Christian Life

Let God help you walk thought the Christian life...

Depression's Antidote: Live in the Moment

Lately, I've been struggling with feeling depressed. I'm normally a happy person, so these pervasive feelings of sadness do not feel normal.  I was praying about these feelings of depression when the verse Matthew 6:34 came to mind in which Jesus says "Take therefore no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."  (KJV)

I've read that verse many times in the past, but today, it just seemed to hold special meaning.   I had to step back from my depressed thoughts and take a look at my life.  When I did, I realized that, in that exact moment, nothing was really wrong or depressing.   All was actually quite good in that moment.  It was my thoughts for the future that were causing the black cloud to hang over my day.   Thoughts like "things are never going to change" and "it will always be like this" and "I don't know if next month will be better" and "it's only going to get worse from here" were intruding upon my every moment and making me feel a sadness that just did not exist in the moment.

I realized that I needed to stop letting thoughts over what would happen next week, or next month or next year steal the joy of the blessings that I was experiencing right now!   Jesus, the ultimate Counselor, knows that it is easy for the evil one to steal our joy if we allow it.  It is easy to let your thoughts linger on "what if" and "maybe" and "could be" so that you don't truly enjoy the moments that you are blessed with right now.

If you've been experiencing depression or thoughts of hopelessness for the future, read Matthew 6:34 and memorize it. Repeat it to yourself often, and then try these simple steps to alleviate your fears for the future:

  1. Take an honest look at your current situation.  How do you feel about this moment?
  2. Be mindful of your blessings. Look around and count them.  If you are honest, don't your blessings outweigh any bad things that are currently happening?
  3. Give thanks for your blessings and truly try hard to live in the moment and "take no thought for the morrow."

I had a bad day...

Yesterday, I woke up and I was immediately in a bad mood. I'd had kind of a crummy day the day before, so I attributed my bad mood and subsequent bad attitude to that. The mood stuck around all day, everything seemed to be against me. Everything I tried seemed doomed to failure. I wondered why I tried at all. Everyone I encountered seemed to be a life-force leech, always wanting something, and never giving anything back. I was seriously down in the dumps.

This is unusual for me. I'm usually a cheerful person. I don't get in a "mood" very often, and when I do, it is usually because something seriously bad has happened in my life. But yesterday, that just wasn't the case.

So, just to see what good advice the Bible would have for me, I went to look up the verse of the day in YouVersion (the iPhone Bible app I currently use), and it was Luke 6:35-38:
"35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

These verses - verses that spoke to me at the very moment I needed to read those very words - were the verses of the day. This brought a smile to my face as nothing else had through the whole day. God knows what we need before we even need it. I just needed a reminder to adjust my perspective.

If Not You, Then Who?

I've come to believe that God often works through His people to answer prayer.   Though He does still provide miracles, most of His work is done by His people.

Have you ever experienced a moment when you saw someone having a hard time or heard something about a problem another Christian was suffering with and thought "I am just the right person to be able to help them"?  Or, conversely, have you ever been in the midst of a problem yourself and, suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, you receive EXACTLY the help that you needed?  Or, have you ever just experienced a series of events that seemed to slip into place just when you needed them because other people had started the sequence, seemingly unknowingly, prior to your needs?  I know that I have certainly experienced all three of these phenomenons, and in those moments, I can feel God working in my life.

In multiple verses throughout the Bible, Christians are

urged to "love one another".  John 13:34 commands "love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another".  And John 15:12 commands "This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you."  In 1 John 4:11, "...if God so loved us, we ought also to love another" and 1 John 4:7 "...let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God".  The list of verses commanding Christians to love one another goes on: 1 Thessalonians 4:9, 1 John 4:12, John 13:35, 1 John 13:35, and more.

So how can we, as Christians,  show this love?  By serving others.  Galatians 5:13 commands "...but by love serve another".

I realize that it can seem hard to love and serve people, in general.  People have annoying hang-ups, people have awful problems, people have irritating habits, people's needs can sometimes seem overwhelming - but, I believe that the Bible urges us to "love one another" so many times because it is so very hard, yet so very neccesary. 

Have you seen a need in someone's life that you can fill?  If so, be sure to do it.  Become one of God's army.  If you don't, who will?

Today, do your best to go out and love someone.  Help someone in need.  Commit yourself to service.   Encourage someone who is feeling down.  You may be exact person in the world who can provide what that certain someone needs at the right moment.

Top 5 Benefits of Daily AM Bible Study

bible and coffee photo

We all know that reading the Bible is important, but few may realize the benefits of daily study done in the morning.

1.  GET A FIRM FOUNDATION FOR THE REST OF THE DAY -Studying the Bible first thing in the morning will start your day off on the right footing.  By getting His Word into your mind before anything else intrudes, you'll have laid  a strong foundation for the rest of your day.  "Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock; and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock." Luke 6:47-48

2. GET PROTECTION - You can "put on the whole armour of God" first thing in the morning, before you need it.  Before you have to "stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:11 KJV)

3. BEFORE THE DAILY GRIND SETS IN - Studying the Bible in the morning enables you to do your studying before anything else gets in the way.  If you wait until the end of the day, chances are that something else will intrude, and you may not be able to find the time.  By doing it first thing in the morning, you ensure that it gets done.

4. LESS DISTRACTION - In the morning, you'll have less mental distraction.  Your mind is a clean slate when you wake up, daily duties have not yet had a chance to infiltrate your thoughts, so it will be easier to concentrate on the Word as you study.

5. FEED YOUR SOUL - Just like your body needs food in the morning after fasting all night, your soul needs the Word.  Matthew 4;4 Jesus states: "...it is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God."

Looking for a great Bible to study with?  Try the Extreme Teen Study Bible. Or, if you prefer to study on a mobile device, try using the Bible app. 

 

Welcome to our first Blog! What is the Bible? Which one is right?

Hey everyone! Welcome to our site, We wanted this to be a place for creativity, fun and entertainment. But we also wanted to share God's love!

This is the "Life" blog. This is about life's little moments and struggles that we face. Also this can be a place to talk about faith.

I wanted to start out with a blog about choosing a Bible, it just seemed right.

So what is the Bible?

The Bible is God's written word. It is also the Living Word.

What does the Living Word mean?

This means this is how God speaks to us. Have you ever noticed that in the Bible you can read one verse and then later read it again and find something new out of it? This is God's direction, He will guide us if we ask him to!

I personally used to believe the Bible was a book written by man so it couldn't all be truthful. I know now that I had the wrong assumption. The Bible is "God Breathed" this means that yes, men wrote the Bible, but God made sure it was what He wanted in there an nothing else. It is something we can rely upon with our questions and concerns. This book is how we learn about God and about Jesus.

There are other religious books out there, yes. But these are little stories and fables. Much like I personally thought the Bible was. But, the Bible has something that these others do not... historical back up.

There is a lot of historical proof that the Bible is reliable and also that Jesus was who he said he was!

Here are a couple examples for you,there are many others but I will list just a few.

Flavis Josephus was a Historian who lived from 37 A.D to around 100 A.D. He mentioned many events and names of people from the New Testament. He talks of John the Baptist, James and Jesus himself!

Cornelius Tacitus (A.D. 55-120), was also a historian and is considered to be one of the most accurate historians of ancient times. He recorded the death of Christ in his writings.

"Christus [Christ], from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus...."

Tiberius and Pontius Pilatus are mentioned in Luke 3:1-6, Also Pilatus or Pilate was mentioned several other places in the Bible in the Books of Matthew and Mark.

There is also a lot of archaeological back up for the Bible as well, places that people thought were biblical myths have been discovered. Of course not all of the places in the Bible have been found but many have. Such has the Hittites, which were considered biblical myths. Also many of the places mentioned in Luke have been discovered.

In the Book of Mormon no proof of the people or places it mentions has ever been found.

Here is a quote from Lee Strobel, an Atheist turned Christian, on this:

"Archaeology has repeatedly failed to substantiate its claims about events that supposedly occurred long ago in the Americas. I remember writing to the Smithsonian Institute to inquire about whether there was any evidence supporting the claims of Mormonism, only to be told in unequivocal terms that its archaeologists see 'no direct connection between the archaeology of the New World and the subject matter of the book.'"

This is just an example of how archaeology has not only given proof to the Bible, but has also disproved others!

These are just a few examples. There are many other examples from historians and archaeology that prove the Bible to be true and not just "blind faith" as some would call it.

Now what Bible is right? There are SO many translations it can make your head spin!

First I would choose a study bible, one that has fairly large print and wide margins (you will want to make notes in your Bible). I would also say that going for one that is an easy to read translation would be a really good idea. I know that I get confused reading all of the "thee's" "thou's" and "thoust's". The NIV (New International Version) is a great starter Bible. Also my favorite is The Message translation.

Once again the question of "if there are so many translations, which on is accurate?" or "wouldn't all of this translating take away from the Bible's accuracy over time?"

No. Remember the Bible is God's word. It cannot be corrupted, though our languages have changed over time and so the Bible has been translated many times. God has the final say. His message is still the only message there. If you are unsure just ask God to show you and take your time.

I personally love The Message translation, I find it so much easier to understand and I have gone and checked it against other versions such as the NIV and it does speak the same message.

I hope this is a helpful first blog! I know it was long!

Remember life may have a lot of questions and challenges but God will never leave or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:8

God is striding ahead of you. He's right there with you. He won't let you down; he won't leave you. Don't be intimidated. Don't worry."