Depression

Did You Believe That I Loved You?

I remember years ago hearing Brennen Manning for the first time. I had a tape of his talk Ruthless Trust which later became a book. My favorite quote from the book:

“The splendor of a human heart that trusts it is loved unconditionally gives God more pleasure than Westminster Cathedral, the Sistine Chapel, Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony”, Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”, the sight of 10,000 butterflies in flight, or the scent of a million orchids in bloom. Trust is our gift back to God, and he finds it so enchanting that Jesus died for love of it.”

So, do you believe you are loved unconditionally?

What if you just shot up with cocaine? What if you just had sex with a prostitute or looked at porn? What if you just got drunk? Does he still love you?

Brennan had to believe it. He had to because he struggled with alcohol. He remembers binges where he would literally end up in the gutter. In spite of his failures he still believed in the love of God.

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So, I have had to believe it too. I have habits and struggles with what we call addictions. Please pray for me! I haven’t been or behaved as someone I am proud of or even happy to be. I have been selfish and stubborn and most of all absent (even though I was there).

I still have to read An Open Letter to a Shitty Husband to wake me up to what a donkeys butt I’ve been (an ass squared) – so I can change. And ultimately, that’s what I’m ready for now. I lost a day of productivity today because I drank too many beers last night. I had nausea and a headache all day. I’ve also developed a new theory about puking.

And yet, in spite of it all and worse I really do believe God loves me. I believe he gently receives me back and holds me in his lap and says, “Let’s talk. I want to help you not to hurt yourself anymore. Do you trust me? Let’d do this together!”

I believe. And in spite of the nausea I also feel a tingle of Holy Spirit joy in the back of my head and a bright hope for the future.

Why? Because my God is a Good Good Father.

He greeted me this morning with one of the first songs my wife and I wrote together called Faithful God. Putting together the following video was about all I managed to do today… beside loving my wife (like really-best-friend-loving-my-wife-for-real!) which, so help me God, is going to turn into a very pleasant habit. Out with the old and in with the new.

“This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

This also means that we don’t stay drunks or porn addicts. We grow into and toward God’s unconditional love that makes us holy. Here is my talk and my song for you:

Categories: Alcohol, Depression, Love of God | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Freedom From Anxiety

I have been sharing a song at my nursing home concerts lately, Don’t Worry Be Happy. It is SO ridiculous and made me laugh as I learned it! It was also good to see Robbin Williams (may he rest in peace) dance around in the music video as well.

“Ain’t got no place to lay your head,
Somebody came and took your bed,
don’t worry, be Happy!
…look at me, I’m happy!”
(link to music video)

Do not worryWho of us doesn’t struggle with worry from time to time? I was reminded of some of Christ’s teaching on worry, and realized the message, “Don’t worry be happy!” is Christ’s message to all his children! Which is you if you have received Jesus Christ:

“But to all who believed him (Jesus) and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12 NLT

Jesus has such great things to say that can and will alter our perspective and calm our fearful, worried hearts:

“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

“So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
~ Jesus (Matthew 6:25-34 NLT <– click here if you want to read it in other translations)

Paul, by the Holy Spirit, encourages us not to be anxious for anything:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” ~ Paul (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

Again, by the Holy Spirit (the true author of Scripture) Peter writes:

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” 1 Peter 5:7 NLT (<–READ THE CONTEXT!)

So, if we do this, if we submit ourselves and all our cares into God’s care, we are truly rendered completely care free! We truly can be without any worry, without any fear (Because there is no fear in Love and God is Love in whom we live and have our being), without any concern for our survival because God has got that covered!

Jesus advice to us: pursue the kingdom of God with all we have! Learn to live righteously, and learn to give your every last concern to him so that his peace will gaurd your heart and mind.

MY STORY WITH ANXIETY AND PANIC ATTACKS

stop worryingI remember one time, many years ago, when I was so anxious I couldn’t sleep. It felt like demons of fear… no, fear is too soft of a word… it was more like stark terror and despair, were tormenting me, tempting me to give in and give up. A great sense of hopelessness came over me. I got up, went down stairs and plopped on the couch with a heavy heart and said, “Oh Jesus!” Heaven literally rushed into the room and I was in his comfort. It was amazing how quickly the atmosphere around me changed as I called out to Jesus.

The Bible says, “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.”

This was at a time in my life where I struggled with anxiety a great deal and coming out of severe depression. What set me free was the light of Christ. I remember how that spark of hope first appeared and then how it grew and grew over the years until my heart is now firmly rooted in God’s glorious love.

Thank you Jesus!

Categories: Depression | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

He is Love

A message of hope for all who may be depressed or are in despair and are in need of some encouragement today:

He is Love

If you can’t see past your pain and confusion
If you feel alone and overwhelmed by what you faced
If the circumstances of your heart feel too hard to navigate
& you feel so very far, far away

You’ve got to know there is joy beyond this heartache
You’ve got to see there is peace behind this storm
It all can change in a moment with Jesus
As his light drives the darkness away

He is love, He’s all around you
He is love, He’s come and found you
Feel His loving arms surround you
He is love, He is love, He is love

And if you’re broken and bewildered
And if you’re drowning in your pain
And if the sadness of depression
weighs you down every day… just know that…

He is love, He’s all around you
He is love, He’s come and found you
Feel His loving arms surround you
He is love, He is love, He is love

He knows your name, He feels your pain
He cares more deeply than you’ll ever know
He knows your name, He feels your pain
He cares more deeply than you’ll ever know

He is love, He’s all around you
He is love, He’s come and found you
Feel His loving arms surround you
He is love, He is love, He is love

If you can’t see past your pain and confusion
If you feel alone and overwhelmed by what you face
and the circumstances of your heart feel too hard to navigate
Jesus is here to heal you now, for He is love

I am depressed

So many of us are living lives of quiet (or not so quiet) desperation. We are desperate for a more meaningful life, more meaningful relationships, for a love that we hardly even know exists or have only caught fleeting glimpses of. We forget these glimpses as we pursue distractions and vain things to numb the pain, quench the longing, and occupy our restless minds.

But, you and I were created by a loving God for the love of Jesus. Nothing else will satisfy our hearts. No one else will satisfy… except Jesus alone. Do you believe this?

When I was in depression I came across a song about the comforting presence of Jesus that spoke to me. It lifted me out of my depression by reminding me that Jesus was with me and that made all the difference.

My hope for this song is that it will bring people comfort and encouragement to come to believe that Jesus love really does make all the difference. He gives us a reason to live.

Categories: Depression, Love of God, Reflect Worship Music | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Cure for Depression… Interested?

Today I share my “secret” for what prevents me from ever slipping back into depression ever again! My secret is found in a promise Jesus made:

“However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.” (John 6:37 NLT <– Please click the link for context!)

Are you coming to Jesus?

If you are then it must be said that the very act of you coming to Jesus signifies that the Father is giving you as a gift to Jesus!

Would the Father give a junk gift?

Doesn’t that make you feel special?

It should!

You are gift!

Jesus then guarantees that if you come to him he will not reject you! Did you just hear that? He can’t reject you! What a promise!

This promise from Jesus has singlehandedly rescued my soul from slipping into despair countless times. I trust it will do the same for you.

Once you get a promise like this rooted firmly in your heart, then so many other Scriptures and promises will come to life for you as well. Search them out. The Gospel of John is a good place to Start reading… and believing!

Once you come to Jesus, you obviously now have Jesus in your life and Jesus and depression mix about as well as oil and water. His joy becomes your strength and displaces depression! Get to know him!

The Lord used the following song to speak to me very powerfully today. I trust it will for you as well:

COME TO JESUS!

Lyrics:

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden’s lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don’t be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we fall…so
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can’t contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
You kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

Let me know if this has helped you! Help others by sharing this!

Categories: Depression | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

“I Hurt Myself Today…”

These are the opening lyrics to Johnny Cash’s cover song, Hurt.

Someone reminded me of this song recently. I played it just the other day at a concert I was overwhelmed with God’s compassion for those who are in addictions. It doesn’t matter what it is, drugs, sexual bondages, alcohol… Jesus hurts for you. He hurts with you. As I performed the song, a scene from Pay it Forward flashed in my mind. I didn’t even know why until 30 seconds ago when I looked it up and watched it.

I am now crying.

Jesus is our merciful High priest who ever lives to intercede for us.

For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Hebrews 2:17-18

Jesus wants to fix your heart. Will you let him?

Categories: Alcohol, Depression | Tags: | 3 Comments

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