“Peter was kept in prison: but prayer (instant and earnest prayer) was made for him” Acts 12:5,
Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The Church had neither human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of Heaven. They gave themselves to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second wards of the prison; and when they came to the iron gate, it opened to them of its own accord, and Peter was free.
There may be some iron gate in your life that has blocked your way. Like a caged bird you have often beaten against the bars, but instead of helping, you have only had to fall back tired, exhausted and sore at heart. There is a secret for you to learn, and that is believing prayer; and when you come to the iron gate, it will open of its own accord.
How much wasted energy and sore disappointment will be saved if you will learn to pray as did the Church in the upper room! Insurmountable difficulties will disappear; adverse circumstances will prove favorable if you learn to pray, not with your ownfaith but with the faith of God (Mark 11:22, margin). Souls in prison have been waiting for years for the gate to open; love ones out of Christ, bound by Satan, will be set free when you pray till you definitely believe God. –C. H. P.
Emergencies call for intense prayer. When the man becomes the prayer nothing can resist its touch. Elijah on Carmel, bowed down on the ground, with his face between his knees, that was prayer–the man himself.
No words are mentioned. Prayer can be too tense for words. The man’s whole being was in touch with God, and was set with God against the powers of evil. They couldn’t withstand such praying. There’s more of this embodied praying needed. –The Bent-knee Time
“Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.” –C. H. Spurgeon
Taken from the Huffington Post which is found HERE.
For the nearly 44 million Americans who experience mental illness in a given year, 2015 could be regarded as a source of solace. This was the year that celebrities spoke up, research improved and more people started prioritizing their mental well-being.
“We have made great strides in recent years in understanding illnesses that affect the most complex organ in our body: the brain,” Gregory Dalack, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan, told The Huffington Post.
“My hope for mental health is that we are able to further erode the stigma associated with mental illness, help individuals who suffer realize that they are not alone and help them understand that treatment works,” he said.
Below are just a few ways 2015 changed the landscape for how we treat mental illness:
Artists taught us what it physically feels like to suffer from mental illness.
This year we’ve seen a slew of talented singers, illustrators, photographers and others create art as a means to convey the realities of mental illness.
One of those artists Katie Crawford, a photographer who has experienced anxiety and depression for most of her life, created a stunning series of self-portraits that captured what her disorders feel like.
“I want people that suffer from [anxiety] to be able to use these images as a reference if they need it,” she told HuffPost earlier this year. “There’s a misconception that anxious people are antisocial, short-fused or overdramatic. But they’re most likely processing everything around them so intensely that they can’t handle a lot of questions, people or heavy information all at once. And I think certain images express that. Anxiety is when you feel everything.”
We learned how to more effectively screen and treat mental illness.
Other studies are uncovering more effective methods of treatment: A November 2015 study also found that talk therapy may be more successful than light therapywhen it comes to treating seasonal affective disorder, a depression-related condition that most often occurs in the winter months.
Advancements in research are obviously meaningful for those who need treatment, but they’re also crucial in the fight against stigma. Just like cancer was taboo to talk about decades ago, mental illness currently faces similar stereotypes, Dalack says. But more studies and public conversation are helping to change that.
“People were ashamed of the diagnosis of cancer, were unwilling to reveal it and unwilling to let individuals outside of their immediate family — and sometimes even within their immediate family — know about it,” he said. “A lot has been done to de-stigmatize cancer. This has helped us to understand cancer as a medical condition, and one that can respond to treatment in many circumstances. It is no different, and should be no different for mental illness.”
Celebrities spoke out for mental health.
Celebrities like Demi Lovato and Carrie Fisher have been outspoken about mental illness for years and continued their legacy of being mental health advocates in 2015.
“Celebrities who suffer with mental illness and are willing to talk about it send an important message,” Dalack explained. “Individuals may be suffering from a mental illness and yet it might not be apparent to you. Having a mental illness does not mean that you cannot function at a high level and be successful.”
Other public figures also began to use their platform to fight stigma this year. “Teen Wolf” star Colton Haynes tweeted messages of support for his fans who may be experiencing anxiety, a condition he revealed he’s dealt with since he was younger. Actress Hayden Panettiere addressed mental illness on-screen and off, with her portrayal of postpartum depression on the show “Nashville” — a condition for which she sought treatment in real life too.
More people are prioritizing their mental health.
We often think of mental illness as something that’s brushed under the rug or minimized. But a recent national survey found that 90 percent of people said theyview mental health and physical health equally. Approximately 93 percent of people from the same study also said they’d intervene if they discovered someone close to them was contemplating suicide.
While we still have a long way to go in reducing mental health stigma, this is a promising development.
The Not So Great
People are still equating mental illness with violence.
One of the most prominent perpetrators was presidential candidate Donald Trump. After the killing of two Virginia journalists on live television, Trump claimed that those who knew the shooter probably thought he should be “institutionalized,” but laws should not make it difficult for “sane people” to have access to guns.
While there certainly needs to be more action toward mental health reform in America, this is mostly unrelated to mass violence. Mental illness is often brought up after an episode of violence, but the two are not easily connected, according to those who study the phenomenon.
“These horrible events make people think that people with mental illness are inherently violent, when in fact they are far more likely to be victims than perpetrators of a violent crime,” Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University, told HuffPost.
We still don’t exactly know how to talk about suicide.
Back in May, ESPN published a heartbreaking feature about college athlete Madison Holleran, a University of Pennsylvania freshman who died by suicide on campus. The piece took an extensive look into Holleran’s death, including explicit details and speculations about her death’s circumstances.
Stigma is still a huge barrier to treatment. The idea that there’s something “wrong” with your mind is incredibly taboo — and given the rhetoric from prominent people and media mentioned above, it’s not hard to see why.
Here’s to hoping that 2016 continues to breed more understanding, compassion and, most importantly, hope for those dealing with mental illness.
Today, Chris Kuykendall looks like a strapping young football star. But the 16-year-old didn’t always have the cool kid clout at school that he has today. In fact, as a young kid, he was bullied very badly. That’s why whenever he heard about a kindergartener getting bullied at school, he knew he wanted to do something about it.
The 5-year-old got to the point where he was so sick to his stomach over the ridicule from other students that he would throw up before he went to school.
“It just hit home. I remembered how I felt when I was getting bullied. It just fired me up. I wanted to change that right then and there. I didn’t want him to go another day, wake up another day, feeling like he didn’t need to go to school,” said Chris.
Chris decided to invite the boy to lunch with him so that all the bullies could see that he was hanging out with a cool football player. Soon, he earned the respect and gained the confidence he needed to make it through the school day with a smile. Chris’s friend on the football team, Brevin, saw what he was doing and decided to join the cause.
Together they started the Eagle Buddies, an organization that pairs athletes with bullied kids. Check out what these stand up football players are doing to tackle bullying in the best way!
Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to the disciples,“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”—Matthew 26:36
It is a hard thing to be kept in the background at a time of crisis. In the Garden of Gethsemane eight of the eleven disciples were left to do nothing. Jesus went to the front to pray; Peter, James and John went to the middle to watch; the rest sat down in the rear to wait. Methinks that party in the rear must have murmured. They were in the garden, but that was all; they had no share in the cultivation of its flowers. It was a time of crisis, a time of storm and stress; and yet they were not suffered to work.
You and I have often felt that experience, that disappointment. There has arisen, mayhap a great opportunity for Christian service. Some are sent to the front; some are sent to the middle. But we are made to lie down in the rear. Perhaps sickness has come; perhaps poverty has come; perhaps obloquy has come; in any case we are hindered and we feel sore. We do not see why we should be excluded from a part in the Christian life. It seems like an unjust thing that, seeing we have been allowed to enter the garden, no path should be assigned to us there.
Be still, my soul, it is not as thou deemest! Thou art not excluded from a part of the Christian life. Thinkest thou that the garden of the Lord has only a place for those who walk and for those who stand! Nay, it has a spot consecrated to those who are compelled to sit. There are three voices in a verb—active, passive and neuter. So, too, there are three voices in Christ’s verb “to live.” There are the active, watching souls, who go to the front, and struggle till the breaking of the day. There are the passive, watching souls, who stand in the middle, and report to others the progress of the fight. But there are also the neuter souls—those who can neither fight, nor be spectators of the fight, but have simply to lie down.
When that experience comes to thee, remember, thou are not shunted. Remember it is Christ that says, “Sit ye here.” Thy spot in the garden has also been consecrated. It has a special name. It is not “the place of wrestling,” nor “the place of watching,” but “the place of waiting.” There are lives that come into this world neither to do great work nor to bear great burdens, but simply to be; they are the neuter verbs. They are the flowers of the garden which have had no active mission. They have wreathed no chaplet; they have graced no table; they have escaped the eye of Peter and James and John. But they have gladdened the sight of Jesus. By their mere perfume, by their mere beauty, they have brought Him joy; by the very preservation of their loveliness in the valley they have lifted the Master’s heart. Thou needst not murmur shouldst thou be one of these flowers! —Selected
Another year is coming to a close as 2016 awaits us. Our home is quite busy as we get ready to celebrate Christmas with our family tomorrow.
The weather here is brisk and as I was standing outside minutes ago I was staring at the moon, grateful that I am a child of God.
The year has been tough for me and I would like to think I’m learning a few things about myself and especially in how God sees me.
Again,the lesson that is so important is how God sees me and not how I feel or the mistakes that I try to identify myself with. Trying to grasp the reality that everything in God’s word that He intends for His children He also intends for me as well.
Trying to reconcile that with the lies that I have bought into through my life is a huge challenge. Along the way I created a false god to support me through the years.
I’d like to try and share about that as we head into 2016.
Those of us who battle mental illness need to understand some things.
1. God loves us unconditionally. Even at our worst.
2. He does not see us as failures.
3. We are not failures.
4. We are not cursed.
5. We are not forgotten.
6. We are NEVER alone.
7. Our pain is real and valid.
8. When we came to Christ we were saved for eternity.
9. Our position in Christ is more than we dare to comprehend.
10. We will never be able to understand why we suffer as we do and why scallywags seem to get off scott free.
Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of Jesus. God sent His only begotten Son to suffer the consequences of our sins so that we wouldn’t have to.
Jesus kept the law perfectly. He allowed wicked men to put Him on a cross knowing that by becoming sin and suffering the consequences He would secure our salvation as He defeated death and the grave.
He sits at the right hand of God as our great High Priest making intercession for us. He does so even today.
Tomorrow we exchange gifts if we are fortunate enough to.
The gift we should try to focus on is the gift of eternal life that we could never earn.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
I have seen that complete high quality movies are available on youtube for free. I thought that I might post full movies here for any who don’t have access to them. I hope there will be some who will enjoy this opportunity. Allan