Forget and Un-Forget

Jeremiah 50:4–5 (NLT): Hope for Israel and Judah
“In those coming days,” says the Lord, “the people of Israel will return home together with the people of Judah. They will come weeping and seeking the Lord their God. They will ask the way to Jerusalem and will start back home again. They will bind themselves to the Lord with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.

Forget… God is so easily forgotten… especially during the holidays… Busy with family and friends… Shopping before Christmas, Boxing Day sales… Travel for some people… Devotions are skimmed or put aside…

For others, Christmas can be a really difficult time of year… An empty chair where a loved one used to sit… Family too far away or simply unable to get there…

Or we ourselves, we can feel forgotten… Have there been parties you heard about that you wish you had been invited to? Do you hear about the great family time others have and are jealous? (Can we say borderline!?!?!?)

Satan, though, always remembers us during the holidays… Suicide Hotlines are extra busy… Our brains can revive all those thoughts that can come back as simple as a light switch… all the hard work can seem to be gone at the snap of fingers…

Then THE cycle starts… the spiral of mental health… The longer the spiral, the harder it is to stop…

The GOOD news is, with God’s help we can stop the spiral… God ALWAYS provides a way out…

We CAN regain what we thought we have lost… We’ve already been there so it’s logical that we can get back! We can “un-forget”…

Mental health illness is a combination of physical aspects (chemistry and physical changes in our brains) and environment…

The way to recovery is mental thought medication to deal with the chemistry and changing our thinking… Our thoughts and our views of us and our world…

As Christians, we have a huge advantage… GOD! God will help us to see ourselves as He sees us… God will help us to change our thought patterns…

Is it easy? No…

We have a sign in our house that reads “Faith doesn’t fix things but it makes it possible

Our poor self value we have wasn’t created in a day… It’s going to take time to retrain it…

I took classes offered by my local mental health support which helped challenge my thinking…

My “Ace in the pocket” is Celebrate Recovery a Christian 12 step for far more than just drugs and alcohol… It’s for hurting people… So basically everyone… (abuse recovery, divorce, mental health, porn recovery, gambling, money spending, food addiction, codependency +)… We all have hurts or habits or hang-ups that need to change…

Honestly, totally truthfully… 5 years ago I was so messed up… I look back on my journalling back then and I don’t recognize myself… It was the love and changes… The challenges and encounters with God that have me where I am today…

Trust me… I’m not like Mr. Rogers… I don’t have my house and my life all together… Far from it!!! What I write about I have usually personally experienced or had friends experience… I too fight in the daily battle of mental illness… Sometimes it’s easier than others… For some I know this is a difficult Christmas…

Despondent or Feasting

Depression… Well it sucks… It bites… It’s lousy… It’s horrible… It’s (________)… I’m sure you have a word or two…

From my recent devotions: Proverbs 15:15 (NLT): For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
for the happy heart, life is a continual feast

This verse speaks truth… When battling depression… It seems like the whole world is against me… Everything seems to be at odds with me… We’re talking about the days where getting out of bed is a major accomplishment… But then getting to the kitchen and all the glasses are dirty… The toast gets burnt… I’m out of jam…

In the bathroom there is no toilet paper on the roll…

If I actually plan to get dressed (likely because I need to go grocery shopping) I realize that all my pretty undergarments need to be washed except for that last day, scraggly old underwear that you keep for days just like these and at my age and a baggie sweater I might be able to get by without a bra (gravity bites)… Then it’s a battle to choose which pair of jeans look the cleanest… (don’t even think laundry!)

Of course I can’t find my car keys and my wallet is no where nearby either…

So the first half of Proverbs 15:15 For the despondent, every day brings trouble;
I pretty much have nailed…

However, that’s not an excuse…

During the darkest days of my mental health meltdown I lost sight of God… You would think that I, raised in church, would have instantly turned to God…

In the years previous I hadn’t “needed” God and I ran my life on my own power and steam… Then that system collapsed…

Satan had me looking anywhere except right behind me where God was patiently waiting…

Now, I’ve learned I’m not strong enough to do it myself… I have struggles to deal with… Sometimes it can be more up in my face and also though, times of feeling settled where God and I talk regularly…

If you’ve read any of my other postings, you know that Phil 4:4-8 are verses I use… Rejoice in the Lord always and ago I say rejoice! It’s a command… you can find the rest on another blog posting…

Rejoicing… This goes perfect with the second part of Prov 15:15b for the happy heart, life is a continual feast

The happy heart… I’m no Pollyanna (really great Disney movie)… The world doesn’t always seem to be full of soft puppies and kittens… Beautiful sunshine perfect days…

But rejoicing, being joyful… I can choose to rejoice… Note CHOOSE!

Habakkuk 3:17-19
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines;

even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;

even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation

What even though can we put there for us?

EVEN THOUGH

I struggle with invasive or suicidal thoughts…

My meds aren’t balanced…

My bank account is depleted…

My friends(?) don’t seem to understand me and my mental health battle…

Every cell and fiber in my body are screaming to give in…

The entire world seems to be against me…

yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation

Prov 15:15b for the happy heart, life is a continual feast

I’m hungry…

Matthew 5:6 (NIV): Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

And Your 5 Second Answer Would Be?

Lauren Daigle, writer of many songs sung in churches finds herself caught in an uproar for her answers on The Ellen Show & on a live radio show…

People are saying she is no longer a Christian!

That her music should be banned!

Seriously?! Ban the music? Did your worship at church 3 weeks ago suddenly seem that you are now less close to God?!?!?

And her answers… She’s not Jesus… She’s out in public… She’s up for a Grammy!

Now what would your answer be… Right now? In the next 5 seconds! Well!?!?!?

I’ve taken a few minutes and really thought about it…

Do I think homosexuality is a sin?

It’s loaded question shot in a round room and I’m looking for a corner!

When Jesus was on earth, he didn’t focus on labelling people, he focused on loving them.

I think the best question is – does it matter?

Sin is sin… I do have beliefs and yes, one is that marriage was designed as one man and one woman.
However, that doesn’t make me judge and jury. Only God knows the heart…

A lie is a sin, an affair outside of marriage is a sin, stealing a candy bar is a sin, murder is a sin…

Sin is sin. It’s black or white. There are no shades of grey with God.
As humans we put “values” to sin… A “little” white lie to sentenced to death for henneous crimes… God doesn’t.

To get rid of sin is simple, we ask God to forgive and He does.

My role here on earth is explain by two verses:

Micah 6:8 (NIV): He has shown you, O man, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God

Matthew 22:37–40 (NIV): Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Our job is to love… Not judge… To act with discernment, yes… But love…

Jesus never labelled anyone while on earth… The gospel writers did so we would understand the context of the story… Jesus only saw people whom he wanted to love…

Shouldn’t we simply do the same?

A lot people will use verses in Romans chapter 1… Which is the word of God…

But look at Romans 2:1–4 (NLT): You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condemning yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things. And we know that God, in his justice, will punish anyone who does such things. Since you judge others for doing these things, why do you think you can avoid God’s judgment when you do the same things? Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?

Bottom line… Don’t judge, just love… God can take care of the rest…