Friday, January 28, 2011

Walk Away or Not

I'm compelled to speak about this subject. When we see someone struggling with a mental disorder, who slips back into darkness, do we walk away? Do we say, I can't do this any more, it's up to them?

I have a question for you if your answer is yes. Does God walk away from His children? Is this what He would want us to do?

We are a blessed people to have a Father in Heaven of whom never forsakes us. When we are down and out, who is there waiting to lift us back up? Who is there to walk us through it?

Now I know we have to stand strong, and be accountable for our own actions, but let me tell you from a first hand experience, when you are dealing with depression and other mental illnesses, it's not just cut and dry. You need people when you are struggling. You need someone to help hold you up.

I know it can be draining on others, but it's a fact of life. If you have someone reaching out to you, don't walk away, or say, "I just can't do this, they are bringing me down," or think, "I just don't have time for this." I have to admit, there are times I find myself reverting to the flesh and thinking, ugh, not now. Then I feel so bad!

Have you ever thought about the fact that when someone is really down, they are reaching out to you, and you either ignore them, or walk away from them what you may be doing to that person?

Now another big question. Can you live with yourself if that person ends up taking their life after they have come to you for support? I know I never could. I know taking ones life is such a taboo thought and that person was pathetic is the words of some. Wake up people! They are our sisters and brothers. Their problems and feelings are very real.

Above all, don't tell them they don't need their medication as it's evil, that it's a curse. It is a real medical problem that none of us can control with our thoughts. Yes, Hallelujah, God can heal us. But until then, those medications may be what saves that persons life. I know, I went off mine by faith, I almost killed myself.

Physicians were put on this earth for a reason. Medications were created for a reason. Don't play God with others lives. Instead, pray for them, ask for guidance for them, and encourage them. Be there for them. Support them. They need us plain and simple. Let God tell them when it is time to come off that medication, not you. He knows what's best. I'm so thankful my husband never walked away from me, as if he hadn't stood by me and prayed, I fear I would not be here today. Had he not insisted I see my doctor and get back on my medication, I probably would not be here today. I went off the medication under the watchful eye of my doctor, so it was done safely.

Sometimes I'm tired, and sometimes I don't want to deal with others problems, and then I remind myself, He doesn't walk away from us, what gives us the right to walk away from them? I will give until it hurts and will even still keep giving. Sacrifices are meant to be. Our sacrifices were small compared to God and Jesus.

May God smile down on you and Bless you abundantly in grace, peace, joy, and prosperity.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

His Presence

You're attending the Catalyst Convention and in the middle of worship. You feel His presence strong and mighty and your singing your heart out to him. All of a sudden, you know for sure He's there! With eyes closed you see a bust of Jesus just above us all. He's smiling a huge smile and you know He's happy. Then you hear the words, "I'm pleased with my children."

You speak, "Jesus! Thank you for joining us. We lift Your name on high and sing our praises to You." He's looking down happy!

There are people on both flanks of the stage dancing and you say, "Jesus, come dance with us as we honor You." The next thing you know, He's in the middle of those people from little to adult dancing and laughing. Then you see Him go to the little children and dance with them.

That experience was one of the most beautiful I've ever seen in church. It happened every night, but not the same each night. That was our last night of the conference. What a wonderful way to bring it to an end.

But it didn't stop there. When our Pastor began to speak and sing, there was Jesus speaking instead and angels were surrounding him singing. Many a time when our Pastor has been speaking, instead of seeing him there and hearing his voice, I knew it was the Lord speaking. The voice was not of our Pastor but rather that of what I knew was the Lord.

With that said, many lessons came from this past weekend. As you all have noticed, I don't blog that often, nor do I visit much at all. There is a sad reason for that; one that I've been convicted of for some time, but never heeded those promptings to end what was keeping me from where I was to be.

Right now our lessons are on "Whispers." Learning to hear the voice of the Lord. That first night our Pastors son was speaking. Just before he had us get silent, I hear "Facebook." I knew right away it was another conviction to stop the addiction to the games. Then we get silent and I hear, "follow" knew it meant I needed to start following the Lord. Then I hear "forward" knowing it meant to keep focusing on Jesus. Then I hear "obey" meaning I needed to start heeding His directions. "Seek" meaning to seek His Word on a daily basis. And "heed" meaning I needed to listen when He spoke to me.

Whew! I knew right then and there that I had no choice. Life was going to get ugly if I didn't obey this time. I've known I've had an addiction for some time. My husband and son kept prompting me to walk away. You know it's bad when you push your time limits and it causes you to run late. You know it's bad when you get grumpy because you want to get on and play but can't. You know it's bad when you get angry when interrupted while playing. Then the worst part getting worse with time, you shut out your family and friends, committing all your spare time to FB. Your house goes down hill, your shunning your duties as a daughter, sister, mother, wife, grandmother, and servant.

So I repented, asked for God's forgiveness and guidance. He took a hold of me, Praise be to God, and put me on track that night! The next morning I got on FB and typed out a note to all that I was done, I can't do it, as it is an addiction and addictions are a sin. I asked that if they ever saw me playing that they would remind me of why I quit in the first place.

Since then, I've been in the Word daily! That's a huge fete for me, as I would struggle with knowing I needed it, wanting to read, picking up the Bible, start to read and then get distracted and turn to the computer. At one point, I wanted to pick up my computer and throw it. I knew I was in trouble.

Getting rid of an addiction is so freeing!!! What a beautiful walk it has become. I'm spending time with my family. I'm not grumping at the grand kids, son and husband. I'm getting things done that needed to be done for a long time. I've reached out to family and friends again, and messages are coming to me to share now.

God is good and faithful all the time! We are a blessed people and should never take advantage of that. Imagine if He were to get frustrated with us and walk away from us the way I had my family and friends. Thank You Lord for never giving up on us.

So I will leave you with the following link that has some ways to help you with an addiction or other problem you may face to help you get back on track. Thank you hubs for sharing this with me so that others may receive help as well.

Get quiet with the Lord. Listen for His whispers. Ask for revelation on areas you need to change. Repent for those that are keeping you from seeking and receiving His Word. Be free of anything that may be holding you back from hearing Him. May your walk with Him become stronger every day. May you receive His great blessings for you and His plan for you.

If anyone has an addiction story they would like to share or have written about, please share or leave a link to your story. Support and hearing testimonies of one another is a step forward. God Bless!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Love Your Enemy

Today's message comes from Matthew 5:43-45

43: "You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.

44: But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

45: so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

This comes after a conversation with a friend and then coming home and reading this very passage. It inspired me to use our conversation to make a point.

The conversation started out with me talking about my hubby having been sick for over two months now. His first attack was his right shoulder area on his back hurting. His muscles were extremely tight and causing great pain. He went in and the doctor put him on muscle relaxers and pain pills. He was bed ridden the for a few days then seemed to be getting better.

During this time he hadn't been to church but one time. This was a concern. Not to mention his whole being had changed. His coloring was poor. I just kept praying. Shortly after he started experiencing pain in the left side. I found a not the size of a tennis ball at the base of his neck. I kept prompting him to go in and get it checked as I was concerned that it may be a herniated disc. He finally went in and we were shocked with the diagnosis.

While the doctor was checking him out, she found some vertebra's that were very tender further down his back which caused concern. She ordered an x-ray. When she returned with the results, she was shocked as well. He had pneumonia and also told us that he has advanced osteoarthritis. Wow!

So he was kept on the muscle relaxers as his muscles were tight from the pneumonia and the pain pills. I took him off of those, as I could see him going down hill fast. The doc said that the pain medication would keep him from coughing, which he needed to cough to get the junk out. He was bed ridden for a few days again.

But there was something else too. I could tell something just wasn't right. He had only been to church a couple of times. Was despondent often, coloring was poor. Just not himself at all.

After one of the services I talked to a Pastor who is a good friend of ours. I explained all that was going on and he prayed and then mentioned something I never thought about. One of our friends who was a pillar in the church, a godly man by all means who basically was a mentor to my husband had done something shocking to many. It really had an impact on us. We just couldn't believe it. How could a man like this do such a thing?

Well it never occurred to me the full impact it had on hubs. It really brought him down. It affected his faith and all. The illness came at the same time and totally reflected on the illness alone, thinking it all had to do with that.

So I shared with a friend that hubs has been sick and needed prayer as he still is, but also talked without mention of name or situation just the shock that something bad had happened to such an awesome couple.

What she said was profound. "He's a man. We all have our moments when we fall short." She then shared of a church where the Pastor had been with this church for years and one day it was found that he liked pornography. Oh the horror! She was amazed at the congregations reactions. How they just put him down, he needed to be put out of the church. He was labeled. Why? She was wondering why the people weren't praying and lifting him up and helping him overcome that addiction.

This Scripture says it like it is. We are to love our enemies. Except he should not have been viewed that way. He messed up. He had an addiction that should have been approached, prayed about, and received help and support to over come this addiction.

This is where so many of us fall short. Does God walk away from us when we mess up? No! Instead He puts people in our midst to help us become better people. Instead he prods us and urges us to try harder to be better people.

But plain and simple, we are of the flesh. We will have our short falls. So the next time we find ourselves judging someone, ask yourself how you would feel if you were in that person's shoes and were being condemned. Would you deserve that kind of treatment, or would you rather people reach out and try to help you walk through it, over come it and become a better person for it by learning and stopping that problem?

Remember the Scripture: Matthew 7:1-5

1: "Do not judge, so that you won't be judged.

2: For with judgment you use, ou will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

3: Why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye but don't notice the log in your own eye?

4: Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out your eye,' and look there's a log in your eye?

5: Hypocrite! First take the log out of your eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

I'm guilty of judging others at times and am trying so hard to over come that. It's a trait I do not like.

Let the Spirit lead you and guide you. Before reacting to a situation, ask yourself how you would feel if someone responded to you in the way you were thinking of reacting. Let's get better at holding each other accountable for our actions/reactions. None of us are above one another. We are all equal.

Should we hold our leaders accountable? Of course, but with love and understanding just as our Father does with us. When they fall short, remind them, but don't turn away from them. Instead pray for them, give them a reminder in a manner that the Lord leads you to do. If you catch others condemning them, give them a gentle reminder of the proper attitude to have. Have a Christ like attitude! I know I sure want that more than anything.

Let's be the brothers and sisters we were meant to be. Our nationalities, skin color, age, sex, what ever the case doesn't matter. What matters is we are all God's children and should love one another, uphold one another, support one another through the good and the bad. Not just during the good.

Blessings to all of you. May your walk with the Lord be glorious and may we all glorify His great name!