Music Mondays- Peace Be Still Featuring Lauren Daigle with The Belonging Company

I don’t want to be afraid
Every time I face the waves
I don’t want to be afraid
I don’t want to be afraid
I don’t want to fear the storm
Just because I hear it roar
I don’t want to fear the storm
I don’t want to fear the storm

I love this recording by Lauren Daigle. When I listen to it, it reminds me to look to Jesus in while going through difficult times such as waking up with pain wondering how I will make it through a day.

There are two times recorded in the bible involving Jesus and his disciples. followers, being in a storm while in a boat. There was the time Jesus walked on the water through the storm and the time Jesus was sleeping in the boat when the storm came.

In Mark 4 we read about Jesus sleeping in the boat in the midst of the storm. The disciples were freaking out and woke him up. Jesus simple said 3 words, “Peace, be still,” and the storm stopped and the waters calmed.

In Matthew 14 we about Jesus walking on the water in the midst of a rough waters and says to his disciples who thought he was a ghost. “Take Courage, It is I. Do not be afraid.”.

Storms come and go in our lives. We face difficult times. In the difficult times, Jesus comes to us just as he did the disciples. Our worst problems he can quiet with a few words.

When Peter tried to walk out to Jesus on the water and faltered, Jesus didn’t let him drown. Jesus picked him up out of the water.

What so easily overwhelms us, Jesus has power over it.

I live with chronic illness. Jesus comes to me in the mornings as I pray to give me strength for the day.

We might live with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, yet Jesus will come to us.

Sometimes Jesus calms the storms in our lives and sometimes he joins in the midst of the storms and tells us to take courage because he is with us.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- Jesus Understands Inner Turmoil

Being in turmoil emotionally can be caused by many life experiences such as the death of a loved one, family problems, loss of a job, living with anxiety just to name a few.

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When I pray, it is comforting to know that Jesus understands. He understands because he lived in this life and experienced the ups and downs of this life. Inner turmoil, emotional turmoil. is something Jesus understands.

The night Jesus was arrested before he was crucified, he knew what was going to happen, He knew the plan. He was in a garden praying. He asked the Father if there could be another way, but said not my will but your will be done. His inner turmoil was such that before he prayed he told his disciples in Matthew 26:

“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

His prayer was so intense emotionally that we see in Luke 22:44

And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

When we are distressed and are not sure how to pray or what to pray, we can take comfort in knowing that Jesus understands inner turmoil and take comfort even more in knowing he can help. We read in Hebrews 4:

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need

Jesus understands and wants us to come to him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday-May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

What ever our struggles are in this life, Jesus wants us to come to him. He wants to come alongside us us. He has promised to never leave us. Jesus gave the open invitation in Matthew 11:

“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.”

If we need counseling, he will walk alongside us as we seek it.

If we need medical help, he will walk alongside us as we seek it.

I love this song. It expresses so well the sentiments of Jesus for those who struggle in life.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Special Surprise Before Surgery

This was me in the waiting area at an outpatient surgery center. I had minor surgery yesterday. Something made a huge difference for me. After I was taken back to the room to be prepped, I noticed Christian music was playing. They had a local Christian radio station on.

As I laid in the prep area listening to worship songs, it was a blessing to pray for people. It was the calmest I have felt in years in a medical facility. Being able to listen too worship songs before surgery was a special suprise.

This weekend will be blogger chat Saturday morning in Zoom, relaxing at home the rest of the day Saturday, church Sunday morning, and coffee shop Sunday afternoon. It will be a weekend to take it easy.

What are your weekend plans?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Wellness Wednesday- It Is Okay to Ask For Help

Trigger warning. This post deals with suicidal thoughts. If that makes you uncomfortable, please click away.

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As an American I have never understood why the UK keeps a monarchy nor the fascination with the Royal Family.. As someone who is busy with ministry and teaching, I have never been a big fan of talk shows like Oprah. I have always felt I have better things to do with my time. But when I saw a promo clip of the interview with Harry and Meghan, I decided to watch it. My motivation was simply to listen to someone give voice to what so many people struggle with- Depression and what some people struggle with- Suicidal Thoughts.

In the interview she shared that she confided in her husband Harry about her suicidal thoughts and that she needed help. Sharing that so publicly will hopefully help others to share with and confide in loved ones or people they trust.

She also shared that though she asked for help other than from her husband, she was not given help. That is very concerning.

Living with four chronic illnesses all of which have depression and anxiety as possible symptoms, I understand depression. I talked with my doctor and he prescribed medication for me to treat depression and Fibromyalgia. When I confided in one of my pastors, and he said, “Matt it is medical. You do not need to resign your ministry.” it was a moment I will never forget.

My experience has reinforced for me that God does indeed care. Jesus cares and works through other people. God wants us to ask for help.

There is hope for depression and struggling with suicidal thoughts. It is not only okay but wonderful to seek help. If family is not a safe place to confide in, there are school counselors, pastors, mental health facilities. There are hotline numbers.

In the USA-800-273-8255

In the UK- Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 90 90 (UK – local rate)
Hotline: +44 (0) 8457 90 91 92 (UK minicom)
Hotline: 1850 60 90 90 (ROI – local rate)
Hotline: 1850 60 90 91 (ROI minicom)

In Canada- 1.833.456.4566

There is always hope and we can ask for help. If we have depression, we can seek help. Talk with a doctor, a pastor, a trusted teacher, talk with someone. If medication is needed, it is not only okay but important to do so. If suicidal thoughts, PLEASE SEEK HELP.

I love the message in these videos. Stay Another Day and Your Story Isn’t Over Yet.

Wellness Wednesday-Depression/Anxiety-Jesus Cares

Last week I had a conversation with a colleague I mentor. My colleague is a young person who grew up in a Christian home. My friend struggles with depression/anxiety but is hesitant about seeking help because of the stigma such issues can have in some churches such as the one my friend grew up in.

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It saddens me to think that some churches place a stigma on mental health issues like depression and anxiety. If someone has diabetes, we would encourage them to take insulin and be careful about what they eat. The brain is part of our physical bodies. It is a physical organ just as the heart, lungs, and pancreas are.

That is why I share about how God helped me with depression and anxiety. I live with four chronic illnesses and each of them can cause depression/anxiety on their own. Put all four together, and no wonder depression and anxiety were issues for me. My hope is to lessen the stigma in churches.

My hope is to also share Jesus with others who struggle with depression/anxiety. When I think about things Jesus said such as in Matthew 11:

“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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

and what is written about how Jesus felt when he saw the large crowd of people in Matthew 9:

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Such verse help me realize that Jesus has great compassion for us. Such verses also help us to understand how approachable Jesus is when we struggle. His desire is to help us, restore us, and heal us. Yes, he does these things through others such as doctors and counselors too.

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Dear reader if you struggle with depression or anxiety, Jesus understands you, His arms are open saying, “Come to me and find rest” just as he said in Matthew 11. We can cast all of our concerns on him because he cares for us.

It is okay to ask for help.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

The Light in the Darkness- John 1

Have you ever walked down a dimly lit or a dark street at night? It can be a bit scary. In the night there are more crimes committed. It is also easy to stumble and hurt ones self walking in the dark. If we have a light, it makes it so much safer.

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Jesus came into the world that he created. He came to be a light in the darkness of this world. This world is in spiritual darkness. There are various kinds of dangers in the darkness of this world, addiction, abuse, failed relationships, illness, etc.

Jesus came into the world he created to be a light for us, to show us God. In John 1:4 we read:

In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 

Jesus is the source of life since he is the creator. He came here out of love to reclaim his most precious creation-human beings. We are the most precious part of creation to him. He is the light for all humans.

In John 1:5 we read:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Jesus still shines his light in this world for us. Interesting to me is the word for overcome in Greek- katalmbano using English letters for you- gives a meaning of acquire, grasp, lay hold of. It is a word full of meaning. The darkness has not overcome it, lay hold of it, so it has not and will not conquer the light of Jesus. The darkness has not grasped the light or understood.

Think about how startling it is when all of the sudden someone turns on a light. Our eyes close a bit as we adjust to the light. If we are sleeping and someone suddenly turns on a light to wake us up, we are confused for a bit.

Those in darkness are confused about Jesus. The darkness that has a hold of them cannot overcome the light of Jesus.

Jesus wants us to be children of the light and reach out to those in the darkness. He wants us to shine his light in this world.

If anyone feels trapped by addiction, relationship/family troubles, depression, or anything else, Jesus holds out his hand to you to help you.

Let us who follow Jesus take our light out to a troubled world. Seek out those in need of the hope only Jesus can give.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

World Mental Health Day- Jesus Understands Anguish

Today is World Mental Health Day. Unfortunately there is still stigma attached to mental health issues. Somehow it is forgotten that the brain is an organ that is part of our physical bodies.

We don’t say to a diabetic they are weak because they need insulin or to someone with asthma they don’t really need that inhaler.

As Christians, we are exhorted to bear one another’s burdens in Galatians 6. Depression and anxiety are burdens. Bi-Polar is a burden. God wants us to come alongside people who suffer to be supportive not judgemental.

As someone who has experienced depression/anxiety as symptoms of chronic illness, I understand how interconnected our bodies are. When one part of our bodies suffer, it can affect other parts of our bodies. Think about something as simple as lack of sleep for a few days and how it can affect one’s mood and it would only seem logical that physical ailments can contribute to mental health issues.

Jesus understands anguish. The night before he was crucified, he knew what was about to happen. He spent time praying and asked his disciples to be with him. We see in Matthew 26 Jesus saying:

“Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

In Luke 22 we see how much the anguish affected him:

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”

So if you struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues, please know that Jesus understands anguish and he invites you 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.”

The reason he gave is that he is gentle and humble of heart. Jesus has all power and yet he is gentle with those who seek him.

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

Interviewed on Instagram about Chronic Illness

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CFnFsQ0l9F8/?igshid=r6gvlo6wax0q

A few months ago, I felt the Lord impressing on me to share about chronic illness in my Instagram. Because of that I have been able to connect with other chronic illness spoonies from various countries. One of them is a woman in Sweden who goes by funniebunnie on Instagram. She does live interviews on her Instagram with people. She asked me to do one.

We did it today. It is a but long, but I wanted to share it with you. If you click on the link, you can view the interview.

Thank you

God Bless