Music Mondays- Love On The Line by Hillsong

To The One Who Has Rescued My Soul

To The One Who Has Welcomed Me Home

Jesus loves all people. Because of his love for all of us, he left heaven to be born as a baby to grow to be a man to die for us.

He did it to rescue the souls of all who will receive him.

He welcomes home anyone who will receive him.

No matter what our circumstances are, what our mistakes are, what our messes in life are, he will rescue the souls of all who receive him and welcome them home.

Depression? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Anxiety? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Family problems? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Illness? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Life struggles? Jesus welcomes you home to himself.

Thank you for reading. God Bless. Be blessed by this song. 🙂

The Holidays Are Over, So…

Winter blues?

Photo by Benjamin Suter on Pexels.com

The Holidays are over. Christmas and New Years have come and gone. If I was living in a warm climate like some of my followers in places like South Africa, Australia, Jamaica, Antigua, Brazil or other warm places, I would perhaps go to the beach.

But for those of us in the U.S., Canada, and other northern countries, when the holidays are over, it means it is just boring winter time. We have more hours of dark than sunlight and it is cold.

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Sound depressing? For some it can be.

Soon I will be back to teaching classes, next week in fact. It helps to get back to real life after a break. But as someone who lives with depression.anxiety caused by chronic illness, what helps me the most?

Each day I realize there is opportunity for me to share the love of Jesus with refugees and immigrants. Each morning I begin my day in prayer and listening to worship music. It is my relationship with Jesus that helps me the most.

It also helps to get out and be with people. I enjoy going to coffee shops. The ones I go to regularly are places that I know the people who work there. I have also met some of the other regular customers.

Visiting my refugee and immigrants friends is great. We eat, drink tea afterwards and sit and talk. Thursday evening I did just that. I visited a family from Iraq. We ate dinner and then sat down for tea and conversation for a few hours.

Writing helps too. Although I tend to get absorbed in it and forget to do things like eat until I am really really hungry.

What do you do to beat the winter blues? Or for those in warmer climates the pot-holiday blues. 🙂

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Thank You

Photo by Giftpundits.com on Pexels.com

Well it is the last day of 2019 and I feel it is time to say THANK YOU to my followers especially those who comment and interact with me.

It has been quite the year of blogging for me. My blog has grown from 300 followers to over 850 this past year.

It has been encouraging to see the response as I followed the Lord leading me to share on my blog including sharing about chronic illness and depression/anxiety. 2 Corinthians 1 talks about the God of all comfort who comforts us so we can in turn comfort others. I hope I have been able to comfort others through my blog this past year.

I plan to continue to share about my experiences with refugees and immigrants and also about life with chronic illness and depression.anxiety as well as posts about my faith.

Thank you to my followers. I would like to give a special shout out to the ones who have interacted with me so much through comments.

Dawn

Deandra

Beverley

Brenda

Rene

Deborah

Jenny

Herry

Sarah

Ryan

Thank you for reading. God Bless and Happy New Year. 🙂

Music Mondays- Be Still by Hillsong

 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46

With a new year approaching a mix of feelings and thoughts can come. Anxiety can arise. Concerns about what the new year will bring can burden us. Perhaps excitement over possibilities will be experienced. No matter the inner experience in our thought life and our emotions, there is one thing for sure- None of us can control the future.

However, God is in control even if everything seems crazy in the world. Even better, he loves us. That is why God commands us to Be Still and know that he is God.

I think with an election year coming that one thing we know is that it is about get even crazier in the U.S. BUT- Be Still and know that God is God.

There is turmoil in the world BUT- Be Still and know that God is God.

We face illness BUT- Be Still and know that God is God.

There are many struggles in life BUT- Be Still and know that God is God.

Because he is God, his mercy and love will follow those who believe in him those who have accepted his son Jesus.

One of my goals for the new year is to take more time to Be Still in the presence of Jesus.

I want to share Be Still by Hillsong with you. Thank you for reading. God Bless and take time to Be Still. 🙂

Music Mondays- Behold Him by Paul Baloche and Kim Walker Smith

In the midst of all the busy preparations for Christmas it is too easy to lose focus on WHY we have Christmas.

Christmas is a time to remember and celebrate Jesus being born as a human infant, so he he could grow to be a man to be our Savior by dying on the cross and defeating death for us through his resurrection. I love the lyrics of Behold Him such as:

He who was before there was light
Walked across the pages of time
He who made every living thing
Behold Him

He who heard humanity’s cry
Left His throne to wake as a child
He became like the least of us
Behold Him

Yes he heard humanity’s cry. He hears the cry of those who struggle in life. That is why he left his throne in heaven to come as a human baby. He heard the cries of people desperate for hope.

Whatever our struggle in life is, depression, anxiety, chronic illness, financial problems, family problems, Jesus heard the cry of humanity and came.

I love this song because it gives the complete picture of Jesus and not just Jesus as a baby. He has all power. He came for us because he loves us. This song is my theme song for this Christmas season. I prayed it will bless you as much or more than it has blessed me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- Light of the World by Lauren Daigle

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
A child prays for peace on Earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel

Longing for hope, there are so many reasons people can be longing for hope.

Perhaps it is struggling with depression or anxiety.

Perhaps it is illness.

Perhaps it is loss of a loved one.

Perhaps it is family problems.

Whatever the struggles are that we have, a common thing all who struggle share is a longing for hope.

I love this song by Lauren Daigle because it focuses on who brings us hope. Hope was born to us on the first Christmas when Jesus was born. Jesus is the one who can give us hope, light, love, answers. and reconciliation with God.

Jesus is Emmanuel- God with us. Jesus came because he wants to be with us. Let that sink in. No matter how messed up our lives are, Jesus wants to be with us.

I prayed that this song blesses you as much or more than it blessed me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Music Mondays- O Holy Night by Hillsong

O Holy Night is one of my favorite Christmas songs. The message and music are powerful. The message of lyrics like:

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the Soul felt its worth

Speak to me and inspire me every time I listen. The message of Christmas is that God loves us so much that Jesus left heaven to become a human baby, so that as an adult he could die for our sins. That is how much worth we have to God.

Whatever our struggle is whether it is addiction, depression, anxiety, family problems, whatever it is, God values us so much that Jesus came for us.

I thought about sharing this one the Monday before Christmas Eve, but felt I should share it today. I hope as you listen that you will remember how valuable you are to God and how much he loves you.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Sunday Morning- Chronic Illness Flare But Was Blessed at Church

When I have a flare up of chronic illness, the temptation for me is to stay home in my baggy sweat clothes and just chill out. Sunday morning I woke up and barely had the energy to get out of bed. I was tempted to stay home, but then I thought of my friends who come to my Sunday morning group. So I forced myself to get going, drank a cup of coffee, got ready, and went to church.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

I am SO GLAD I did. Due to living with chronic illness, depression and anxiety are issues for me. My pastor taught from Philippians 4 via Luke Luke 12. He started with a statement that blessed me so much. He said:

“Mental Illness is not spiritual weakness”

I am sharing the link to his message in this post. I highly recommend it for anyone who has anxiety or depression. The reason is because he does an excellent job of sharing truths such as- God is Eager to share his kingdom with us.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

My morning began with a barely uttered prayer of-“I need you to carry me through this day Lord. My pain is bad and I have no energy.” That was all I could prayer. But then setting out to go to church was in itself a prayer of trusting the Lord.

My Sunday morning group we read about Gabriel visiting Mary and talked about Mary’s great faith to trust God to take care of her after she agreed to his plan.

Then I went to worship service. The music was uplifting. But when my pastor said, “Mental Illness is not spiritual weakness” the Lord ministered to me so much.

Sadly, there is stigma when it comes to depression and anxiety disorders. I will never forget offering to resign my ministry because I needed to start medication for depression and anxiety. I have lived with chronic illness for over 25 years and it has whittled away at me. When I offered to resign, I was told it is medical and I would not resign. That was a huge blessing.

But to hear my pastor say-“Mental Illness is not spiritual weakness” and teach about how much God loves us, it was an over the top blessing.

Jesus invited all who struggle in life to come to him. In Matthew 11 he said:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

The reason Jesus gives for us to come to him is that he is gentle and humble of heart. He has all power. He created all of creation. Yet he doesn’t say come to me because of my power. He says come to me because I am gentle and humble of heart. So yes has has all power to help us, but he wants us to know he is gentle.

I love what is recorded in Isaiah 4 and repeated in Matthew 12:

” A bruised reed he will not break,
    and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out”

That is in the midst of talking about the power of the Messiah-Jesus. Jesus will not break a bruised reed. He stops to heal it. Jesus’s desire is to heal us. He waits for us to come to him, so he can gently heal us.

The video is about 50 minutes, but if you struggle with anxiety, depression, worry, or anything, it is well worth the time. Just click on Message from my pastor below.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Message from my pastor

Music Mondays- Be Still by Travis Greene

I love this song by Travis Greene for the message in it and also the music. He is so gifted as a musician.

The message is so fitting in the days in which we live. There is so much turmoil in the world.

Also with the holidays coming, it is a good message to remember.

The message is simple- Be Still and know that God is God. He is in control. He has all power.

Struggle with depression and anxiety- Be Still and know that He is God. He has his hands out to you. He is with you.

Living with chronic illness- Be Still and know that He is with you.

Family Problems- Be Still and know that He is with you.

Financial Problems- Be Still and know that He is with you.

Being still means to be still in our souls and spirits. Yes we need to do what we need to do. Maybe we need counseling. Maybe we need input from a pastor or trusted friend. Maybe we need to take action steps.

BUT

God is with us and wants us to trust him, to come to him. to be still in our spirits.

I hope this song blesses you as much or more than it blessed me.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Time With Jesus

Thursday mornings in my Family Literacy Class we have speakers come to talk about issues that help families with translators in class. Yesterday the speaker talked about attachment for infants and children and what is healthy attachment. She told the students that if a baby cries because mom leaves the room it is developmentally appropriate attachment.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I raised my hand and asked if my students cry when I leave the room if that would be appropriate attachment. All of my students laughed.

I left the room for a while to take care of some things. When I came back, I asked if anyone cried. They laughed and one of them said, “We know you are coming back.”

Attachment is so important for anyone who follows Jesus. Jesus said In John 15:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Did you catch the last part? Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. We are dependent on him for the air we breathe to stay alive. He created everything, so yes we need him to stay alive in this life. But he is talking about spiritual life. The life of living for him, serving him, and sharing his love. We can’t do it without Jesus.

We go through difficult times and might wonder where Jesus is or when he will work on our behalf. We can wait and pray which is healthy or we can feel sorry for ourselves and doubt which is not healthy. The antidote for our fear and doubt is not what some would think. Some would say we need more faith. The bible says we need God’s love. In 1 John 4 we see:

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”

We need to spend time with Jesus and soak in his love for us.We need relationship with him, to be connected with him.

Hannah of gracetobeimperfect.com shared a wonderful post about how solitude helps with anxiety. She refers to time with Jesus. It is a wonderful post to read. The post is Silence and Solitude.

Living with depression./anxiety caused by chronic illness, I feel a connection when I read Hannah’s posts. My time with Jesus in the morning is so important for me. Jesus always wants time with us. The question is do we want time with him?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.