What Does One Post On New Years Eve?

Job's latter end.

New Years Eve conjures up images of all sorts of happy images as we are not only closing a year but the first decade of the 2000’s.  Families will gather together one last time as they break every diet promise they made the previous year!  Many others will be gathering with other believers at scores of church functions.  Others will drink themselves into a stupor and regret it the next morning.  For many with a mental illness this will be one more landmark day they seek to get through in one emotional piece.

What is it I want to share with this latter group?  Do I post a humorous article?  Do I post an article about a person who is overcoming or has overcome their personal battle?  Another article about the holidays and depression?  I honestly wasn’t comfortable with any of the above options.  I also said goodbye to 2009 in an article last week!

I finally decided to share God’s promises via a list of Bible verses.  Well that changed and I decided to share verses from the first and last chapters of the book of Job.

Many of us have felt like Job as heavy burdens and a spiritual darkness seemed to have swallowed us up.  I can’t speak to anyone’s personal situation but I can show us a man who suffered tremendously.

The first verse I chose tells us about a very Godly man.  A man we would love to have the same words that described him describe us.

The second verse shows us that God allowed satan permission to go after Job in a big way.

And in the forty or so chapters that follow we read in great detail what befell Job.  We read conversations with friends and finally God speaks.  A good man suffering unspeakable tragedies.  Good people suffer today.

The third verse shows that the suffering did end. We see that God blessed Job greatly.

Finally we read that Job lived a long life and died at an old age.  I’m sure joy filled his life.

In a sense Job can represent scores of believers who suffer tremendously but in Job’s case the darkness lifted and God’s blessings were poured out upon him.

There’s hope for me in this book.  So what do I say to those who frequent this blog as a new year is upon us?  It’s quite simple really.  I pray that chapter 42 would dawn in your life in this coming year.  That is my prayer and hope for 2010.  Never forget the goodness of our God.  He hasn’t forgotten about you.

Job 1:1  There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and turned away from evil.

Job 1:12  And Jehovah said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thy hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of Jehovah.

Job 42:12  So Jehovah blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning:

Job 42:16  And after this Job lived a hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations.
Job 42:17  So Job died, being old and full of days.

Mental Health Isn’t The Issue- Stigma Is

Mark Dayton at his campaign headquarters.

Taken from the Star Tribune.

There was a time when the public admission of mental illness could derail a candidate’s political career.

That could still happen to Mark Dayton, the Democratic candidate for governor who went public this week with his history of depression. But if so, experts say, it’s the stigma — not the disease itself — that would sabotage his run for office.

Today, more than a decade into Prozac Nation, there is no reason why someone being treated for mild to moderate depression shouldn’t hold a job with enormous responsibility, doctors say. Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill both suffered from depression, they say, and that was long before Prozac and even more effective medications that are available now.

“It’s just a disability,” said Dr. Steve Miles, a bioethicist at the University of Minnesota and former candidate for the U.S. Senate who has bipolar disorder. “I take medicines. I show up for work. If depression disqualified people, we’d have to put 20 percent of [the population] on welfare.”

Mental illness is not the political kiss of death it once was, partly because it’s now more widely recognized as a treatable brain disease. Depression is now regarded as one of the most common medical conditions, affecting as many as one in five people at some point in their lives, by some estimates.

But there is still enough stigma that many people commended Dayton for disclosing his history with both depression and alcoholism. On Sunday the former U.S. senator confirmed in an interview in the Star Tribune’s opinion section that he has long been medicated for depression. A recovering alcoholic, Dayton also said he relapsed before the end of his Senate term, but has remained sober since 2007.

Back in 1972, Sen. Thomas Eagleton of Missouri was forced to drop out as the Democratic vice presidential nominee after reports surfaced that he had had electroshock treatment for depression.

Since then few politicians have admitted their battles with chemical dependency or mental illness.

But some have — and survived. Among them: former Sen. Lawton Chiles, who was elected governor of Florida in 1991 after disclosing his depression; and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., who was reelected to Congress after publicly acknowledging bipolar depression and chemical dependency.

“I think we’ve come light years as a nation,” said Jim Ramstad, a retired Republican congressman from Minnetonka. Ramstad, a recovering alcoholic, has been open about his chemical-dependency since a drinking binge landed him in jail in 1981, when he was a first-term state senator. He praised Dayton for coming forward.

“I don’t think his relapse should disqualify him from public office,” Ramstad said. Minnesota voters, he added, are fair-minded and “understand the disease of addiction. I learned that firsthand, that as long as you’re upfront and honest with them, they will accept you and reach out to you.”

Sue Abderholden, a longtime mental-health advocate, admits she was torn by Dayton’s disclosure. Anytime someone famous admits depression, she said, “it helps decrease the wall of stigma.” But Abderholden, executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, said she was also “kind of saddened” that the disease may become a negative campaign issue.

It may be fair to question whether someone with a mental illness can cope with a high-stress job. But getting treatment is a sign of strength, not weakness, she said.

The stigma of mental illness is still the primary impediment to treatment, doctors say.

“People say ‘I don’t want my boss to find out, I’ll lose my job,'” said Dr. Paul Goering, medical director of mental health at Allina Hospitals & Clinics. But if people can’t acknowledge they have depression, they won’t seek medical care, he said.

Brian Doran, 66, of White Bear Lake said he kept his diagnosis secret for years.

“It felt like a failure on my part,” he said. “As I learned later, it’s not a failure. It happens to people.”

But with effective treatment, he was able to rise through the ranks at 3M Corp., becoming the marketing director of one of the company’s international divisions before he retired seven years ago. “I thrived even with this condition,” said Doran, now a board member at the Mental Health Association’s Minnesota affiliate.

As did Eagleton. After withdrawing as George McGovern’s running mate in 1972, he was reelected by the voters of Missouri and served in the U.S. Senate until 1987.

Wrong Things Said In Church In Response To Christian Mental Illness

Many of us are familiar with some of the things that are listed below.  Our familiarity isn’t borne from reading an article in a magazine but from personal experience.  These things can be phrased using different words but the point being made is still the same.  These comments can come from friends, a church counselor, or even the Pastor.

Some of the comments made can be quite cruel as they assume an untruth about you.  How do we respond when we are placed in a situation where we are faced with false assumptions about our spirituality?  How we respond can be critical as we seek to move forward.  Will we become angry and bitter?  Can we choose to take the high road and respond in love?  Do we pretend like nothing happened and carry false beliefs about who we are in Christ?  Do we realize it’s okay to be hurt and hurt deeply when confronted with any of a number of false statements?  Are we open to the idea there may be sin in our lives that needs addressing?  I left a church because of this type situation.  I pray you will read the following and be built up if you have been down this road.  Allan

This is reproduced with permission from   Christian Mental Health U.K. Their website can be found by clicking   HERE.

“There must be something wrong with your spiritual life.”
Yes, depression CAN be a result of sin. BUT depression is NOT always a result of sin! If it is, God will tell you loud and clear what the problem is.

This saying piles on the guilt for the depressed Christian. It’s unlikely that their depression has a spiritual cause, and this implies that they are not good enough spiritually.

“Repent and ask forgiveness for your sin!”

Depression is a result of sin, in that if there was no sin in the world depression wouldn’t exist. But then, neither would diabetes, or cancer, or any other illness… Sin caused the word to be not-perfect, therefore illness exists.

It is not a sin to be depressed, any more than it is to have any other illness.

Depression can be used by God to encourage repentance, but in that case, it will be crystal clear exactly what sin you should repent of. If you don’t know, or have just a vague sense of guilt, your depression is not the result of a sin. Accusing someone of having depression because you think they committed some random sin is arrogant.

It wouldn’t be the act of a loving God to refuse to tell you what you need to repent of.

“Real Christians don’t get depressed.”

The implication behind this is that someone with clinical depression is not a “Real Christian®”. That hurts, especially if it comes from someone who holds authority.

It is hard to be depressed and Christian, very hard. I’d say it takes more faith to hold on to the fact that God exists when your situation is screaming out that even if there was a God, he hates you, than it does when all is going your way.

“You need to have more faith.” / “Have faith in God.”

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance [or realisation] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

How much faith does it take to hold onto the basic tenets of the Christian faith when emotions scream at you daily to give up, get out and avoid God? Very often a depressed Christian will be hanging onto faith by their fingernails in a situation that requires more faith than the average.

“Taking antidepressants is playing God, He can heal you.”

Yes, God can heal. Sometimes he doesn’t just flick a switch make the illness vanish, sometimes the healing comes through the conventional ways of doctors, psychiatrists, counsellors, therapists and medication. By persuading someone not to take their medication in preference for a fast, supernatural healing that God may not have in store for them, the sufferer is being denied something that will help them, right now.

In John 5:1-15 Jesus only healed one man out of the many who were gathered. Not everyone will receive supernatural healing. We don’t always understand why God does as he does, only that he is God and will do what is right.

“Scripture says everything that happens is for your own good!”

The actual verse says:

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

This verse in no way implies that the sufferer should sit back and accept the illness for the rest of their life. It also does not say that illnesses are not to be fought with the intention of a cure. While God may well have things to do with a depressed person, the illness is not a good thing of itself, and it may take years before you see positive results from it.

“You’ve been prayed for, why has nothing changed?”

This can be expressed in several ways and spoken by one of two different groups of people: either the person who asked for prayer, or those who prayed for them.

We’ll break the underlying situation into two areas: something definite was experienced in the prayer time: chains were obviously broken and a new freedom gained, or, nothing apparently happened at all. That is, “I know God set you free, [as testified to by experience, or, simply accepted by faith] why are you not walking in that freedom?”

When God steps in and answers believer’s prayer for a person to be freed from the influence of unclean an spiritual influence there may well be a noticeable sense of having been freed. Why is it then that we don’t all immediately change?

The bible speaks of our lives as being like clay; we are moulded through everything we go through. There are 3 sources of spiritual influence on our lives: God’s holy spirit, our own human spirit and unclean / demonic spirits. Take, for instance, temptation – it might not always be the devil himself tempting us, it may be our own human spirit / human nature. Lots of things work to shape this clay, the onus is on us to give ourselves progressively more and more to God and open our lives to His moulding process.

Let’s expand on the clay metaphor some more. Clay is not a very elastic substance. If you press a thumb into it and pull it away you’ll get a thumb print. A balloon, on the other hand, would spring back immediately when the outside influence is removed (the thumb). God’s word talks of us as being like clay, not balloons. Clay is solid, has substance, is useful for creating utensils that can be used in his service. Balloons are insubstantial, have nothing solid inside and are full of hot air.

So, take away the outside “thumb” pressing on our life and we are still left with a thumbprint: habits that have formed, certain ways of thinking or reacting to things, etc. God can (and does) change things like these instantly in some people, however, there are times when such a fundamental change would shatter who the person is and a longer, more sustained healing process is needed. That is, we are freed from the oppressive spiritual influence but over the course of weeks, months and years following the prayer time we see a gradual change as the unsightly “thumbprint” is smoothed out.

God wants us whole and healthy, it also says in Scripture that “the prayer of a righteous believer avails much” but it also says that one the fruit of God’s Spirit dwelling within us is patience and endurance. Prayer gets the job done … it’s just that the process started by the prayer may be an ongoing one.


“Depression is a self discipline problem.”

Self discipline is important to a Christian. We have to be disciplined enough not to break the laws of the land, and to obey our God. But no amount of self discipline will get rid of a medical problem. This statement implies that the sufferer is lazy and could become better by sheer force of will. This is not possible, and causes a lot of guilt.

“You should be praying about this.”

Implicitly, whoever says this is also saying “This wouldn’t have happened if you’d been praying enough.” That’s a big assumption to make about someone.

To a person with depression, it can seem like God left town a long time ago without leaving a forwarding address. It can seem as if your prayers bounce straight back off the ceiling, and that prayer is as fulfilling and satisfying as yelling at a block of wood.

When you’re depressed, you may not “feel” God as you had before. Often you don’t feel anything but numb and hollow. For me, and for many people, depression had a shrivelling effect on my faith. I found it hard to hang onto anything but the most basic elements of Christianity, and sometimes lost my grip on those. When I did manage to pray, it was a yell of pain and confusion. This is why we are supposed to base our faith on facts (God loves you, he loved you when you were a sinner too, Jesus paid the full price for all our sins, etc.) rather than feelings, which are fickle at the best of times. It can be incredible hard to hold onto those facts in depression, like trying to run into a very strong wind.

John Lockley says:

In Christians, spiritual effects follow from the depression, and seldom the other way round. I repeat – in Christians, nearly always the depression comes first, followed by a sense of remoteness from God, rather than depression being the result of “falling away.”

“A Practical Workbook for the Depressed Christian,”

One of the most eloquent and heartfelt prayers a depressed Christian can pray is “Help me God, I’m hurting!” This is a better prayer than the thirty minute waffle that doesn’t actually say anything. It’s honest, open and sincere.

God is listening, even if everything within you is screaming that he isn’t. Prayer during depression can take an awful lot of effort. One comeback to this saying is “I am praying, as best I can. Will you pray for me too?”

“You just need to rebuke that spirit of depression and tell it to leave you. Don’t let Satan steal your joy.”

There are two problems with this statement. One problem is the assumption that depression is caused by demonic oppression. The other problem is the assumption is that joy and happiness are the same thing.

Blaming a “spirit of depression” can be a wonderful cop-out. Just cast out the spirit and you’re cured! No need for long term support, for prayer, for counselling, for anything at all! And with this statement comes the implicit assumption that once again it’s your fault you’re depressed, this time because you’re not “spiritual” enough to get rid of the troublesome spirit yourself.

Yes it is possible that demonic oppression can cause depression. No, demons are not responsible for every case of depression. Imagine what would happen if this statement was directed at someone with cancer, or haemophilia, or osteoporosis (“Just cast out that demon attacking your bones and be strong again! God wants to see you running marathons!”).

The second problem with this statement is that joy is equated with happiness. People with depression are not going to be the happiest souls in the church. I’ve heard it said that happiness depends on what happens, whereas joy can exist in very unhappy situations.

“There’s no such thing as mental illness, it’s all in your mind”

Saying this denies that there is anything actually wrong with the depressed person, and implies that they are just making it up. This piles on the guilt again! A mental illness can be defined as one that affects the mind; the brain is allowed to get ill, just as the liver and lungs are.

“You’ve got nothing to be sad about”

Depression isn’t about being sad, often the real situation may well have no effect on the disease at all. This statement misunderstands the disease, depression can have an origin that has nothing to do with the surroundings of the sufferer. Depression may make you feel as if your emotions have been switched off, leaving you less sad than numb and empty.

“It’s your own fault you’re depressed”

This is the kind of thing that Job’s “comforters” said, and it didn’t help then either. Bad things can happen to good people. Denying this hurts the sufferer.

“Pull yourself together”

If you’ve been trying, someone saying this to you comes across as “You haven’t been trying hard enough, do more, and more, and more until you get it right. ” So back you go, trying more and more, and still getting nowhere because you cannot pull yourself out of depression by your bootstraps, and you can’t fix a medical problem by force of will.

“You’re just being lazy”

One of the common features of depression is a disturbed sleep pattern. This can often take the form of waking early each day (say 2 AM) and being unable to get back to sleep. Multiply this over several months, and the results can be severe.

On top of this, everything is screaming that the world is a horrible place and nothing is worth the effort any more. Acting like a spring bunny is just plain out of the question. It is not laziness, it is a consequence of the illness.

Saying Goodbye To 2009

It’s 11:00p.m. and the Christmas holiday is officially over for us.  Our last company left a little while ago and I recalled I have a blog to tend to!  Earlier today our son flew back to Oakland and it’s always sad to see him go.  My mother was here today and spent a few hours here visiting and playing dominoes with the kids.  Belinda’s brother and wife were here briefly and tomorrow they begin their journey to Italy where they will be re-entering the mission field after having spent several years in Poland.  Belinda’s sister and her husband spent a good portion of the day here and left some time this evening.  Our nephew, his wife, and two kids were the last to leave.  His wife suffers from aggressive M.S. and you can tell the toll it has taken on her.  We had a wonderful time visiting.  So this is the first time since Wednesday the house has been void of guests.

So as we said goodbye to all of our company we will soon be saying goodbye to 2009.  I’m happy 2009 will soon be past.  It’s been a difficult year for so many people we care for I am hoping 2010 will see these situations take turns for the better as God sees His will done.  The reality is I have no clue what He has in mind for all of us so I pray we can all learn to rest in Him no matter the circumstances.

I am pleased with how the blog has been presented to you in 2009.  I hope to be able to make improvements going forward in many areas.  That will need to begin with me.  I desire to walk close with God and know Him more.  I also desire to run my own life and see to my own needs.  This is a battle I wrestle with as I seek to walk with and to serve God.  I have to believe as I walk closely with Him that He will bring this blog together in a way pleasing to Him.  That is my main goal.

Coming into 2009 I wanted to utilize Larry Taylor and Maryellen Stipe as much as possible.  Who wouldn’t?  I thought that if I could get maximum input from them the blog would grow as these two people are so highly respected and their efforts would draw people here who then could be ministered to.  I’ve come to realize I don’t require their “presence” as I had hoped for.  They have busy lives and are in full time ministry.  If God chooses to bless this blog then He can certainly do so if I don’t have an all star lineup!

I have a soft spot for testimonials so I was more than happy to follow the progress of Natalie who lives in Singapore as she has traveled the road of recovery from an eating disorder.  Doing updates on her progress have been exciting to follow.  Running the three part testimonial of Angela was really a powerful experience.  She shared her story of how an eating disorder tried to destroy her through the years.  It was exciting to read how God has brought her to where she is now while at the same time heartbreaking because of what her battle cost her.  I am looking forward to God working powerfully in these young women’s lives.  Please continue to pray for each of them.

Another high point this past year was Shaun Sells beginning an outreach at his church in Cheyenne, Wyoming for those battling mental illness as well as family members.  Seeing a ministry like that begin has always been my dream.  I pray that other churches would see the need to do something along the same line as Shaun.  It is so needed these days and as time goes on I believe that need will only grow stronger.  There are many walking wounded that need our love and attention.

I don’t envision anything changing dramatically on the blog this coming year.  I hope to become a bit more computer savvy so I might take advantage of stuff that could only improve things.  I do hope as always to share more o your stories.  I believe in the power of personal testimonials strongly as I know people connect with them and can offer so much hope to those who have lost theirs.  If you are interested in sharing your story just e-mail me at  erunner54@gmail.com and we’ll work something out.  Even if you are a work in progress I’d love to share your story!  So pray about this if you believe you have something to share.

I deeply desire to see all of us grow in our faith in spite of the challenges that are there with various emotional issues nipping at our heels.  I pray this blog can somehow be a part of what God uses to work in your lives.  I pray 2010 will be a year where we all experience a real touch of God in our lives as we seek to follow Him.

By Thy Spirit: Streams In The Desert, December 27th

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts” Zecheriah 4:6

My way led up a hill, and right at the foot I saw a boy on a bicycle. He was pedalling up hill against the wind, and evidently found it a tremendously hard work. Just as he was working most strenuously and doing his best painfully, there came a trolley car going in the same direction–up the hill.
It was not going too fast for the boy to get behind it, and with one hand to lay hold of the bar at the back. Then you know what happened. He went up that hill like a bird. Then it flashed upon me:
“Why, I am like that boy on the bicycle in my weariness and weakness. I am pedalling up hill against all kinds of opposition, and am almost worn out with the task. But here at hand is a great available power, the strength of the Lord Jesus.
“I have only to get in touch with Him and to maintain communication with Him, though it may be only one little finger of faith, and that will be enough to make His power mine for the doing of this bit of service that just now seems too much for me.” And I was helped to dismiss my weariness and to realize this truth.  –The Life of Fuller Purpose
ABANDONED
Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Seeking all His fulness at whatever cost;
Cutting all the shore-lines, launching in the deep
Of His mighty power–strong to save and keep.
Utterly abandoned to the Holy Ghost!
Oh! the sinking, sinking, until self is lost!
Until the emptied vessel lies broken at His feet;
Waiting till His filling shall make the work complete.
Utterly abandoned to the will of God;
Seeking for no other path than my Master trod;
Leaving ease and pleasure, making Him my choice,
Waiting for His guidance, listening for His voice.
Utterly abandoned! no will of my own;
For time and for eternity, His, and His alone;
All my plans and purposes lost in His sweet will,
Having nothing, yet in Him all things possessing still.
Utterly abandoned! ’tis so sweet to be
Captive in His bonds of love, yet so wondrous free;
Free from sin’s entanglements, free from doubt and fear,
Free from every worry, burden, grief or care.
Utterly abandoned! oh, the rest is sweet,
As I tarry, waiting, at His blessed feet;
Waiting for the coming of the Guest divine,
Who my inmost being shall perfectly refine.

Lo! He comes and fills me, Holy Spirit sweet!
I, in Him, am satisfied! I, in Him, complete!
And the light within my soul shall nevermore grow dim
While I keep my covenant–abandoned unto Him!
–Author Unknown

Beautiful Christian Music: Praise & Worship- My Favorites From This Past Year.

This weeks music are some of my favorites that speak to me and comfort my spirit the most.  Different artists and styles of music and I don’t even know if “Fix You” is what we might label a “Christian” song.  If it’s not it should be!  🙂  Anyway, this is the last music post for the year and it was difficult narrowing down a personal list like this.  There is so much beautiful music to choose from.  God bless!  Allan

Song List

1.  How He Loves Us-  Kim Walker/Jesus Culture

2.  The World Needs Jesus-  Malcolm & Alwyn

3.  My Redeemer Lives-  Nicole C. Mullen

4.  Fall On Me (Set Me Free)-  Vineyard

5.  Revelation Song-  Kari Jobe

6.  Fix You-  Coldplay

7.  In Christ Alone-  Vineyard

8.  All My Tears-  The Gordons

9.  Holy Is The Lord-  Chris Tomlin

10.  Breathe-  Marie Barnett/Vineyard

11.  Praise Is Rising (Hosanna)-  Brenton Brown

12.  My Soul Longs For You-  Misty Edwards

13.  Light The Fire Again-  Brian Doerksen

Merry Christmas From Erunner’s Porch!!

When I was a full time participant on the “From The Ashes” blog the folks there were kind enough to set up a thread titled “Erunner’s Porch.”  It was a thread that was always available and was set up so folks could visit and just post about whatever happened to be on their mind.  Conversations could be serious or they could be relaxed and fun.  They had a picture of a very nice porch depicting this imaginary place.

So you’re wondering what in the world does this have to do with this blog?  Nothing at all!  But it gives me an excuse to post random stuff!  :) Read at your own risk……

The last year seems to have flown by and now 2010 is staring us down.  A year ago I was not thinking of becoming a Grandfather anytime soon.  That changed!  Next month our first Grandson is due and then in June our first Granddaughter is due!  How quickly things change.

Our three children have a tradition in that they go to a movie Christmas evening together.  Our oldest wants to see Avatar and the two younger ones want to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie.  The two camps don’t desire to see what the other does so it’ll be interesting to see what they settle on.  I offered to make the choice for them and was promptly rejected!  Old men get no respect I tell ya’!

Christmas time seems to bring the worst drivers out of retirement and I’m always stuck behind them.  Why must folks drive 35 in a 45 and do it in the fast lane?  Why must they brake as they approach an intersection with a green light?  Why must they refuse to turn right when the cross walk is empty and there’s not a car in sight?  I always laugh when the local speed merchant is swerving in and out of lanes in their big trucks and then I pull up next to them at the next red light?  Where in the world are all of the police when these amateurs are making my life miserable?

This losing weight thing is getting the best of me.  I used to drop weight quite easily and now it’s a bear to do.  I won’t mention I’ve never kept  weight off for any significant amount of time in the past!  It’s a lifestyle change Allan!  Come let me place my hands around your throat!  🙂  Why is it that those of us who love and appreciate food the most must suffer??!!

I’m staring at a nice monitor right now.  Large screen and paid for!  How, you might ask?  Pretty much with money I got for saving cans and plastic bottles and using that money for my payments.  Now it appears I may need a new tower and if I get one I have a bit of money to put down and then will pay it off the same way.  My computer is about six years old and is low on memory and acts up in really odd ways at times.  So I may have to upgrade. It scares me to think of my computer crashing.  Can’t have that.

The best thing I got this past year was a small MP3 player for only $17.  It holds tons of music and I can switch songs in and out at will.  It’s perfect for my walks and when I simply want to relax.  Music is and always has been a huge part of my life.  That’s why I use one night each week for music.  I believe strongly that music can calm our spirits and soothe our souls.  I do hope folks like what’s posted each week.

This blog has become a full time ministry for me.  I always look forward to posting information or articles I pray will bless people that happen by here.  When I hear that has happened I am totally stoked. I still can’t drop some of the jargon from my youth!  I feel like I know so many who have dropped by and have participated here and I so desperately desire to see God move in your lives.

Knowing some of you are struggling is difficult for me to handle at times.  I know a bit of what it is you are experiencing and have been through because of my life experiences.  If I could post the secret formula for healing I’d do it in an instant.  Yet I must trust that God is in control in each of our lives while admitting at times I falter in that belief.  It’s useless to try and fake ones way through a mental illness while at the same time there is freedom in coming to grips with the truth of our plight.

As Christmas is upon us and I look ahead to writing something like this one year from now, Lord willing, my Christmas wish is that all of us would be able to share what God has done for us in 2010.  If you would like to share something God has done or shown you this past year I’d love for you to share.  Merry Christmas to you and may God do more and above what you might wish for or imagine in the days, weeks, and months to come!  Allan