There’s a very short story in the Bible where Jesus’ disciples found themselves in the middle of a lake in a boat when a “furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.” (Mark 4:37.)

We are all living in the middle of a furious squall, and for many it may feel as though the waves are breaking over the sides of our boat and we’re nearly swamped. None of us has ever experienced anything like this coronavirus pandemic. Furious storms come in many different forms and sizes, and this one happens to be huge. However, I want to remind you that God is huge. He created the world. He’s helped men win battles, overcome giants and survive floods, droughts, pestilence and, yes, even  pandemics for millennia. The disciples were scared for their lives; I’m sure that if their boat had capsized, they all would have drowned.

Regardless of your personal circumstances, these are unprecedented times, and our world in current times has never experienced anything like this. Fear is very real and is especially magnified when we don’t know the outcome. The disciples called on Jesus and asked Him , “Don’t you care if we drown?” This is the best part: “He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Quiet. Be still’.” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:38-40)

God still performs miracles! Don’t be afraid – Jesus does  care. Just call on Him  as his disciples did and He  will rebuke this storm and you will experience the Calm .



Break Free



Can you relate to words like “bitterness,” “hate,” “,” “sadness,” “guilt,” “anxiousness,” “weariness,” “irritability,” and “hostility”? Do those words describe you? Our inner self is similar to a room with a limited capacity: there’s only so much area, and some things cannot coexist. Light and dark or hot and cold cannot coexist—it’s either one or the other. Our personality, demeanor, and attitude are much the same. If you harbor bitterness and hate in your heart, it’s difficult to be happy, experience joy, or express love. You’re either happy or you’re sad. Which will you choose?

Do “happiness,” “joy,” “peacefulness,” “friendliness,” “love,” “forgiveness,” “generosity,” “restfulness,” and “patience” best describe you? Consider these choices that we all, or most of us, face in our lives:


How hard is it to break free from the ball and chain that keeps you in this cycle of depression and despair? Is it possible to break free? Yes. By yourself, it can be very difficult. That’s why I’ve written this book: to outline a solution that really works.

The people I’ve written about, and I count myself among them, are real people with real problems of depression and thoughts of suicide. There is a solution. I’ve only written of a few people, but there are millions who have experienced the miracle of being saved by Jesus Christ. Why are there millions? Because it works, it’s real, and His love surpasses anything they or I have ever experienced.

Will your problems, issues, circumstances, and aches and pains disappear? Probably not. Will they improve and get better? Most assuredly—because now you will have a new friend who will help give you the ability and power to be stronger, change your circumstances, direct your path in righteousness, keep you clean from addictions, remove the hate and replace it with love, break those chains and shackles of depression, and fill your life with joy and happiness. The feeling of despair will be removed for good and replaced with the hope of eternal life.


The Perfect Gift That Everyone Likes

Merry Christmas! Here’s a gift you can give to anyone including a stranger. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, two years old or 102 years old. This is the perfect gift. Your political views will not matter because this is truly a non-partisan gift— would be welcomed by Democrats, Republicans or Independents. It’s free, so you can give it to anyone in any position and not break any gifting laws. It will not offend, making it politically correct for all religions, countries, cultures, social circles, occupations, media entities, educational organizations and governmental institutions.   (Did I mention this gift is free?) It may cost you a little pride, depending on your reputation and historical attitude toward others. The beauty of this gift is that it can be given over and over and no one ever gets tired of it. It’s even re-giftable.

This gift is tailored to the recipient, making it unique, which is why 99% of those receiving this gift smile and say, “Thank you.” It’s easy to attain and wrap. This gift is appreciated, has been around for a very long time and is always a hit. Since it’s free, it’s affordable and can be given many times throughout the day.

So, you say, “I’m sold. What is this gift?” …………………… “A KIND WORD”

Death on the Installment Plan

If you’ve lived long enough you’ve probably purchased something—furniture, an automobile, a home—through an installment or monthly payment program. It’s a common and popular method of paying for something in equal monthly payments until it’s paid off, ultimately giving you ownership.
Installment plans can be very useful and beneficial; however, they’re not without cost. If you add up all your payments, that number minus the initial purchase price constitutes the interest, or cost, of your installment plan. In other words, many small amounts add up to a large enough amount to pay total.
The same concept effectively is killing many people today in the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol. Our society is fighting an epidemic of addiction, most recently our addiction to opioids that is killing 70-80,000 people a year. It’s not just drugs that are killing us: more-accepted and subtle addictions/causes of death (from the greatest) are cigarettes, poor diet and physical inactivity, and alcohol.
Death by installment!
Take the time to take inventory of your lifestyle and make the necessary changes to your installment plans. Days turn into weeks then months and years. Whether your lifestyle is healthy or unhealthy, over time, it all adds up.

Sunshine – A Spiritual Guide for Depression

As I write this blog I’m enjoying warmth and sunshine it seems I’ve not seen or experienced for months. I feel very blessed and grateful sitting on my patio soaking up the wonderful rays of sunshine on this beautiful spring day as I contemplate the benefits of the sun. So naturally I do what everybody does and Google the “benefits of sunshine” to find out the following:
The sun is essential for life on earth. It heats up our atmosphere, so life won’t freeze. In outer space, as you move away from the sun the temperature drops to 450 degrees below zero. All life, from bacteria to elephants, needs liquid water to survive and all animals need plants to survive.
Sunshine is essential for good health. It improves our bodies’ production of vitamin D while it lowers blood pressure, helps maintain muscles, protects from inflammation and improves brain function and vision. It also reduces the risk of type-2 diabetes, boosts and stimulates our immune system to help stave off infections and fight disease and reduces cancer risk.
Exposure to sunlight for just 10-15 minutes a day increases the body’s level of serotonin, a brain chemical that helps promote feelings of happiness (and may alleviate symptoms of depression), improves sleep and helps us to feel full, producing weight loss. This exposure to sunlight heals skin disorders, as UV rays can be beneficial to the treatment of eczema, acne and psoriasis. Sunlight improves brain function by directly affecting the brain’s pineal gland (which produces the powerful antioxidant melatonin), helps us sleep and helps overall brain function. These are some of the essential needs and benefits derived from the sun, which is a mere 93 million miles distant from the earth. To summarize: we need the sun for life, and there are additional benefits from just 10-15 minutes a day of exposure.
As against the sun’s 93 million miles, the Son of God is close and near. Philippians 4:4-7: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God, which transcends all understanding, and will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Not only is he near but he hears and understands your prayers and petitions!
Remember, God does not want you or me to be depressed or sad; however, we all know that circumstances sometimes have that effect on us. The best solution that I’ve been able to discover is described in the Bible verse above. “REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS” . . . “THE LORD IS NEAR” . . . “DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING” . . . PRAY!
Rejoice about what? Rejoice because Jesus Christ has paid the price for the forgiveness of our sins! Rejoice if you have been born again and are a child of God, which means you’ve prayed the sinner’s prayer asking God for forgiveness for your sins and accepted Jesus as your personal Savior. Rejoice because you’ve been adopted by God and are a joint heir to Jesus Christ. Rejoice because Jesus is near and hears and answers your prayer.
Do not be anxious about anything, because you believe in a big God who spoke the world into existence. You believe he knows your personal circumstances, he knows what’s best for you, he loves and cares about you and absolutely wants the very best for YOU! He placed the sun perfectly, so it would not be too close that we might burn up or too far away that life of any kind would not exist.
The warmth of the sun that I’ve missed for months feels wonderful . . . the benefits of the sun that we can all attain simply by going outside and soaking up its rays . . . the sun that is available to every man, woman and child in every corner of the world regardless of race, color or gender produces the same benefits for all.
The peace and love of God are available today. The benefits of being a child of God can be attained simply by asking for forgiveness and accepting Jesus as your personal savior. The Son of God that is available to every man, woman and child in every corner of the world regardless of race, color or gender produces the same benefits: JOY, PEACE, COMFORT, LOVE, REST, PURPOSE.
If it’s been a long time since you’ve experienced this or if you’ve never experienced this, TODAY is your day to feel the warmth of the son of God as he opens his arms to you and says, “I LOVE YOU.” Matt. 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

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.