A Ready Recollection

The Mind Numbing Ponderings Of A Pulpit Preacher

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February 27, 2011 Posted by | Comics | Leave a comment

Fake Bible Degrees

Getting a degree at a degree mill seems to be catching on. Many people in the secular world seek easy degrees for the status. That is to be expected from the world but not from the church.

Before we can go any further it may be appropriate to define what a degree mill is.

A degree mill is an institution that grants degrees based on less than adequate standards.  The most common ways to identify a degree mill is by their academic standards.

  • If they offer a degree based on “life experience”
  • If they offer full class credit for reading a book or attending a function.
  • If they allow multiple credit for undergraduate work allowing it to substitute for graduate work without leveling courses.
  • If, in the past, they have had to relocate to another city, state or country in order to avoid legal requirements.
  • If a majority of the faculty have their advanced degrees from the same institution
  • If they just flat out sell you the degree after filling out a few forms.

I would encourage you to read “Name It and Frame it” by Steve Levicoff.  Name It and Frame It? is a self-published book about unaccredited Christian colleges and universities, exploring the accreditation process and the nature of legitimate and illegitimate unaccredited institutions of higher learning. The fourth edition contains updated information and responses from some of the surveyed schools.

You can also check out the Wikipedia article here.  This article also contains a list of several degree mills. Those who are hiring ministers, if one of these schools is on their resume`, please point it out to them, they may have simply been scammed.

Some good ministers have be scammed and duped by such “universities”.  Others know exactly what their doing and do it anyway. “Preachers” who resort to using fake credentials need to be very careful.  Those hiring them should also be able to recognize the red flags.

The only thing you get from these “universities” is a very expensive piece of wall paper. If you have been scammed by one of these schools I would encourage you NOT to put it on your resume`.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | FYI | , , , | Leave a comment

An Institute of Biblical Studies:

As many of you know, Michigan is a wide open mission field. It is in desperate need of training institutes for ministers, preachers and church leaders. There are a few churches who offer training classes and things of that nature, but, to the best of my knowledge, not a single institute that offers sound, intense training toward a degree in Bible (that is un-denominational) as it’s primary focus.

There are liberal arts colleges and university’s that “dabble” in the arena of theology and biblical studies but none offer the training, experience and opportunities that are afforded from institutes such as Heritage Christian University in Alabama or, the now closed, Magnolia Bible College in Mississippi .

Several ministers, church leaders and fellow Christians in the Flint area have been discussing, for several years, the objective of starting such an institute: An institute whose primary focus is the training and equipping of ministers preachers, teachers and church leaders. This is a daunting task whose purpose would be to train those living in the state to be future leaders in the church. These discussions have led to naught. Those involved have either limited resources or simply don’t know how to accomplish such a task.

Regardless of these “discussions”, efforts are being made to perhaps establish an online institute using available technology and the internet. While a class room environment is desirable it may not be expedient at this time.

Keep this effort in your prayers.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | FYI | Leave a comment

Power Point Lessons

The following files are Power Point lessons from the “Artistic Song Leading” series.  They can be used in conjunction with the text book or alone. The purpose is to help congregations improve the singing aspect of their worship services.  It should also be used  to help those who would lead singing sharpen their skills.

You will need Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer to open these files.   download here

If you need a FREE copy of the text book “Artistic Song Leading” you can download it here.  Artistic Song Leading

NOTE: These resources are offered free to visitors and subscribers. They are for personal or educational use only and are not for resale or commercial distribution of any kind. They are the intellectual property of the author.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Power Point | Leave a comment

728b: by Jimmy Bagwell

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Comics | Leave a comment

Acts: Lesson Four

A new life means new lifestyle

TEXT: 2:42-47

Consider This

The converts from Peter’s sermon remained in Jerusalem for a while, perhaps as guest of friends and family.  They celebrated their new life in Christ in five important ways (VV 42-47).

1.    They listened and followed the apostles’ teaching

2.    They fellow-shipped together and shared their meals.

3.    They worshiped God and offered Him praise.

4.    They demonstrated lifestyle changes by sharing their possessions with each other

5.    They tried to meet the needs of those who were in need.

These essential behaviors of the first Christians form a challenging summary of behaviors that should characterize Christians today.

Results to worship:

As we look at the activities in which this first group of Christians engaged in we should take note that these activities were a result of their worship and not, in and of themselves, acts of worship.

Many in the religious world cannot seem to differentiate between acts of worship and the results of worship.  Things such as fellowship, benevolence and social activities are certainly things which a Christian should and must engage in; these things are results of worship and not acts of worship[*].

It should also be noted that these things are not works of merit. We cannot earn salvation in any way.  These items constitute a personal responsibility that every Christians has.


[*] For more concerning acts of worship please read the following: John 4:22-24; Acts 2:7; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16; Acts 2:42; 1 Timothy 2:1,2; 1 Corinthians 11:22-32; 1 Corinthians 16:1, 2;Hebrews 10:26; 2 Corinthians 9:7

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

Prayer Therapy

It is generally accepted that the human being has a body, mind, and soul.  Even though the Greek word for soul is psyche, modern psychology has had very little to say about the soul, choosing to concentrate more on the mind and behavior.

Prayer is the communication of the soul. Prayer Therapy helps us use our own spirituality to inform and transform.

The first thing you need to do is to get yourself a “Prayer Journal”. This can be anything from a spiral notebook to pieces of scrap paper. The following steps will help you utilize this to it’s full potential.

1.    Get a prayer journal

2.    Wright your prayers as if you are writing a letter.

3.    Don’t worry about the language you use. Don’t try to sound “churchy” with “thee’s” and “thou’s” .  Don’t be overly formal.

4.    Pray for anything that is on your heart. You may feel the need to express deep dark emotions; this is perfectly fine. Jesus is our example of this. Many times he expressed his negative and hurt feelings in prayer.  The secret is to always end with a positive thought. On one occasion Jesus expressed his angst and emotional distress with the phrase “Let this cup pass from me”. In so doing he poured out his feelings of remorse and sorrow but he ended with a positive thought; “Not my will but yours be done”.  We must do the same. Those deep dark emotions, those feelings of despair and depression should be shared with God.

5.    Keep your journal with you at all times.  When you feel overwhelmed read what you have said to God. Pray some more, writing it down as you go.

When life overwhelms you when you are engulfed in fear, when you feel empty and without purpose, this is a sign that your soul has been hurt.  Changing your thinking or behavior can be helpful, but what you really need is a tonic for our soul.   Prayer is that tonic.

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Counseling | 2 Comments

Just As I Am: Music Video

Performed by “The A’Cappella Singers”

Words by Charlotte Eliott

Music by Wm. B. Bradbury

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Videos | Leave a comment

728b: by Jimmy Bagwell

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Comics | Leave a comment

Acts: Lesson Three

Understand first, then decide

TEXT: Acts 2:37-41

Consider This:

As Christians, we are called to proclaim the message of Christ to unbelievers to the best of our abilities, being faithful to the truth.  That’s really all that Peter did at Pentecost (Acts 2 14-36), but his speech produced dramatic results: this small band of 12 men encouraged 3000 unbelievers that day (Acts 2:41).

In the same way each of us needs to take advantage of opportunities to share this same message.  What we say and how we act will reflect the nature of our faith.  We may not sound as impressive as Peter or a trained minister; but at least our message will be authentic if we abide in truth.

Notice that it was not Peter who called for an immediate response. Only after those in the audience had been “cut to the heart” did they feel convicted to act (Acts2:37).  It was then that Peter explained to them that mere belief was not enough, they must take action. (Acts2:38).

In the same way we need to help others to understand God’ purpose before we press them to make a choice.  We should strive for impact and understanding before pressing for a decision.  That might take days, weeks or even years.  Then again, it may take just a few moments.

Action and Re-action:

You can’t force a person to be a Christian anymore than you can force a dog to be a cat. But, unlike a dog or cat a person can chose to change. In verse 38 Peter urges them to “repent”.  Have you ever considered what this word really means?  Its meaning is quite simple. It means to turn away.   Yep, that’s it.  That all it means.  Of course they must be something to turn away from.

This “turning away” is part of our Re-action to God’s truth and purpose. Unless we willfully turn away from aspects of life that are in conflict with God’s purpose it doesn’t matter how much we believe.

Of course, with every “turning away” there must be a “turning toward”.  Peter did not end with belief or even repentance. He validated a “turning toward” God.  Within Peter’s response to the crowd’s plea for action he presented to them the method by which they could enter.  Simply changing your direction in life means little if a new direction is not chosen.  Of course we are speaking of baptism and its purpose (Acts 2:38).

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

Revelation: Seperating Fact From Fiction

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started this study.  Sure I have taken classes, read commentaries and heard sermons concerning the book of Revelation, but nothing, and I mean nothing, prepared me for what I was doing.

Most of what I knew concerning the book of Revelation was bits and pieces of what I had picked up over the years.  Even glancing through the book I still had preconceived notions as to what it was about.  In fact, it wasn’t until I had reached chapter five that I realized the time had come for me to forget everything I thought I knew concerning the book.

The book is not at all what I expected.  Though symbolic in nature, its simplicity unfolded when I let go of preconceived ideas.

Revelation is a book of hope through despair.  It is a promise of Gods salvation and mercy.  It is a glimpse of His wrath and a picture of His love.  After I understood a few simple things the mystery unfolded.

Download E-Book here:  Revelation Separating Fact From Fiction

Jimmy R. Bagwell

February 22, 2011 Posted by | E-Books | Leave a comment

Artistic Song Leading

There are many things in life that we take for granted. Many things seem mundane and our lives are often caught up in the everyday occurrences of trivial matters. While, in some cases, this can be excused, it should never be this way when it comes to our worship toward God.

I often marvel at the approach people take in this arena we call worship. We have certain expectations of those who lead us, those who teach and preach and otherwise serve a capacity of leadership.  We expect the best and God deserves the best.

In the midst of all of this we have failed in certain areas.  Among those areas is the position of singing in public worship.  True, we understand the commands to sing and make melody in our hearts and we have an understanding that, as a whole, we are to engage in such.  But we have failed in the approach we take.  It seems as if the singing aspect of our worship has become nothing more than time filler between prayer and sermon instead of an active commitment to be engaged in.  In other words, it’s just a chore to endure till we get to the lesson.  In the words of Paul “God Forbid”!

What should we expect from our song service?  What does God require and how can we give it our best?  We expect our preachers to be trained.  We expect our Sunday school teachers to be good communicators, but when it comes to those who lead us in worshipful song we lax up.  Anything will do just so long as we “get through it”.

I recall the Bible story of how his disciples asked Jesus to demonstrate to them how they should pray.  It was as if to ask is there a right way and a wrong way to do it.  This was not a request that Jesus took lightly.  As we read the story we see how Christ walked them through it step by step.  He showed them how to give their best.  Should we be any different?  Of course not.

This book has been in the works for over 20 years.  Through many drafts and changes of format it has become a labor of love.  It is the intent of this book to equip those who would guide our hearts and lead our voices in song to be the best they can be. God demands nothing more and will accept nothing less.

Download E-Book here:   Artistic Song Leading

Because He Gave Me A Song,
Jimmy Bagwell

February 22, 2011 Posted by | E-Books | Leave a comment

Acts: Lesson Two

Off To A Good Start

Read Text: Acts 2:1-36

The Lord’s timing to build His church could not have been better.  The drama unfolds in Acts 2-3 coincides perfectly with the meaning and significance of Pentecost then underway in Jerusalem.  The diverse crowds that packed the city to celebrate the festival became a ready audience for the events that took place.

There were three great annual feasts in the Jewish religion:

  • The Feast of Unleavened bread (Passover),
  • The Feast of Tabernacles
  • The Feast of Weeks (Pentecost).

On all three occasions, thousands of Jews made pilgrimages to Jerusalem. On the day of Pentecost, there were representatives from every corner of the empire.  What an opportunity there was to reach out beyond the borders of Jerusalem with the message of Christ.

On this day, which occurred 50 days after the ascension of Christ, the Holy Spirit descended on the 12 Apostles.  Although they had been with Jesus and listened to his teachings, it was only now that the Spirit gave them a full understanding.

Consider This:

What happened at Pentecost reversed what happened in ancient Babel (Genesis 11:1-9).  At Babel God confused the languages of the people and scattered them to become different nations.  At Pentecost God brought Jews from a multitude of nations together in Jerusalem.  Once again there was confusion (v. 6), but this was because everyone heard these 12 ordinary men, filled with the Spirit, speaking in different languages. It was here that the church was established when those present heard the Gospel preached and obeyed it.

As it was:

What happened in Jerusalem on that day, as awesome as it was, is quite simple. Although the 12 were filled with the Spirit the message that they taught is the same message taught today. It is true that the Spirit, in a supernatural way, gave them guidance, the same message is available to us today.

In the 21st century we have the benefit of hind-sight.  We have before us the complete written revelation of God’s word. What keeps us from doing as they did?  Not speaking in different languages but teaching that same message?

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

Acts: Lesson One

Opportunities look like barriers

Read text: Acts 1:1-12

A Grand Strategy:

Speaking on the Mount of Olives at Bethany (VV. 4, 12), Jesus outlined a vision that would affect the entire world (v. 8).  He began by pointing to the starting point of gospel penetration-Jerusalem, two miles to the west.  From there the message would be spread to the surrounding region, Judea, and its estranged cousin to the north, Samaria.  Eventually it would reach the entire world.

While Jesus’ mandate sounds admirable today, it met with less than enthusiasm then.  All of the places mentioned represented trouble and danger, both real and imagined.  Jews-which almost all of Jesus’ followers were-were a small minority in the Roman Empire.

In fact, most of the apostles came from the Galilee region, north of Samaria.  Galileans endured the scorn of their Jewish brothers from Judea, especially those from Jerusalem, who considered themselves more pure and orthodox, less contaminated by foreign influences.

Jerusalem:

Jerusalem was not the apostle’s home, but it was Judea’s key city, center of its religious, political, economic and cultural life.  Jesus’ crucifixion had recently taken place there.  Leaders still plotted to stamp out what was left of His movement.

Yet Christ told His followers to start their ministry there, in the place of greatest hostility and intimidation.  They must have wondered: Could He protect them from the inevitable opposition they would encounter?  Would they suffer the same terrible death that He had?

Judea and Samaria:

The relationship of Jerusalem to Judea was that of an urban center to province, or of city to state.  By penetrating the city, the Gospel would also permeate the surrounding areas.

However, Jesus was careful to link Judea to Samaria, its cousin to the north.  The two regions endured a bitter rivalry dating back 700 years.  Judea, which means “Jewish” considered itself the home of pure Judaism and viewed Samaria with contempt.  As John points out in his gospel account of the woman at the well, “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (John 4:9)

In reaching Judea with the Gospel, the apostles would have to overcome barriers of regional pride and cultural arrogance.  But in moving into Samaria, they would have to overcome long-held ethnic prejudices.  Eventually they did overcome-but not without great conflict and tension.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Bible Study | Leave a comment

How Shall They Hear?

“Preach the Gospel to every creature” is a charge current in every generation until the end of time. Admittedly, reaching every soul with the message of salvation is challenging, considering the world’s population of over six billion could double by the year 2040! Coupled with the fact that about a hundred precious souls are dying every minute, the problem the Lord’s people face in reaching a world rapidly rushing into eternity is obvious. However, since God desires that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, we must believe He has given His people the power and potential to solve the problem of reaching every soul with the truth.

A large part of the solution to the problem is now in production…”GOSPEL BROADCASTING NETWORK”…a satellite network, broadcasting the truth and nothing but the truth, 24 hours a day, seven days a week…

http://www.gbntv.org/

GBN is under the oversight of the Highland Church of Christ in Dalton, Georgia. The primary thrust of the network is:

  • To establish in viewers of all ages a strong belief in the existence of God through a heavy concentration of Christian evidences
  • To establish in viewers the conviction that God has revealed Himself and His will to man through the Bible
  • To encourage the proper response to God’s Word—obedience to the plan of salvation and adherence to the New Testament pattern of worship, work, and Christian living

In many places brethren are threatened by false teaching. A saturation of sound Bible teaching via GBN may help strengthen them to withstand error and to stand for the truth. In areas where the church is practically nonexistent and brethren are striving to grow in the faith, GBN’s programming may be viewed, possibly videotaped, to edify these Christians and assist them in their evangelistic efforts.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | FYI | Leave a comment

Socialism

Socialism is a political system in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned and determined by a centralized government that plans and controls the economy. Taken to it’s logical conclusion private property ceases to exist.

The concept of socialism sounds very attractive to many people, especially the poor.  But, what does the Bible have to say about such an idea?

John 12:1-6Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.” He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief;

Why was Judas called a thief?  Isn’t helping the poor a good thing? Yes, helping the poor is a very good thing but did you notice HOW Judas wished to help? He wanted to TAKE something that belonged to someone else. Now if Judas wished to take his own property and sell it that would have been great but no;  he wanted to steal another person’s goods.  That’s basically what socialism is.  It is not charity and it definitely is not good Christian behavior.

Some would ask “But what if a person chooses to do that on his own? Well, if it’s by choice it isn’t socialism is it. When you take something that belongs to one person and redistribute it to others [even under the guise of helping them] it is theft and it is sinful.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you are sitting in a cafeteria at work or school. You have one sandwich, the person to your right has two sandwiches and the person to you left has no sandwich. Socialism would dictate that you take one sandwich from the person to your right and give it to the person to your left. How would you feel about that if you were the person with two sandwiches? One of you sandwiches was stolen. You had no choice. It was not your decision. It was just taken from you.

When you rob Peter to pay Paul you will rarely hear a complaint from Paul.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Attitudes Towards Worship

Attitudes Toward Worship – John 4:20-24

Purpose: Examine several attitudes that people take toward worship and what our attitude should be.

Wrong Attitudes to have Toward Worship

Wrong Attitude One:  Attending in order to “punch one’s ticket.”

There are many who believe that as long as they show up on Sunday mornings they are faithful Christians.To these people, religion is a one-day-a-week think.  Some simply come to take communion; not realizing that communion is no more important than any of the other acts of worship. They forget that Christianity is a way of life.

A person could attend every single service of the Lord’s church and still not go to heaven if he were not faithful for the rest of the week. If we come to worship just to punch our ticket; we come for the wrong reason.

Wrong Attitude Two: Attending worship for one’s own personal gain.

There is a dangerous doctrine being taught by the denominations which has carried over into our thinking. This doctrine says that if you worship God you will be blessed with great physical wealth.

As the basis for their beliefs they use passages like:

This is also the same attitude that Job’s friends had (Job 11:13-20).   Is this the right reason to worship God?   We should love God because he first loved us (1 John 4:19).

If all saints are supposed to be wealthy then what about:

If we come to worship to obtain physical wealth, we come for the wrong reason.

Wrong Attitude Three: Attend services in order to be entertained.

In today’s world people are use to being entertained; they’ve come to expect to be entertained. Many congregations have given in to gimmickry in order to bring in visitors. Should this be the reason that we come to worship God?  Should the preacher try to entertain us?  The men present on the day of Pentecost were not entertained but pricked to the heart (Acts). The word of God is called a two-edged sword (Hebrews). Should the singing entertain us? We should sing for the purpose of praising God (Ephesians). We should sing for the purpose of teaching and admonishing each other (Colossians 3:16). Christ should be what draws us to worship (John).  If we come to worship to be entertained, we come for the wrong reason.

Wrong Attitude Four: Some attend services simply because their family has always attended.

They don’t love God, want to study his word, or worship him. They’ve simply taken on their family’s religion. Your family is not going to get you to heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10).  Salvation is an individual thing. If we attend simply because our family has always attended, we are not attending for the right reason.

The Right Attitude to have Toward Worship

Reverence.

1. Ecclesiastes 12:13.

2. 1 Peter 2:17.

3. Job 38:4 Respect him because of his awesome power.  If we respect God we will: Not fall asleep during the service. Not talk or otherwise cause disruptions.

Humility.

God despises show-offs in his church. The Bible tells us that we are to humble ourselves before the Lord. James 4:10. We should strive to be like the publican and unlike the Pharisee (Luke 18:9-14).

In Remembrance.

In a sense, worship is like a funeral. We come together to remember Christ and all he did for us (1 Corinthians 11:24-25). We remember his death, burial, and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

In Obedience.

We must worship him according to his divine instructions in order to please him. If we do not, we are not showing him respect. We are saying that we know better than him how we should serve him. This is one of the hardest ideas for the denominational world to understand. Man-made worship is described as vain 1 John 5:3; John.

In Faith.

1. Without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews).  Hope is our anchor, and faith is the cable that holds us to that anchor (Hebrews).

We must attend worship because we love God and want to please him.

Not because our family attends. Not because we want to be entertained. Not because we want material gain. And not because we feel we must “punch our ticket”.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Worship | , , , , | 1 Comment

Education Of The Mind Part 3

For the first aspect I would encourage you to download “Sixteen Days To A Healthy Mind” by Steven Sprouse.

Use the following link.

http://healthymind.home.bresnan.net/Files/16%20days%20printable.pdf

As you follow the directions in this simple workbook it will help you to re-focus you energy and overcome the negative thoughts that emotionally enslave you. Do one session a day and don’t forget to pray as per instructions.

The second aspect involves “Prayer Therapy”.  This is not covered in the workbook but the directions are as follows.

Pray at least three times a day. Use the prayer checklist to record your progress each day. Write down your prayers. Don’t worry about language or being hyper emotional. These things are normal.

Record your prayers in a journal or notebook. PRAY FOR ANYTHING THAT IS ON YOUR HEART! Carry this journal with you and when you begin to feel overwhelmed read what you have said to God.

You may feel the need to express deep dark emotions; this is perfectly fine. Jesus is our example of this. Many times he expressed his negative and hurt feelings in prayer.  The secret is to always end with a positive thought. On one occasion Jesus expressed his angst and emotional distress with the phrase “Let this cup pass from me”. In so doing he poured out his feelings of remorse and sorrow but he ended with a positive thought; “Not my will but yours be done”.  We must do the same.

February 21, 2011 Posted by | Counseling | Leave a comment

Education of the Mind Part 2

How it Works:

The process is two-fold. It incorporates a study of scripture and prayer therapy. The first aspect will focus on several “key passages” that will help re-focus your mind. By studying specific passages and making application, you begin to think about other things.  They key to overcoming emotional distress is to get new thoughts.

The apostle Paul said,

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”. 2 Timothy 3:16, 17

Certain “Key Passages” will be noted in a future article. There will also be a series of guided questions to help you along.

The second aspect is called “Prayer Therapy”: Pray at least three times a day. Use the prayer checklist to record your progress each day. Write down your prayers. Don’t worry about language or being hyper emotional. These things are normal.

Record your prayers in a journal or notebook. PRAY FOR ANYTHING THAT IS ON YOUR HEART! Carry this journal with you and when you begin to feel overwhelmed read what you have said to God.

You may feel the need to express deep dark emotions; this is perfectly fine. Jesus is our example of this. Many times he expressed his negative and hurt feelings in prayer.  The secret is to always end with a positive thought. On one occasion Jesus expressed his angst and emotional distress with the phrase “Let this cup pass from me”. In so doing he poured out his feelings of remorse and sorrow but he ended with a positive thought; “Not my will but yours be done”.  We must do the same.

February 19, 2011 Posted by | Counseling | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Education Of The Mind Part 1

Depression is a widespread condition, affecting millions of people, Christians and non-Christians alike. Those suffering from depression can experience intense feelings of sadness, anger, hopelessness, fatigue, and a variety of other symptoms. They may begin to feel useless and even suicidal, losing interest in things and people that they once enjoyed. Depression is often triggered by life circumstances, such as a loss of job, death of a loved one, divorce, or psychological problems such as abuse or low self-esteem.

The Bible tells us to be filled with joy and praise so God apparently intends for us all to live joyful lives. This is not easy for someone suffering from situational depression, but it can be remedied through God’s gifts of prayer, Bible study and application, support groups, fellowship among believers, confession, forgiveness, and counseling. We must make the conscious effort to not be absorbed in ourselves, but to turn our efforts outward. Feelings of depression can often be solved when those suffering with depression move the focus from themselves to Christ and others.

There are some things that those who suffer from depression can do to alleviate their anxiety. They should make sure that they are staying in the Word, even when they do not feel like it. Emotions can lead us astray, but God’s Word stands firm and unchanging. We must maintain strong faith in God and hold even more tightly to Him when we undergo trials and temptations. The Bible tells us that God will never allow temptations into our lives that are too much for us to handle. Although being depressed is not a sin, one is still accountable for the response to the affliction, including getting the professional help that is needed. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name”.

February 18, 2011 Posted by | Counseling | , , , , , | Leave a comment