TIPS TO DEFEAT DEPRESSION:
Scriptures to defeat depression:
From Hope Is Alive Ministries, Jennifer Thomann:
" You Were Made To Shine " is the theme of the HIA Women's Spiritual Retreat I am hosting this month in Buena Vista, Georgia!
I encourage you to prayerfully consider joining me and my guest speaker Nancy LaPointe, for an amazing, Spirit filled weekend!! Your Heavenly Father wants to bless you with spiritual renewal, healing and empowerment as you prepare to fulfill the plans He has for you in 2016!
The Lord led me to hold the retreat at the beautiful Sign of the Dove Bed & Breakfast, so we can come together as Sisters in Christ , spending private time together in fellowship and peace. Father also blessed us with favor through the owner Walker Williams. As our brother in Christ ,he is offering a discounted rate of $30 per room, per night -for all those attending the Hope Is Alive Retreat. I thank God for that blessing! Walker has blocked out all the rooms in his B&B for us. There are 7 rooms total in the main house and cottage - some queen, some with two twins. If we fill up these rooms , there is another beautiful B&B walking distance from Sign of the Dove.
I understand its a hectic time coming off of the holidays but please take time now to pray and ask God if it's His will to bless you with this spiritual retreat. It is being held the last weekend in January, registration deadline is 1/15.
My Dear Sister, God's Word tells us :
" You Were Made To Shine! "
Isaiah 60:1 "Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you."
I've attached the link to the retreat page on our website , Nancy's website and the link for Sign of the Dove so you can look at the rooms!
This first day of 2016 is an icy, overcast, bitterly cold one here in the mountains. As I stand here in my fuzzy socks, sipping steaming coffee, I wonder if the sun will ever break through that thick veil again. When I got up this morning, it was 18 degrees out there. Patches of glassy smooth ice make driving down our steep driveway a challenge. It’s been shoveled, salted, and scraped several times over the past few days, but continues it’s stubborn resistance to leaving. The sun is our only hope at this point, and so far today, it’s failed us. Guess we can hope for tomorrow.
A new year brings new hopes and dreams to most people. It’s refreshing to wipe the slate clean from the last 365 days, and open a new calendar. I find it cleansing in many ways to toss old calendars into the trash, and hang up a fresh, new one covered with new photographs and new possibilities. Every new year’s day I look forward to doing just that. It is a symbolic gesture that signifies the replenishing taking place on the inside as well as the outside.
The trouble with celebrating a new year with fresh possibilities is that for some of us the icy patches, like those in my driveway that prevent us from going anywhere, are still looming and must be dealt with day by day.
My life changed drastically this past year. Not only did I have to face my husband’s cancer treatment for the fourth year, but I had to watch the treatment completely reduce him to someone I hardly know. Radiation to the brain kills cancer, but it damages the brain in the process. We can certainly praise God that the cancer is declared in remission, but it’s difficult to keep praising while dealing with the effects of a damaged brain. Just as the sun is the only hope for my driveway, the Son is the only hope for my husband.
In this life we do have tribulation. Many are the troubles that come. I grieve in different ways on different days, but I also observe many others who have much more difficult situations than I. I do praise God for every blessing, great and small, as we travel this journey. I have no answer for why my husband has not been healed. All I know is that the Lord does sustain me, sustains us both, as we find new ways to do things each day.
I try to post positive and encouraging blogs each week on this site. This one is not meant to be a downer at all. I simply feel that being open and honest, sharing struggles as well as victories, is what we should do as fellow travellers down the roads of life. I know that many of you are believers and I definitely desire your prayers. Though some days are harder than others, I always know the Lord is with me. Sometimes I feel a burst of joy and peace and feel stronger, and I know someone is praying for us. The Lord said He would never leave us nor forsake us and that’s a promise I stand on. I cannot imagine walking through this without Jesus. He truly is the Light and my strength. He fills me when I’m empty and sometimes even puts a song in my heart.
This new year I will be sharing some struggles and I hope you will pray for us when we come to your mind. Please share yours with me as well. I will pray for you and yours. We can rejoice in the fact that this world is not our home---we’re just passing through---and God has given us each other for support and encouragement all along the way. I hope the sun comes out tomorrow up here in ice-land, but I know the Son never leaves, and He will shine on us with whatever it is we need this week.
Happy New Year to you all! I love you and pray blessings over your lives this year.
I'm happy to welcome this week's guest blogger, Marcie Bridges, a gifted poet. I know you'll be blessed by her work, as I am. NL
The Gift of Presence
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
It’s been a rough year. For many of us.
I’ve watched throughout this year as several friends have gone through heartache and heartbreak
that just crushed my heart for them. There were no words to say. Except, I’m so sorry. And just
when it seemed things would settle down and they could catch a breath, another tragedy, another
loss, another set of bad news befell them. One step forward, 1,000 steps back.
They are the brave ones. The friends who still smile, they still love, they show us how to
continue on when it feels like life is choking the stuffing out of you. I admire them so. I love
them even more.
Someone recently asked me what I want for Christmas. And after much thought, here are my
WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS
I want everyone to know my Jesus
the One who died for you and me
For everyone to have the gift
that truly sets us free.
I want to see my family
all gathered round the tree
To not just give each other presents
but the love and grace we need.
I want to see those hurting
find a peace only God can give
So that on this Christmas Day
Their hearts won’t be so sad and dim.
I want to be the person
that reaches out to those in need
Extends the hand of forgiveness
even when it is not asked of me.
I want my dearest friends
who’ve had the ache of loss
To feel our Savior’s arms
around them through this sorrow.
I want so many things like this
it is hard to make a list
But mostly I want for all of you
A very joyful Christmas!
~Marcell Warner Bridges
The greatest desire of my heart is that during this Christmas season and through whatever lies
ahead for each of you, is that you will feel the gift of God’s presence each and every day. That
you will know how wide, how long, how high and how deep the love of Christ is in your life. I
pray you will feel His peace and His comfort in every hard situation, and you will rest in His
loving arms always.
The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth.
Merry Christmas with Love,
Marcell (Marcie) Warner Bridges is a wife, mother, and currently a student at Lenoir-Rhyne
University studying for her Bachelors of Arts in English with the goal of becoming an Editor.
Marcie began sharing her love of the Lord and His Word through poetry at a young age.
Portraying difficult or emotional topics through poetry she deeply desires to encourage others in
their walk with the Lord through the written word. Marcie has been published in several
anthologies and frequently shares her work through her blog: Heart Thoughts
http://marcieheartthoughts.blogspot.com Marcie can also be reached through email at
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarcieBridges_writer
Seek the Lord, all who are humble, and follow his commands. Seek to do what is right and to live humbly. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you---protect you from his anger on that day of destruction. Zeph 2:3
“Zephaniah warned the people of Judah that if they refused to repent, the entire nation, including the beloved city of Jerusalem, would be lost. The people knew that God would eventually bless them, but Zephaniah made it clear that there would be judgment first, then blessing.This judgment would not be merely punishment for sin, but it would also be a means of purifying the people. Though we live in a fallen world surrounded by evil, we can hope in the perfect Kingdom of God to come, and we can allow any punishment that touches us now to purify us from sin.” (Life Application Study Bible)
We can have faith that our God will protect us from the evil that befalls a nation, our own nation. But, many are nonchalant and think that they can live in sin, call it something else and be blessed by God. It doesn’t work that way. We have been given warning after warning to repent, to get right with the Lord, and live holy lives. It seems to fall on deaf ears. There is always a more tolerant, more politically correct way to get around sin and still call oneself a Christian. Where is the awesome fear of Almighty God? It has been reduced by people to a wishy washy state of grace that excuses everything because after all, we are not supposed to judge. What a very slippery slope this nation is on! Refusing to repent and call sin what it is, will result in God’s judgment. Scoff all you want, there will not be any joking when that judgment hits. Oh how foolish to ignore the powerful magnificent God who created us and think He will just sweep things under the rug. Make no mistake about it--His rug is woven in purity and holiness and the ugliness of sin cannot reside underneath it.
Judgment---and then the purifying. Judgment’s effects will purify us and cause our hearts to tremble at His Word, at His Name, and in His Presence. Then and only then will we be in the place of readiness to receive all He has prepared for us---all He longs to share as He blesses, protects and refines.
Read the book of Zephaniah. It offers a parallel to today’s Babylonian systems. The people were terrified as the judgments fell, but in the aftermath the ones who remained realized a rising Hope, grounded in the knowledge of God’s justice and His deep love for His people. He said “I will remove all proud and arrogant people from among you...those who are left will be the lowly and humble, for it is they who trust in the name of the Lord.” (3:11-12)
The Lord is our Redeemer, Restorer and our only Hope. We must wake up and ready ourselves for His work of refining and purifying His people. “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:10
Well, December has arrived and we are now bombarded with sales ads, nonstop Christmas music, and wish lists. There are so many beautiful facets of winter, December and holidays. I feel such gratitude for all God has blessed us with this past year. I’m thinking of having a little evergreen tree with the ornaments being things that signify all of God’s miracles and blessings we’ve enjoyed in 2015.
I’m going to make a confession. For many years, I have not liked Christmas and sort of gritted my teeth, prayed and sludged through it, looking forward to the new year. I have celebrated it mostly to please and appease my family. I do try to make it fun and special, though my heart tends to yearn for the end of the season. Don’t get me wrong, I love to celebrate the birth and life and resurrection of Jesus. I simply do not like the commercial hype, going into debt, and on and on.
This year I’m attempting to do some things differently. We always have our nativity as the focal point.This year I hope to garner more passion from all my family on gratitude for our blessings and giving only things from the heart that encourage thankfulness and praise to God. Family is so important and I think showing each one what they mean to us is more special than unwrapping expensive techie items.
For those of you who find the holiday season difficult from losses this year, financial stresses or other factors that block your joy, I want to pray for you. I think that instead of allowing depression to seep in and set up camp, it’s imperative that you go to the Lord and openly pour out your heart to Him. Release your tears, shout your anger, whisper your fears---whatever you need to share with your Lord. He knows it anyway. You will find healing in placing them all in His capable hands. Then, make a decision to leave them there. You can. It’s a matter of will. Trust Him even when you don’t feel like it.
I hope you will then get up, dust yourself off, and set your face like flint, to focus on Jesus. Make a list of things you usually don’t do during the holidays that you would enjoy or that would bless you and your family. Give that list to Him as well. Figure out which things you can go ahead and begin working on. Do just a small thing each day toward your goal. New ideas will come. Make an intentional decision to make this year different….and good. New traditions can be inspirational for all those in your circle. If you have no family, step out of the boat and make your home a sanctuary that brings you peace, then reach out to others who might be in your same or a similar situation. Invite someone from work or a neighbor or other person God brings to mind. Or, stop being stubborn and accept invitations from families who want to include you. Whatever your case, decide that this year you are taking the reins and making a blessed holiday happen. Yours does not have to look like anyone else’s. It’s special to you.
These suggestions are what I have done for myself. I’m still a work in progress. If you need prayer, please contact me. I will be happy to pray for you. We can do this folks!! Because...we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us! We’re celebrating His birthday, so it should be a happy and fun celebration.
I’ve tried not to voice an opinion on the refugee situation. It’s not that I can’t take criticism or am trying to avoid dissention. It’s that I’m praying about it diligently and trying to find God’s will in it.
I’m saddened and I’ll admit, irritated, by those who always are quick to post anti-Christian sentiments, (some even claiming to be Christians themselves). Calling Mary and Joseph refugees is a pretty hard stretch. Then comparing Muslims to Jews again is a ridiculous argument when the situations have almost nothing in common. When people see something that sounds good, they just jump on it without researching anything. Then there are those who quote scriptures (out of context, of course) or do their best to make the question either liberal or conservative. Lately I’ve seen posts of non-Christians who are pontificating all about God’s will and Jesus’ words, and so on. Those people win the grand prize, since almost everything on which they purport to be experts, is drivel.
After much prayer, I still don’t have a concrete sense of what is the right thing to do. There are truthful stances on both sides. As Christians, we need to be reaching out to unbelievers with the gospel. These people need Jesus desperately. I’m ready to do my part to share the love of Jesus and even open my home if the Lord leads me to do so. However, what makes us think we will even have that opportunity? The countries such as Germany who have taken in millions, are suffering terribly already for their decision. The outcry there from the refugees is that all people need to bow to their religion and practices.
If a family needs my help, no matter where they came from or what baggage they have along with them, I will always pray for discernment and wait for God’s leading as to what I should do to help. There are many deceivers (yes, and many scriptures warning about that; funny, I haven’t seen that on facebook) and we need divine wisdom to make good decisions.
If “refugees” have an agenda to take over and destroy “infidels,” the only way we will have a chance to love on them or share Jesus with them is when God arranges divine appointments for that purpose. It is quite naive and even foolish to turn a blind eye to the negative possibilities. This cannot intelligently be explained away with one scripture verse or one lame comparison to the plight of the Jews. It is not all about fear. It is much more complex. And many of us have examined the Quran and seen those verses that would cause us to be cautious. Perhaps common sense is a thing of the past.
My thinking today is that we have not thoroughly thought this through, prayed for God’s direction or gained enough knowledge of facts to make a sound decision. People seem to love bashing those that disagree so they jump on the bandwagon because something sounds good at the moment. Since we’re now told that we are not a Christian nation, then it makes it pretty difficult to think that our leaders will seek God’s direction. It’s being made into a political issue, of course, which again divides us as Americans, just like every other big issue that arises.
Oh how different things could be, if only we could all work together instead of constantly fighting one another. But then, that’s pretty idealistic in itself. I’ll keep praying today if you will. God just might have a solution that’s not what either side of this conflict has ever considered. I’m counting on that!
Do you sense a change in the air? It’s not just the autumn breezes and golden leaves. I feel something in the atmosphere around me that’s different. I know that the spirit realm is alive and active, whether we can visually see it or not. We spiritually discern the angels warring, protecting, standing watch. At times I sense evil, though I see or hear nothing at all. The Lord is moving, my friends. He is calling out to us to get up and get busy about His business---Kingdom business. Do you comprehend the magnificence of being a child of the King?
Everyone these days is watching the stock markets, scouring the economic reports from all over the world. We know that change is coming. We have lived far above our nation’s ability to sustain the lifestyles to which we’ve become accustomed. We watch the news in shock at the crime, the perversion, and the wickedness that is a stench in the nostrils of our God.
At times I grieve over this nation and this world. At times I cry out for God’s mercy, and at times I lose myself in the internet so I can avoid the pain of the truth. Are you numb? Have you heard about so many shootings or wars that you just mentally check out because it’s too much? I fear that we as believers have joined the world in turning our heads and hearts away because it’s too overwhelming. Or maybe we’re just complacent because our job or family or hometown is not affected...yet.
Sisters and brothers, please believe me that the Lord is calling you in this hour. The spirit realm is bustling about, preparing for what’s to come. The Holy Spirit is prompting you to step up to the plate now---because time is short! He is grieved when we ignore His leading. There are lost souls all around us who need to know Him. He’s prepared those whom He knows are ready. and arranging divine appointments for us to utilize. If we’re playing video games, living on facebook or watching TV, that soul could be lost forever. Pray for boldness! Pray for sharper discernment to be aware when these divine appointments are in front of you.
I’m preaching to myself friends! But God is pushing me, reminding me, stirring up His Presence inside me, to be alert. He wants me to push you as well. Take a deep breath as the Fall winds blow, listen with your spiritual ears and wait attentively to receive what He is leading you to do. The time is short. You have a mandate to live out His plan, follow His directions, and spread His message!
"Living in God's Rest...At Peace in a Chaotic World" "Masked in Deceit," and Faith's Illusions are all available now. Living in God's Rest can be purchased from any of your favorite booksellers online or in stores. Masked in Deceit and Faith's Illusions, Christian novels, are available from Amazon. All books are offered in ebook versions as well. I always appreciate reviews on the seller's sites. Just click the books below and you will find links to purchase.
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Have a blessed day!