June 26, 2016 – Depression
We go through many emotions during our lifetime, most of them repeatedly. Happiness, joyfulness, anger, grief, depression, sadness, and fear are just a few of them,. There are many that fall in between one or another. Scientists and medical experts have given many of them sub-categories like “severe depression”, “chronic depression”, “single episode depression” and they claim that they are diseases often associated with medical as well as mental disorders and genetics. For example they believe that they have proven that Bi-polar disorder can be hereditary, that Obsessive-compulsive disorder can be handed down by your parents and that even alcoholism could have to do with your family history.
In biblical days diseases of the mind were mostly considered punishment on ones children for the sins of the parents. Many believed that people who didn’t act, talk or communicate like the general populace had to be demon possessed. If a child was born a deaf mute, it had to be ordained by God because of something the parents did that was not pleasing to him. They also believed that only a miracle from God could cure these illnesses and disorders and before Jesus time required fasting, prayer and sacrifices at the temple by the priests.
In today’s world, though, it seems like they have come up with a genetic or mental excuse for anyone who does something wrong, something violent. Either they have a hereditary mental disorder that caused them to disregard wrong from right or they went through some form of abuse when they were younger. PTSD is a very common disease today, and the causes of it are understandable, but I don’t believe that unless a person is totally mad, do they have an open ticket to kill, maim or injure anyone.
Our prisons and psychiatric hospitals are full of rapists, murderers and the like who are there because their attorneys were able to convince a Jury that they were not in their right mind when they committed the crime. They are using the “brain washing” or “conditioning” excuse for several would-be terrorists. The problem really lies in the fact that many families have fallen away from teaching the children the basic moral concepts of life. Parents have allowed “the system” to take over raising their children and it is being done without the inclusion of God.
Years ago they diagnosed me with depression and their treatment included throwing of all kinds of chemicals at me, ones that left me in a haze much of the time, ones that made me develop other habits like over eating and binge eating, and some that left me in a zombie like state where I was hardly aware of the world around me. When I was diagnosed with PTSD, the treatment for that was counseling and and mind altering medications. I am free of all them today.
Today I am thankful that God has taken over the treatment of my PTSD and Depression.
2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me
June 27, 2016 – Prayer
When I first became a Christian, I would listen to all the “seasoned”Christians praying in Church. Their prayers seemed so eloquent, using all the “thees” and “thous” and “gracious father” type phrases. I assumed that was how I was to pray and I struggled with the use of all these words. When was “thee” used or where was “thou” used, and instead of being in a relationship with God I felt like I was trying to take an English test.
One Sunday we had a guest speaker who preached the sermon for that day. He talked about praying and his method has stayed with me to this day. He said that big words, long eloquent prayers and drawn out sentences were in fact very similar to how the priesthood in Jesus time prayed. They were more self edifying and attention getting that just simple prayer. He explained it like this. “Picture yourself lying in bed and your best friend is sitting in a chair next you. Talk to Jesus as if he were that best friend sitting there.
When I attended church while in my first foster home, I became convinced that you only prayed at certain times like over meals, before bed and at church, and then you had to make sure you folded your hands or if possible, got down on your knees. As I grew in the Christian faith, as I developed an actual relationship with Jesus, I soon discovered that you can pray anywhere, at any time, in any position. It is not necessary to get on your knees, although humbling yourself before God when you can is a good idea, nor do you always have to fold your hands.
You can pray standing in the aisle of the store, walking down the court house steps, driving in your car, taking a shower, sitting on the front porch, or riding on the transit. You can talk to God openly or silently and you can do it anywhere you are with the exception, now, of certain public places since they have taken away the right for children to pray in schools.
You can pray long, specific prayers, shorter, less detailed prayers or one or two word prayers depending on the prayer, the circumstances under which you pray and where you are praying. I used to pray while driving from court to court. Sometimes I pray when walking the hill or standing on the back deck or just walking around the house doing chores.
Today I am thankful that praying is simple and that I can do it anywhere and anytime
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing
June 28, 2016 – Happiness
I was sitting at my desk looking at this blank screen. As I turned my head and looked around at the office, I saw all the pictures on the wall, the computers, the nick-knacks and all the books. I walked outside on the porch and looked at the giant tree in the front yard, listening to a mama bird talking to her babies. I played with the wind-chimes, listening to their twinkling and looked around at all my house plants that I took our for the summer.
The grass is such a pretty shade of green and the sky is filled with patches of blue, even though they are predicting thunderstorms for later this evening. There is a 15 year old Isuzu sitting in the driveway, it may not be a thing of grandeur, but it runs and it is mine.
As I walked back into the house I thought about all the things I have around me that make my life comfortable, that make me happy. I don’t have a lot of material wealth, and in truth I don’t need it nor do I want it. Life has always been on the slim side when it comes to things of material worth.
I don’t own my house, but it is a nice house, sits on a main street, in a small rural town where the community seems to always come together for those who are going through hard times or have suffered some kind of tragedy. I think about my little container garden in the back yard, and how great it is growing this year. I’ve even started naming the tomato, pepper, cucumber and squash plants, haha.
I lived many years of my life without, and it has taught me the value of the things you cannot buy like the love and respect of others, the closeness of friends, neighbors and family, the joys of nature and the peace and happiness you can find within yourself.
I don’t require that wholly modern kitchen with every available appliance, nor do I need a big screen television or expanded cable. I don’t need wall to wall carpeting or mosaic tile on the kitchen floor nor do I need a wrought iron table and chairs on my front porch.
I don’t need a closet full of the latest fashions, as long as my clothes are clean, as long as they fit, and even more so, as long as they are comfortable. I don’t need to run to have my hair done or get a pedicure and manicure, and I don’t need to travel to large malls and spend a ton of money on something I would seldom use or wear.
As long as things can be kept a simple as possible, as long as I have those around me, so many of them, that love me and appreciate me, as long as I have Jesus, I am happy.
Today I am thankful for my happiness.
Psalms 37:4 – Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart
Proverbs 3: 13-14 Happy is the man that findeth wisdom and the man that getteth understanding, For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver and the gain thereof than fine gold.