Thanksgiving 2017 – Recovery Guide for Depression

Thanksgiving 2017 – Recovery Guide for Depression

• Think a good day. To make a good day, first see it as good in your consciousness. Do not allow any reservations that it will not be good. Events are largely governed by creative thought, so a positive concept of the day will strongly tend to condition the concept to be as imagined. Do you want a good day? Of course you do. Who doesn’t? So why not start every day with a positive statement combined with an attitude that the day is going to be a good day?
• Thank a good day. Give thanks in advance for the good day ahead. Have an attitude of gratitude as you look in the mirror and see your reflection. The Bible says you were made in God’s image, and He makes no mistakes. Your physical, emotional, and personal attributes come from your parents. However, ultimately, you were created by God. Thank and affirm a good day and it will be a good day. In Philippians 4:6 (NIV) it is written: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
• Plan a good day. Specifically and definitely know what you propose to do with the day. Plan your work and work your plan. Good days don’t happen by accident; they require discipline, proper rest, nourishment, and exercise just to sustain the energy to accomplish your plan. Planning takes creativity and thought, which take time and effort, but all are an investment that truly pays dividends. Having a plan is just the beginning. Working a plan requires diligence, persistence, and tenacity. When a day is completed as planned, you will feel a great sense of accomplishment, which will boost your confidence and faith in God. In Proverbs 13:4 (NIV), God tells us, “The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the diligent are fully satisfied.”
• Put good into the day. Put bad thoughts, bad attitudes, and bad actions into a day and the day will take on bad characteristics. Put good thoughts, good attitudes, and good actions into a day and the day will be good. Clear all those bad thoughts from your head by crowding them out with good thoughts. You have the mental capacity for one or the other, but you can’t hold on to both. Yes, you can discuss the pros and cons, you can think about the bad and the good, but only one will be implanted in your mind. So crowd the bad, the negative, and the ugly out with the good, the positive, and the beautiful. Make the decision that all your actions will reflect good.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:15 (NIV), Paul writes: “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”
• Pray a good day. Start the day with prayer, thanking God for yesterday and for the great day that just began. Begin each day with that powerful affirmation from Psalms 118:24 (NIV): “This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Start the day with prayer and finish it the same way. Then it is bound to be good even if it brings challenging experiences.
• Fill the day with enthusiasm. Give the day all you’ve got and it will give you all it’s got, which will be plenty. Enthusiasm makes a big difference in any relationship or circumstance. It’s truly amazing what happens to the day when you are enthusiastic about your family, job, and life. Enthusiasm is contagious. Who doesn’t like being around someone who is positive and full of life? You can be that person. In Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NIV) are found the words, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom.”

Try this today and every morning going for forward and you will be amazed as you develop an attitude of gratitude!

Condensed from Chapter Four “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”

The Art of Encouragement- Spiritual Guide for Depression

In a society of information overload it can be very difficult to keep our thoughts and discussions positive. Like most people, I listen to the radio when I’m driving my vehicle, I have a news homepage on my computer and I watch cable news on TV. So, with what amounts to a deluge of mostly negative information, is it possible to be positive and encourage others? Yes, I believe it is possible, though it takes practice, patience and a desire to reach out. These approaches can be mastered by anyone, which is why I call them an “art”: I don’t think they happen by accident.
Joshua 1:1-8:
“After the death of Moses, the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, son of Nun, Moses’ aide: Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give them to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you: do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Joshua was called upon to lead a large group of people into a new territory. His first obstacle was to cross the Jordan River when it was in flood stage. Back then they did not have bridges or ferries to provide a means to cross. They had one option available and that was to walk, so that’s exactly what they did. They were told to follow the priest “since you have never been this way before,” which is the same place many people are finding themselves in today. Joshua was worried, scared and overwhelmed, which is why God tells him several times to “BE STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS.”
In the last month, we have witnessed three of the largest and most devastating hurricanes ever to strike the city of Houston and the communities and cities of Florida and Puerto Rico. Thousands of people experienced these hurricanes first hand. Some stayed in their homes while others were forced to evacuate and spend days and weeks in shelters, hotels and volunteers’ homes. The devastation has been catastrophic, with lost lives, homes and personal belongings. As hard as it might be to live through these events, all the buildings and personal belongings can be replaced. Homes can be rebuilt and personal belongings can be replenished. It has been heartwarming to see such a large number of volunteers and huge donations to help the many thousands of people affected.
Worried, scared and overwhelmed is not a place anyone aspires to find themselves. That’s why it’s so important to support and encourage the people working hard to be of help. To support and encourage takes effort, a desire to listen and an attitude to want to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Encouragement usually comes from listening to someone and lifting their spirits by verbal and physical actions that demonstrate that you care. Encouragement can also be expressed through notes, cards, flowers, donations or gifts.
The “art of encouragement” can become second nature if you’re willing to invest your daily energies to make someone else’s life better. Open your eyes and your heart and you will understand what I’m talking about. If you want to make a difference in this world, start in your family, church and neighborhood.

YOU CAN DO IT! – Depression Recovery Guide

During adversity, our true character shines through. Put one foot in front of the other and don’t stop. On vacation one time, a friend and I decided to go for a hike in the mountains, just outside Big Sky, Montana. It was a beautiful September day, and we didn’t set any specific goals or talk about a particular destination; we just decided to hike three to four hours up the mountain, eat lunch, and hike back, assured as we were that on this well-traveled trail the hike would be easy.
But as we climbed, the air became thinner and breathing became more difficult, to the point where we had to stop walking in order to eat or talk. We followed the trail along a stream, crossed the stream, climbed some more, and then found ourselves in a dazzling meadow brimming with colorful wildflowers and framed by a thick grove of pine trees, with the stream seemingly meandering toward the sky. Suddenly, as if in a dream, there it was: the top of the mountain. In an instant, the goal was obvious to both of us: we had to make it to the summit. We just knew the view from that mountaintop would be beyond description. What had begun as a leisurely hike with no real objective or destination had now become a quest, motivated by our determination to make it to the top.
This mountain was going to be conquered. Sometimes all it takes is a glimpse of the top, a new turn, or a crossing over the stream, and you look up and there’s a whole new perspective—wildflowers, a new challenge, the stream you’ve been following and crossing now appearing to be flowing to the heavens. The challenge looms before you, and you say to yourself, I can get there. The air may become thinner, but it doesn’t matter because you adjust: you stop talking, you stop eating, and you start doing, moving, walking, one foot in front of the other.
The top will never be reached if you never start, or if you start but stop as the breathing gets harder or the work more difficult. So start right now and don’t stop till the summit is at your feet.
Something else I remember about that hike is that the top was farther away than it looked. Distance in the mountains can be difficult to gauge, and often objects are farther off than one assumes. Also, the weather that day changed with no warning: due to the high elevation, the temperature dropped, and as my friend and I climbed we even experienced snow flurries. In other words, even as the path was leading us toward our goal, the conditions were worsening, our environment was changing, and the degree of difficulty was increasing. Sounds a lot like life, doesn’t it? But we didn’t quit. We kept climbing, with the air thinning, temperatures dropping, snow blowing, and muscles tiring—up and up and up. Our eyes were set on the peak. We knew our view from the top would be so vivid, we never considered turning back.
Once my hiking friend and I had set our goal to reach the top, failure to do so was not acceptable. After continual zigging and zagging, after resting to eat and catch our breath, after following the trail for nine miles, we triumphantly reached the summit. The view was everything we had dreamed it would be and more. The air was crystalline, and we took in breathtaking views for twenty or thirty miles in all directions. But it was so cold we couldn’t stay very long. So, you might ask, was it worth it? Without question. Even if you were to disregard the spectacular view and take into account the hasty retreat, it was worth it . . . because we reached our goal.
Returning to the trailhead was a seemingly endless hike, and since we didn’t have flashlights, we had to keep up the pace to make it back before dark. To celebrate the day’s achievement we went to a local restaurant where we feasted on two big steaks and joyously relived the events of the day.

Courage – Spiritual Guide for Depression

I love this word because it inspires and motivates. When I think of courage I think of the men and women who serve in our military. They leave all the comforts of home and family and put themselves in harm’s way to defend the weak, free the oppressed or help those suffering from catastrophes. I think of the courage it takes for the person who becomes disabled due to serving in our military.
I also think of the courage it takes for a mother or father when their child is fighting for their life with a disease, or the person who hears a negative report from their physician about a medical test. It takes courage to have an opinion about something that differs from your peers or mainstream thinking. It takes courage to tell the truth when your boss instructs you to lie. It takes courage to admit you’ve made a mistake and need to apologize. It takes courage to accept a person’s childhood that was less than perfect and move on. It takes courage to realize you have alcohol or drug dependencies and need help. It takes courage to be responsible sometimes. Life is full of challenges; it takes courage to deal with its ups and downs. It takes courage to stand up for important values that you hold dear.
In the Bible we read in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua was asked by God to lead the children of Israel. The children of Israel were a divided people who complained and were very difficult to manage. The previous leader was Moses, and Joshua was one of his subordinates. He worked with Moses for years and understood the difficulties Moses dealt with and the huge task before him, the magnitude of the job and his future responsibilities. He feared failure, rejection, exhaustion and for his life. He was reminded, as we are, of a commandment from God: “Be Strong and Courageous.”
Joshua’s first task as the new leader of Israel was to cross the Jordan River at flood stage and conquer a well-built fortress called Jericho. This was a huge, overwhelming task and battle, but Joshua heard God’s words “Be Strong and Courageous” and stepped up to the task at hand. He led the children of Israel, the Bible says the water actually parted and they crossed the Jordan, walking on the river’s dry ground, when, the Bible says, the river’s waters parted. Joshua and the Israelites then circled Jericho once a day blowing rams’ horns for six days. Then on the seventh day, they circled the fortress seven times, blew their horns and shouted and the walls of Jericho collapsed. The people inside surrendered, giving the children of Israel a conclusive victory and increasing their faith in God and His appointed leader, Joshua.
Here are courage boosters to help give you strength:
Proverbs 28:1— “The wicked flee though no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Psalm 34:4— “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.”
Psalm 27:1-3— “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then I will be confident.”
Remember what God said in Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be Strong and Courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

A Good Person – Recovery Guide for Depression

Proverbs 12:2 (NIV), says, “A good man obtains favor from the Lord.” To be a good man or a good woman is admirable at all times, and the thought of obtaining favor from the Lord is awesome. The Lord smiles when men and women are good, so He blesses them with His favor. I believe through His word that God desires men and women to think about being good, doing good, and receiving good.
Here’s my description of a good person: someone who does the right thing regardless of whether anyone is watching. He or she thinks before speaking and, understanding the power (positive or negative) of words, is careful to speak kindly to and of others. A good person chooses to lift up rather than tear down. A good person cares about every family member, from grandparents to his or her own children. A good person has wide shoulders and puts in a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. A good person takes time to listen to his or her spouse and children and help, nourish, and cherish them. A good person is a protector, provider, and counselor. He or she leads the family spiritually, financially, and emotionally by example, never faltering or wavering. A good person is trustworthy, tells the truth, and lives by the truth. A good person apologizes for a mistake and is quick to ask for forgiveness. A good person is a peacemaker at home, work, church, and in the public. A good person serves when called upon, gives back to his or her community, and gives to those less fortunate. A good person is slow to complain, looks for solutions, encourages others, and is quick to offer a smile and compliment because he or she understands the value of other human beings. A good person knows love as described in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 (NIV):
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered; it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
No wonder a person like this obtains favor from the Lord. But to become a person like this requires God’s grace, prayer, and determination. To be all of the above all of the time is impossible because we are human, but His word encourages us to pursue these good traits.

Words – Depression Recovery Guide

Life’s challenges have a way of bringing out the best in us—and sometimes the worst. Some people shine like beacons while others lash out, and still others fall apart and in extreme cases jump off bridges to end it all. I want to discuss the lashing-out and falling-apart types. If you live long enough, life will definitely throw you a curveball, by which I mean a challenge you never saw coming and which completely catches you off guard. It’s usually not fun; however, as you work through it, you often grow emotionally and spiritually and gain strength you may not have known you had.
The tongue is very small yet capable of causing a significant amount of trouble. People go wagging it about without giving a second thought to the devastation it can cause or the harm it can do.
In Psalms 34:13 (NIV), David says, “Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” He gives us a short sentence with a huge message and a piece of extremely good advice. Of course, “evil” is a subjective term. Some people think others deserve a good tongue-lashing regardless of the ramifications of their words. And haven’t we all at one time or another said that if nothing else we would feel better because we got something weighty off our chest? But ask yourself this question: did you really feel better? I never felt better after lashing out at someone, even if I thought that person deserved it. Almost always, he or she will become defensive or aggressive because his or her feelings may have been hurt. Moreover, things are said by both parties that damage the other. Are such damaging words “evil”? I don’t know, but they’re unquestionably not good.
Lashing out at someone with emotional, explosive words spoken with hateful intent seems to be more commonplace when people are under financial or personal stress. Are you living under such stress? Is it possible that lashing out has become the primary means of dealing with your stress? Chances are you can’t answer that question objectively, because in your eyes you can’t see or don’t want to believe that you would behave in such a manner. Therefore, ask a loved one or friend to be honest and tell you the truth.
Please don’t misunderstand. I’m not trying to accuse anyone. I’m being extremely truthful from my own experience, and fortunately God helped me to recognize my personal path of destruction before my behavior alienated my whole family. What you communicate can be the “kiss of death.” If you belittle, criticize, correct, embarrass, or ridicule someone, regardless of the situation, you can deliver a kiss of death to their emotional and spiritual well-being—and to your own.