Cause I’m worn

And my prayers are wearing thin

I’m worn even before the day begins

I’m worn I’ve lost my will to fight

I’m worn so heaven so come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win

Let me know the struggle ends

That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn

I want to know a song can rise

From the ashes of a broken life

And all that’s dead inside can be reborn

Yes all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn

Yeah I’m worn

Songwriters: Jason Ingram / Jeff Owen / Mike Donehey

Worn lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Scary Times

image_541924916034046

A sudden urgency to read my bible woke me from a deep sleep at 1:00 AM. This is a unique experience. When I turned on the audio of my youversion bible app to continue my daily reading plan,  it went to chapter 17 of the book of Revelation.

I didn’t notice it wasn’t on my plan until it went into chapter 19 of Revelation. Confused, I realized I was reading yet another chapter from Revelation when my daily reading had not yet started this chapter and I ‘d not read from this book this year.  I looked and somehow was not in my normal reading plan. At this point I checked my app and bible plan. I should have been reading Numbers 1, Mark 11, Psalm 46, and Proverbs 10:23. I have no idea how I ended up in the book of Revelation.

Perplexed and drawn to the eerily familiar chapter, I continued. Reflecting on my reading and experience I am baffled. I have never experienced something quite like this and believe God pointed me to this reading. I don’t know exactly why, but I trust Him above all else. I thought I should share in hopes that it makes more sense to someone.

abible.com/116/rev.17.9-18.nlt