Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Woman falls to her death

Last week it was reported in the news that a woman fell 35 feet to her death from a zip line platform in Delaware. While the investigation is still on-going, it appears that she had disconnected herself from the safety system. Why would she disconnect herself, after going through the required safety training where she was instructed in the importance of the harness, and it's ability to bring her safely to the end of the course? Did anyone see her disconnect herself and warn her?

It got me thinking that as Christ-followers, we have a safety manual call the Word of God. In it, we are told how to protect ourselves, in order to safely reach the end of our course, which is heaven. Yet, for various reasons, some willingly disconnect themselves from that safety system and unless someone intervenes, they, too, can face death. The two scriptures below, one from the Old Testament and one from the New Testament, clearly show the responsibility we have as Christ-followers to warn our brothers and sisters when we see them "disconnecting" from the only 100% no-fail safety system.
"If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too." Ezekiel 3:20-21
"You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God." Hebrews 3:13

Friday, August 26, 2016

I had nearly lost my foothold

"Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold." Psalm 73:1-2
That overwhelmed feeling is back again. I feel "off-track." I asked the LORD how to get back on track, but I already knew what to do. And it's not doing another bible study or trying another diet. It's not going to a counselor or taking different meds. It's not getting rid of him or her ("If only he would...," "If only she would...").
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Renewal (or getting back on-track) happens by fixing our eyes on the eternal, not on the temporary nuisances of life. Only the Word of God can guide me back.
"When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered,
I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you.
Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:21-26

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Perhaps you should look in the mirror

There is a saying that what drives you crazy about someone else, is likely something you yourself do! "No way" you say? Test it out this week. When your roommate or spouse or mother or kids do that thing - you know - the thing that makes you want to scream - stop and ask yourself if there is any possibility that you do the same thing. (If you simply can't be honest with yourself, ask your mother.)

This hit home for me last weekend. One of the above mentioned people did something that made me cringe. My first thought was to make sure that person knew how awful it was, but later, as I was venting to another one of the above mentioned people, a terrible feeling came over me. That was because, all of a sudden, I got a very clear picture of what I look like when I do the very same thing.

Could that be why the Bible says:
"How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." Luke 6:42 (also see Matthew 7:5)
A hypocrite? That's actually what I was thinking about the other person. Ouch!  Oh LORD God, I pray:
"See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:24

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

One way out of anxiety and depression

Yesterday, my husband and I listened to an interview with Tom Bowen, a firefighter who assisted with the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Teams and NYC’s Office of Emergency Management at the World Trade Centers following the 9/11 attacks. We simply cannot imagine the gruesome sights emergency personnel like Tom were exposed to. Not only did this man experience overwhelming anxiety and depression following 9/11, but he also suffered a severe on-site injury and the death of his beloved two year old son to cancer.

There is a lot of talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) these days, but not a whole lot of talk about how to deal with it, especially from a Christian perspective. We found Tom's story especially moving because of his honesty and his desire to put his family and the honor of his God above his own pain and suffering. He shares his story in hope that it will help someone else.

I encourage everyone to listen to this two-part interview and pass it on to anyone you know who is suffering from this all too common mental health issue. Here are the links: