Streams In The Desert: January 30th, 2016

I will be as the dew unto Israel    Hosea 14:5

The dew is a source of freshness. It is nature’s provision for renewing the face of the earth. It falls at night, and without it the vegetation would die. It is this great value of the dew which is so often recognized in the Scriptures. It is used as the symbol of spiritual refreshing. Just as nature is bathed in dew, so the Lord renews His people. In Titus 3:5 the same thought of spiritual refreshing is connected with the ministry of the Holy Ghost–“renewing of the Holy Ghost.”

Many Christian workers do not recognize the importance of the heavenly dew in their lives, and as a result they lack freshness and vigor. Their spirits are drooping for lack of dew.

Beloved fellow-worker, you recognize the folly of a laboring man attempting to do his day’s work without eating. Do you recognize the folly of a servant of God attempting to minister without eating of the heavenly manna? Nor will it suffice to have spiritual nourishment occasionally. Every day you must receive the renewing of the Holy Ghost. You know when your whole being is pulsating with the vigor and freshness of Divine life and when you feel jaded and worn. Quietness and absorption bring the dew. At night when the leaf and blade are still, the vegetable pores are open to receive the refreshing and invigorating bath; so spiritual dew comes from quiet lingering in the Master’s presence. Get still before Him. Haste will prevent your receiving the dew. Wait before God until you feel saturated with His presence; then go forth to your next duty with the conscious freshness and vigor of Christ.
–Dr. Pardington

Dew will never gather while there is either heat or wind. The temperature must fall, and the wind cease, and the air come to a point of coolness and rest–absolute rest, so to speak–before it can yield up its invisible particles of moisture to bedew either herb or flower. So the grace of God does not come forth to rest the soul of man until the still point is fairly and fully reached.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease:
Take from our souls the strain and stress;
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the pulses of desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, its beats expire:
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm!

Praise & Worship: January 29th, 2016

1. Paint Your Picture-  Julie Meyer

2.  Be Kind To Yourself-  Andrew Peterson

3.  Be Unto Your Name-  Robin Mark

4.  Be Still-  Godfrey Birtill

5.  Praise The Lord-  Kristene Mueller

6.  I Don’t Wanna Fall Away From You-  Keith Green

7.  The Witness- Denny Correll

8.  Yearn-  Shane & Shane

9.  Something In The Water-  Carrie Underwood

10.  Lord Reign In Me-  Brenton Brown

11.  Your Unfailing Love- Hillsong

This Is What Mental Illness Looks Like

Taken from the Huffington Post which is found   HERE.

I am 26 years old, and I currently live at home. I flunked out of university my freshman year as a basketball player on a partial scholarship, and I was in and out of community college for several years until I could gain some focus. I guess you can say it’s taken me some time to find direction in my life. I’m someone with mental illness, and mental illness has a way of consuming a person. I’ve got depression and anxiety, which is just a concoction of f*ckery, and the effects can feel agonizing. Anxiety and depression can be very crippling. Getting through each day can feel like a chore, waking up each morning can feel like a curse, and overall it’s just miserable. Throughout the years I’ve had a handful of different therapists. I have been fortunate to find a psychotherapist that is affordable and sincere, and I have been consistently seeing her for a few years now.

I have made a lot of progress since working with my therapist, and this past year I made it through something I never thought I would be willing to share. Last year I had some of the most trying months of my life. I felt like a zombie. I was going through the motions of my everyday life. I didn’t recognize myself. I didn’t feel like myself. I would fake many of my emotions and tell loved ones I was “fine” and that I was just going through a “rough period.” This was not a rough period. Being disappointed at the fact that I would wake each morning was not fine. Hating my existence was not fine. Wanting to end my life was not fine. If I wasn’t locked in my room then I was either at work or at a therapy session. Having to hear your therapist ask in almost every session, “Do you have a plan?” This is not a sign of being fine or just having a rough period. I was dishonest with many people: my friends, my family, and even my therapist. I had plans to end my life; however, I was not convinced any of them were foolproof.

I was more concerned with burdening loved ones than wanting to live. How do you explain to someone that you’re having difficulty coping with life? How do you begin to tell someone that you no longer wish to be alive? Almost every day I found myself reading through Reddit’s thread: [Serious] Parent’s of children who have committed suicide, could you explain the experience? I don’t think deep down I wanted to end my life. I did want to end my suffering. I was convinced that my life did not matter, that all I did was take up space, and that no one understood what I was feeling.

These are all things I once felt ashamed to admit. The shame I associated with needing professional help, the shame I’ve associated with my journey in life taking a bit longer than others, the embarrassment I’ve felt for my parents and myself because I could never seem to get things right — these are burdens I no longer wish to carry.

The truth is, I have no reason to be ashamed. This is not something a person can just snap out of. There is no quick fix. There is no waking up each day and telling myself to be happy. There is no off switch for depression and anxiety. Unfortunately, thinking positive is not something that can defeat mental illness, and I can’t pray mental illness away. What I can do is acknowledge the feelings and thoughts that arise each day. I can remind myself that I am not alone, and I can be patient with myself and just continue to take things one day at a time. This is what mental illness looks like.

___________________

If you — or someone you know — need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for theNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

A Drug To Cure Fear?

Taken from the New York Times  which is found   HERE.

God’s Grace For Us

Taken from  the  Phoenix Preacher  which is found  HERE.

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.””
(2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

I’ve always hated that verse.

Paul had a real problem, even though 2000 years of crack exegesis has yet to decide what it was.

He prayed for relief three times and this was the answer he got.

No.

No I won’t fix the problem, but I’ll make it bearable.

Gee, thanks…

Instead of fixing the problem, God offered ‘grace”.

Grace does not pay for car repairs, heal the sickness, or anything else “practical”

I’m very much into “fixing”, not “bearing”.

His grace will be “sufficient”…another word I hate.

It means just enough.

I don’t like “sufficient”, I like “some left over” in case I need it.

This verse almost made prayer seem impractical…what’s the point if all you get is some ethereal balm?

I think I’ve read the verse wrong.

Paul was a tough old bird who was used to being able to fix things in his own strength.

As a matter of fact, I think he was proud of being self reliant and loathed asking anybody for anything…even God.

He was one of those guys who, given enough time, would either fix something or endure something until it didn’t matter anymore.

He’d do it on his own, thank you.

God had to give him something he couldn’t handle to show Himself strong to Paul.

The sufficient grace was in the problem itself.

The answer wasn’t an “ethereal balm” it was the power of God resting in the place weakness had made.

It was an uneven trade…the power of God for the weakness of a man.

With the power of God all things are possible.

No wonder Paul took the deal…and even bragged about his weakness.

I’m a lot like Paul was.

I’m into fixing and enduring.

I’m not into asking.

Some of you are a lot like me.

You need to read the verse again too.

As for me, I’ve never been this weak…

Make your own application…

Streams In The Desert: January 23rd, 2016

Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? (Psalms 10:1)

God is “a very present help in trouble.” But He permits trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to its overwhelming pressure, that we may be brought to the end of ourselves, and led to discover the treasure of darkness, the unmeasurable gains of tribulation.

We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is with us in it. It may be that we shall see Him only when the trial is passing; but we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible. Our eyes are holden; and we cannot behold Him whom our soul loveth. It is dark–the bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest; but He is there, deeply touched. Let us not rely on feeling, but on faith in His unswerving fidelity; and though we see Him not, let us talk to Him. Directly we begin to speak to Jesus, as being literally present, though His presence is veiled, there comes an answering voice which shows that He is in the shadow, keeping watch upon His own. Your Father is as near when you journey through the dark tunnel as when under the open heaven!
–Daily Devotional Commentary

What though the path be all unknown?
What though the way be drear?
Its shades I traverse not alone
When steps of Thine are near.

Praise & Worship: January 22nd, 2016

1.The Battle Belongs To The Lord-  Jamie Owens Collins

2.  Good Good Father-  Kalley Heiligenthal

3.  The River-  Jordan Feliz

4.  Soar-  Meredith Andrews

5.  Call It Grace-  Unspoken

6.  Grace Wins-  Matthew West

7.  If We’re Honest-  Francesca Battistelli

8.  Breathe-  Jonny Diaz

9.  In The River-  Jesus Culture/Kim Walker

10.  I Believe In You-  Bob Dylan

11.  Only Love Remains-  jj Heller