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Showing posts from January, 2015

Learning to Manage Depression

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Dear Friends,

It wasn't until after I had sought God on what to share this week, that I discovered it was also Mental Health Awareness Week.  I've suffered with depression for many years, but I'm learning ways to manage it better.  I say learning rather than learnt, as there are still times when I sink into the deep, dark pit and I can find my thoughts spiralling downwards.

The bible makes it clear that our mind is a battlefield.  Our thinking affects the way we feel and also determines our behaviour.  As Christians we seek to surrender ourselves to God. "If people’s ·thinking is controlled by [or outlook/mind is set on] the sinful self [sinful nature; flesh], ·there is [the result is] death. But if their thinking is controlled by [or outlook/mind is set on] the Spirit, there is [the result is] life and peace." Romans 8:6 (EXB)  The conflict is between our old way of thinking as opposed to our new way of thinking and believing the truth.  The conflict is between wa…

Life Can Feel Like a Maze

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Dear Friends,

As a child I enjoyed visiting castles and old English homes with my family.  I particularly liked it if there was a maze on the grounds.  It was fun to pair off and see who was going to reach the centre first.  Of course it always meant taking some wrong turns, coming against a dead end, not being sure whether to go right or left and sometimes re-tracing our steps, but we always got there in the end. 

One of Jason's uncles owns a farm and he has planted and pruned willow trees in an area of seven acres of land.  He did this to create a maze.  But there is something unique about his maze, which you are not aware of it when on the ground.  A different perspective is needed.  From an aerial view you realise that the maze is actually created so that you can read from above the words taken from John 14:6a "Jesus told him, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.'" (NLT)

Life can sometimes feel like a maze. There are times when we don't know which direct…

What's Holding You Back?

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Dear Friends,

Along my journey with God there have been times when I've felt that there is something holding me back from his calling on my life.  Do you ever feel like that, or am I the only one?

There can be various things in my life that work to hold me back from fulfilling God's plan for me.  Sometimes I can be the cause, something in me which is holding me back from moving forward. Sometimes it may be because I'm listening to others rather than listening to God. Sometimes it can be connected to my circumstances and at other times it's the devil.  He doesn't mind it when I'm a lethargic Christian, when I'm all talk and no action because I'm no threat then.  But the moment you and I say yes to God and begin to do something for God, that's when the devil gets worried.  The last thing he wants is Christians who are active for God, who are obedient to God's word and who are influencing others for God.  That's when he gets involved and will do …

Using God's Word to Pray

Dear Friends,

I'm changing the way I pray when I have my morning quiet times with God.  In the past I've found that sometimes my prayers can become similar to a shopping list, asking God for one thing after another. Sometimes they've been very repetitive,  and I've found myself just going through the motions, rather than really thinking about what I'm praying.

So, I've begun to use God's word more in my prayers with him. One of the things I've done is look up some of the prayers that have been spoken and recorded in the bible. 

I am choosing to pray God's word for specific people in my life as I feel led by God.  For example, for my husband, my children, other relatives, and friends.  The following verse is a prayer I can pray for a friend when they are facing a difficult time.  "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all." 2 Thessalonians 3:16 (NLT)   It could be prayed …

Personal Reflection Helps Me To Move Forward

Dear Friends,

At the beginning of a new year I find it helpful to reflect on the previous year, to remember what God has done in me, for me and through me over the past year. The Psalmist says in Psalms 143:5 "I remember the days of old.I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done." (NLT)  As I reflect, I consider the lessons I have learnt, begin to understand what changes need to be made, see the progress I've made, recognise achievements and learn from my mistakes, all with the aim of preparing me for the year ahead.

It's vital that I spend this time of reflection with God beside me, so that I don't focus too much on mistakes and where I may have gone wrong, which can lead me to become negative in my outlook and feel a complete failure who's let God and everyone else down, but neither do I want to look at any successes and strengths that are revealed and become convinced that it's all about me and what I can do, and ignore that anythin…