Friday, July 29, 2011

Finding meaning - part 2

A long time ago I wrote an article that said some things that I feel might have been misunderstood. How I regretted saying some of the things I did!

I expressed my regret in a comment on the article. As a result, the director of Christian Info Society invited me to write a Part 2 where I could explain myself better.

That article is now online. I do hope you'll visit the Canadian Christianity website and have a look.

Wow! I feel so much better to see it there!

Monday, July 25, 2011

This is the day

My off and on glitches of bad mood continue. Last night was not good. But this morning I was on the patio by 4:45, listening to the birds as I watched it get light. Such a wonderful time with God! Nice and quiet. Too dark yet to read or write. All I could do was sit in the stillness and sip on my coffee. This is the day the Lord has made.

Isn't it wonderful how God makes every day new? Isn't it neat how a good night's sleep will allow you to start fresh in the morning?

Then some quiet time with God, gathering strength and encouragement for the day. God is good.

This evening I have the promise of spending some quality time with a friend who means a lot to me. How I look forward to that! She doesn't very often have time to do this, so this is very special. I'm very grateful.

Yes, as we concluded at last Friday's Living Room meeting, we do need friends too. God wants us to have friends to whom we can reach out when we're in trouble.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oh to be a David!

I've been running into glitches - at least I hope that's all they are. Last week I felt depressed for an evening and a day and today I am once more. I'm doing all I can to try to escape. Trouble is, in my effort to stay afloat I reach out to friends and I think they're probably getting tired of me. They have enough problems of their own.

If I could only do what I will be talking about on Friday - the devotional I shared in yesterday's post! If going to God would only be enough for me!

But no, I feel a need to cry out and complain to people "with skin on," wanting to make sure I'm heard (and felt sorry for). This past couple of hours though, I've been reading and praying the Psalms. The psalmists have such good ways with words, describing exactly the way I feel. By reading the Psalms I'm encouraged to believe; I'm encouraged to trust. If only I could be a David, and talk to God the way he does and trust so whole-heartedly the way he does.

What consoles me is remembering something I've said a number of times: "I almost have to experience depression once in a while if I'm going to do the work God has given me to do." If I'm going to be a good facilitator and understand fully the people I work with and for, I need to remember what it's like to suffer in that way, don't I?

And that makes me feel there's a purpose to all this pain. It's not for nothing.

Jesus said, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:8) At times like this I understand fully what He meant.

I just pray that all this will translate into a good, heart-felt delivery of the devotional topic on Friday - "Intimacy with God." I pray that God's power will be made perfect. And I pray that I'll go to God first while I go through this. I also pray that this is not the beginning of something bigger. I need to try nipping this in the bud in whatever way I can.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Intimacy with God

I've been working on the devotional for Living Room for this Friday. As usual, this one grew out of my own experience, combined with the reading I've been doing.

A while back I was reading Traveling Light by Max Lucado. And I noted how he said that "loneliness is the absence of intimacy." He went on to say how loneliness could be looked on as a gift from God, because when we're lonely and have no one close who we can be honest and intimate with, we would be forced to go to God. He'd be the only one left to go to.

But I so disagree with him and I feel it was a somewhat insensitive thing to say. So many of us living with depression have a hard time going to God when we're in the depths.

I so very much need people with skin on too. A person I can have a coffee with. A person who will respond to what I have to say. I need more than God alone. I need the love of people who represent Him. I need a regular "fix" of people like this. The best are from my church family - people I worship with, people who are spiritually on the same page as me, people who will support me and who I, in turn, can give support to.

There are times when I'm so lonely. Often when depression threatens and especially when depression has taken hold. God seems further away and then I really do need to be reminded I'm loved. And I have found that God does love through people. People can, and have been, God's hands for me. I don't think loneliness is a gift as Lucado claimed.

In his book, One Life, Scot McKnight says, “The dream of Jesus [the kingdom of heaven] never lets anyone dwell in solitude.” So maybe it’s not so bad to need your friends? …but I suppose to rely on them is a bit different, isn’t it? In the end, God is the only one we can truly rely on, isn’t He? People will at times let us down. Our friends are needy as well at times. They can’t always be there for us.

But God is always there for us, even though at times He may seem distant. In fact, He longs for us to reach out to Him. We always long to feel God’s presence, but have you ever thought that God probably longs for us more than we long for Him? Brennan Manning even wrote a book called The Furious Longing of God. By “furious” he referred to the enormous vitality and strength of God – loving us with intense energy. How God wants us to spend time with Him!

A verse that really spoke to me and gave me a lot of comfort some time ago when I was going through a long and deep depression was Zephaniah 3:17:

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

Only thing was, I was too down to be able to think of God rejoicing, singing, or taking delight in me. I left that part of the verse out. Mostly what I focused on during those painful days, was "He will quiet you with his love."

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What can your church do?

Today we launched the Eventbrite page, publicizing the workshop Living Room will be having on September 17th. If you know of anyone who might be interested in attending could you pass this info along to them?

Mood Disorders: What Can Your Church Do?
Creating a "Living Room" Peer Support Group

Saturday, September 17, 2011, 9AM–1:30PM
Burnaby, British Columbia | Brentwood Park Alliance Church

* Receive a better understanding about mood disorders.
* What does it mean for your church?
* How can your church help with the need in your congregation and community?
* What is a “Living Room” faith-based peer support group?
* Is a “Living Room” peer support group right for your church?
* Does your church have someone who could facilitate a group?

For detailed information check:
A workshop for church leaders and people with mood disorders

We'd so much like to see more people have access to faith-based mood disorder support groups.