Words – Speaking – Communicating

Small but powerful……..

Remember that kids rhyme – sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me? Whoever wrote that either lived on an island by themselves or was much stronger that I am!

Words are powerful –

Words have the potential to make someones day…… or crush someone in a split second.

Here’s what I have found to be true – we don’t know how powerful our words are. If someone says something we view as painful we perceive that we know their heart motivation. But…. if someone claims to be able to know why we said something we get defensive.

Let me offer 3 simple encouragements to you:

  1. Remember the tongue is powerful – James 3:2 ‘We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check‘. You may not mean for something to be hurtful but you also don’t know the full impact of your words. Your tongue is powerful – be careful….take a breath before speaking – are you in control of your tongue, with God’s help, or is your tongue out of control.
  2. The tongue can build up – If it’s true that we over exaggerate what people say to us then it is also true that we underestimate the impact of our positive words on others. There is such a shortage of people that simply encourage others. Look for ways to put somebody up, say thanks to your server next time you eat out, when someone helps you tell them you appreciate them, when you see a parent navigating their kids and the week’s grocery shopping quietly say as you pass “You are doing an amazing job’. The tongue has the power to build up….. but
  3. The tongue can tear down – Remember the last time someone called you an idiot? Remember how that made you feel? In the frustration of a moment words can fly from our mouths before we know it. You can’t ever take those words back. I remember when my daughter was just a toddler and I was having an argument with my wife. I won the argument and went in to another room, may daughter followed me and said (Gulp…) “Mum’s shut an idiot, isn’t she?”. What a fool I was!

Words are powerful……

Words can build up……

Words can tear down……

If there was ever an area we needed God’s help then it’s with our tongues. Pray with me that God will open our minds to how our words impact others and He will show us ways to speak words that build up!

God is at work in the mess – Betty

In these days when many of us are not around a lot of people it’s easy to start perceiving that we are alone. A while ago I had an amazing encounter that I thought a lot about during the last few days. This experience reminded me that we are not alone.

As we are raising support to start serving in missions I have been working part time with my friend who owns a construction business. One of my jobs was to help remodel a hair salon. I have been knocking down walls and panting. I was working alone early one morning when a lady who I would guess was about 80 years old came in. My thoughts first of all was that she probably thought she had a hair appointment that day. So I explained that the salon was shut during the remodel. She seemed very confused and kept talking about an event for the Girl Scouts that she wanted to help with. I told her I didn’t know anything about that but I would check. I texted my boss and he didn’t know anything about any event. This lady came back into the salon probably another four or five times over the course of the next half an hour. I kept repeating the same thing that I didn’t know anything about any event. I was getting more and more concerned about this lady. Finally I asked her if she would be willing to just sit down and chat for a minute. She seemed both confused and embarrassed. So I tried to just sympathize and say I wanted to help. So we both sat and started talking. 

I asked her if she was feeling OK because she seemed to be very confused. She told me that her husband dropped her off but kept talking about wanting to help with the Girl Scouts. So I suggested that we try calling her husband. When we tried his number he didn’t answer. This lady let’s call her Betty, although that’s not her real name, kept apologizing and saying how embarrassed she felt. I then suggested that maybe I should try and take her home. I asked her if she knew where she lived and she replied that she wasn’t sure but she knew she lived by a school. I then asked her if the school was for younger kids or older kids, and she replied it was for younger kids. So I said let’s look at names of local schools and see if anyone rings a bell. I started reading the list of the elementary schools in the area. After about the third or fourth school she said that’s it that’s the one. So I said let’s head to that school and see if anything looks familiar. I prayed that God would help me to encourage this lady, and not let her feel scared or threatened. 

We both got into my car and we headed for the school that was about a mile away. As we got close to the school she said now I think I know where I’m at and she pointed to a side road. We drove down that side road and she pointed to a house. I went to the door with her but unfortunately no one was home. She then remembered that her daughter lived across the street, so we went and knocked on the door. A man answered the door and looked very surprised to see me and then confused to see what later I learned was his mother-in-law. He was so grateful that I brought her home and I was glad that she was now safely with family. 

I continued to work that morning wondering what the backstory was. The answers to my questions came later in the afternoon when one of the stylists came to pick up some supplies. I told him what had happened and he told me that the lady, Betty, was actually one of his clients who has been suffering with progressive dementia for the last few years. He was so glad that I was there and able to help this precious lady. 

The story reminds me that even in the midst of all of the stuff that’s going on with so much uncertainty and so much unknown and so much confusion, God is still at work in big and small ways. If we all keep our eyes open I’m sure God will give us regular opportunities, especially in this season, to be his hands and feet. God may seem silent but he is not at all. In fact I would say he is more active these days than I’ve seen for a long time. This is the time that is ripe for the hope of the gospel and the peace that Jesus alone can give. 

God is at work in what seems to be a mess. When so many are crying out to God, some are concluding that God is silent. Perhaps we are just looking in the wrong places. Maybe we are guilty of thinking God has to move in the ways we think He should, not in ways He knows are best.

Is God silent right now?

This is such a unique time, is it not? Can any one of us remember a time like this? Many of us have been impacted in big and small ways. Some of us have had to face huge lines at the store wondering where we can buy toilet paper, others have lost their jobs and still others have had first hand experience with the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). 

We have seen schools closed and people encouraged to work from home. We have seen the rapidly escalating numbers of cases near and far. We have started to do church online and are encouraged to understand social distancing. So much has changed in such a short period of time. 

Like me you have probably seen and heard many things about faith and worry. Some of these things have been so helpful while others seem to simply state the obvious. This is a time when cliches don’t begin to help. 

Cliches don’t begin to help……

This virus is a macro example of what I have seen on a micro scale many times in my ministry as a pastor. I remember one time praying for God to heal a young child who was dying. I have seen lots of people dying of cancer. Most of the dying people I’ve sat next to in nursing homes and hospitals have been advanced in years. It seemed so wrong to see the tiny form of a child breathing her last breaths. People are praying but God seems silent. 

That seeming silence causes us to examine our faith. This is a season when our faith is examined in such a developed way. Here’s what many of us are finding: If our peace rises and falls based on circumstances we are probably struggling with the perception that God is silent. 

I have learned myself and seen in others that when tough times come we just want them over with as soon as possible. Isn’t that all  our hearts desire that this virus and all that has happened just stop already? 

But this virus isn’t going anywhere soon or so it seems. So the pressure mounts day by day as we wrestle with all that’s happening and the sense that God seems silent. Can I simply encourage you with this one thought as we unpack this tension in the coming blogs? What we feel and what is actually reality are often very different things.

I remember a while ago I thought my family was not giving me an appropriate level of understanding. I was so busy and feeling the weight of all that was happening and when a family member took offense at one of my responses I appealed for understanding and for space. My precious family member told me our whole family had, in actual reality, been extending understanding and space for days. What I perceived and what was reality were at odds. 

What I perceived and what was reality were at odds….. So no, I am not a genius….

Is that what is happening with you and God at the moment? Does God seem silent? Step back and simply ask God to open your eyes to His reality. Maybe start with reading some of John’s Gospel and ask yourself, “does Jesus show us in any way that God is silent and distant?”. 

More to come……

Stories that impacted me: “Try not to worry but dad’s had a heart attack”

When someone says “don’t worry”…. What do you do? 

I remember a few years ago I was sitting at my desk working and a close family member called me. I love this family member very much but their words stopped me in my steps that day: They said “Don’t worry, but dad’s in the hospital, they think he’s had a heart attack”. I know they were sincerely trying to care for me by sharing the news that way but I instantly started to do the opposite of what they said, I worried. I raced to the hospital thinking,  “what has happened?”, “would my dad be ok and about a thousand other things”. When I arrived at the hospital I went into his room and saw my dad hooked up to a bunch of machines. This seemed so surreal. My dad had been a policeman for my whole life and now he seemed so weak and vulnerable. 

Our world can change in a moment and we are told not to worry. 

My dad recovered and we were able to have some much needed chats and build bridges. I will always treasure those conversations with my dad. Crisis does that, it puts important things into perspective. My dad and I fought a lot because I was a pain in his backside. But seeing him in hospital changed everything. I just kept praying for God to spare his life. 

We are in a time when we hear a steady stream of “don’t worry” messages. But there is so much unknown. When someone says “Don’t worry” but close the schools, restaurants, bars and no group gatherings my mind races. Does yours? 

There is so much anxiety going around right now, you can taste it! Last Friday my wife and I went into our local Kroger to get ice cream. Friday night ice cream is medicinal so it’s not unhealthy……. But when we got to the front of the store the line was huge. It went from the front of the store to the back. The shelves were starting to empty quickly. I got home and clicked on Apple news and saw a bunch of messages that included the advice “Don’t worry”. 

So I have been thinking and praying about what to write to try and encourage people today. Here’s what I want to share: I started listening to worship music as I continue to work on projects to fix up our home in which we just moved. God met me in the worship music and lifted my eyes away from what was happening and onto Him. 

So let me encourage you with this, the next time someone says “Don’t worry”, instead of worrying – worship! I have found that the cure for fear is worship. Worship enables me to focus on God and not on panic-buying. 

Worship helps me remember what I know about my God:  

God is sovereign – in control 

God is all powerful – He moves and nothing can stand in His way 

God is all loving – He is selfless and sacrificial in His love 

God is all knowing – there is nothing that He doesn’t know about – He knows all 

The Psalms are a great place to go to read examples of worship even when people’s lives collapsed and uncertainty filled their hearts and minds. Can I encourage you to go to Psalm 46 to start with. Our pastor did an amazing job with that text yesterday – check out his message if you have time – http://summitpoint.org/watch/stepping-through-trouble-and-pain/.

Please feel free to email me if I can pray for you – caringpastorglyn@gmail.com

Birds on a beach in Florida

Our family loves the beach. There is just something about the ocean that speaks vacation, rest and time with the family for me. As a child growing up in England, we vacationed in an amazing, beautiful place called Cornwall. (Insert pic of Sennon) The surf, the smell, the beach and the time away with my family are some of the best memories I have of my childhood. Now that I have a family of my own, we have been blessed to use our friend’s house in Southwest Florida for ten years in a row. 

A few years ago I was sat on the shore line with the tiny waves running over my feet. It was a typically beautiful day at Siesta Key. (Insert pic of Siesta Key). My youngest two sons were having a blast in the ocean, my wife and daughter were chatting away to each other when I noticed an awesome scene that God really used to speak to me.

As these tiny birds with long beaks flew down it was clear they were on the hunt for food. Using their bills to dig quickly down for whatever was just under the surface of the sand. But I also noticed something else as they flew up and down with the coming and going of the waves. These beautiful birds who get to spend their lives in amazing beauty, fused with each other. One would land and another would come and stalk, fuss and prod to battle for a few inches of wet beach. In fact I noticed they wasted so much time fighting each other they had just a split second to dig for food. Why waste all that time and energy and miss the most important part of what they were doing?

I thought to myself as I watched the birds come down, fuss, peck and then fly back up, “this is such a strong picture of worry, fear and anxiety in my life”. Worrying doesn’t change anything, fear often paralyzes me and anxiety can sometimes keep me up at night. But worrying, being filled with fear or anxiety doesn’t change anything!! Just like the birds on the beach fussing with each other rather than feeding, worrying misses the key piece of our lives. Worrying says, “I need to fix this”, it plays the “what if tapes” and it keeps our focus on the here and now. Faith on the other hand looks up and remembers God is all powerful, God is all loving and I can trust Him. 

Rather than fuss, fret and worry God invites you and I to pray. I love these verses: Philippians 4:6-7 “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

I hope and pray this story encourages and challenges you this day!

Stories that have impacted me: The empty medical cabinet.

I wanted to take a few blogs and share some of the stories I’ve either read or been part of that have impacted me over the last few years. As a pastor you get a unique perspective into life and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve seen, heard and experienced. As always, my objective is to both encourage and cause you to think. 

The first story that impacted me caused me to think about the end of my life and what I wanted to leave behind for my precious family. The account was written by a son whose dad had just died. One of the responsibilities that fell to this son was sorting through his dad’s things, both at home and at work. This man’s father was a doctor that had treated thousands of people in his lifetime. This father was no ordinary dad. This son loved and respected his father so very much. He had watched his dad care for patients, his family and his wife for his whole life. He loved his dad’s selfless and sacrificial love. He often thought how blessed he was to have a father like this. He was the reason the son had followed in his father’s footsteps and become a doctor. His dad wasn’t perfect but he was a great dad, husband and doctor. 

He saw many times how his dad put others ahead of himself. How his dad was called out to care for the sick and broken in all hours of the day and night. How his dad served his mum and family so selflessly. 

As this son started to sort through his dad’s office at home and get together all the paperwork needed to care for his mum the son thought to himself how much he admired his dad. He recalls many times stopping the process and just pausing to read a letter from a grateful patient. He found cards they wrote as kids that his dad kept all these years in a bottom drawer. Although the process was hard the son finally finished his dad’s home office and moved to his work office. 

This work office had been used for decades. The son thought about the times he had come to visit his dad and sat in his office chair as a little boy and how now he was taking over his dad’s practice. He once again paused to thank God for his father and how much he had taught him about God. Faith had always been part of this son’s life. His father had invested many hours encouraging his son’s own faith. But by far the biggest faith legacy the father had left was the model he lived. The son worked his way through his dad’s office much quicker than the home office. Most of the papers were medical forms that could either be filled or shredded. He finished most of the sorting in a few hours. He looked at the clock and saw that it was time for him to leave. He then remembered his dad’s locked cabinet. But he thought to himself that he would have to wait for another day. 

During the evening, the son recalled thinking a lot about that cabinet. He started to fear that he would find something in there that would shatter his perception of his dad. Was it possible for a man to be as faithful and selfless as his dad? Would he find some letters from an old lover, some unpaid bills, some addiction revealed? The son tossed and turned all night wondering about the contents of that medical cabinet. So early in the next morning he got up and drove to his dad’s office. 

He found the cabinet key in his dad’s top office drawer and slowly walked over to the cabinet. He prayed as he opened the door, “please God don’t let there be anything in here”. As the son opened the last place he needed to sort, he peered inside. There on the shelf were piles of medical journals and pictures the kids had made for him over the years. That was it and nothing more. 

As I read this story I thought about my own life and what I am leaving behind for my precious children and grandchildren (God-willing). What would my kids find in my effects? Would there be a consistency in what they thought they knew and what he found? 

Then I thought to myself that the decision starts now. Christ died to not only save me but to call me to a life and becoming like him a small step at a time. I thought to myself, “what I need to ditch in my mind and in my life that might hinder or discourage my family”? What can I do today to live a life that encourages and challenges my own family? What can I do to make them want to follow in my steps and serve the King of Kings who is more than worthy of living our lives for. 

When it comes for our stuff to be sorted after we are long gone what will our family find? 

Church misunderstood

Let me start by saying that I have two specific objectives in writing this blog series. The first is to encourage those who don’t go to church but once did. The second objective is to encourage those of us in the church to look up and look around. I’m sure like me you want to be part of the solution and not part of the challenge. 

I had the amazing opportunity to help start a brand new church recently. It was so great to meet so many different people from all over the country. Some had gone to church their whole lives, while others had never been to church. Some people I met used to go to church and had just gotten busy and church attendance sort of drifted. 

As I talked to hundreds of people I heard similar stories over and over. Here’s a quick summary:

  1. The church is not relevant – 

Lots of people said they left going to church as they got older. I heard many stories of people who had just drifted from going to church.  As I heard people talk about their own drift, I often thought “Was it that they didn’t see the need anymore, or that they just got busy with life”. But I wondered to myself if they had really encountered God and community in a meaningful and personal way. 

  1. Hurt / abuse – 

I also heard a lot of people talk about tough experiences they had, some even experiencing abuse.. Power and money are a dangerous combination. Some of the stories were simply the result of imperfect people being in community with imperfect people. Misunderstandings and hurt are always going to happen because none of us is perfect. 

  1. The only place to get to God – 

Some think that in order to get to God you have to go through the church. Many of the people I spoke to in this group spoke with shame and guilt in sharing their stories. They felt they needed to get their lives sorted before they could come because only perfect people go to church. 

  1. Building – the church is an institution – 

A few others thought of the church in a way that sounded very similar to my perception of the mafia. The church was a place that was controlling and cold. This perspective often conveyed a person’s view of God. They saw God as distant and impersonal. 

  1. Church is for me – 

Of the folks I met that had attended church in the recent past they often had a very personal and powerful perception of church. They saw the church centered on preferences and personalities. 

  • Preferences – the way some people described church it sounded a little like Burger King, remember their slogan “Have it your way”? The church existed to meet their individual preferences. I have seen churches who exist simply to maintain and protect what they have.
  • Personalities – Others I met felt that the pastor was a kind of CEO. I really struggled with this model. As I read the Bible, the word I see over and over to describe a pastor is the word “shepherd”.

Please don’t get me wrong. I can put my hand on my heart as I write this and say I love the church. I love God’s heart for the church as shown in His Word. But too often, not always, but often, we’ve taken God’s design and put our stuff over it. You see I think all of the perspectives about church listed above are not God’s heart for His church. 
The purpose of the coming blogs is to simply encourage you to think about your perceptions of church. I hope this series is challenging and encouraging. As always please feel free to comment or email me directly: . caringpastorglyn@gmail.com.

Church: A pastors experience

I have often thought the church as I have experienced it is a bit like life. When it’s good it’s great but when it’s rough it’s really rough. 

When I started serving the church I started as a youth pastor. I served in that role in 2 different churches for a total of just over 10 years. When I look back I can say, as Charles Dickens says in A tale of two cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times….”. I remember seeing teens come to Christ and see their lives turn around. I also saw much hurt and pain. I saw families come together and I saw families torn apart. 

I then served in several churches as a senior pastor, again for over 10 years in total. It was in this role I saw that awesome potential of the church to help change lives. But I also saw people in the church hurt each other in such developed ways. I could write a month of blogs telling stories from first hand experience. But for time sake I land on 2 polar opposite accounts. 

The first was one of the hardest times I have ever experienced. I received a call from someone in the church that I was serving saying that a young couple in our church had been involved in a shooting. It was only later that I found out that the wife had actually shot her husband during a mental breakdown. I saw the power of God move in amazing ways as the church prayed and prayed for this couple. I met with the husband and prayed with him. God did a redeeming work in this couple’s lives. She got help and he stood with her. What an amazing thing to see. 

Author Dwight L. Carlson once wrote a book entitled Why do Christians shoot their own wounded? What a title but what an important book to write. I have been hurt and, if I’m honest, I have hurt others. I have been gossiped about, slandered, misunderstood and hurt so very deeply by those who I sought to save. It was during a particularly tough season that I faced a decision many others have faced: Should I just walk away or should I try and just ride the hurt hoping for a better day? 

I am not writing this blog to whine or to seek pity. I am writing this blog to try to be a caring pastor who both understands what it means to be failed and to fail others. I understand first hand what it means to say the church is full of fallen human beings. 

The church is a product of God’s plan and part of that plan is made up of church people who still sin. Christians are saved but they are not perfect. Romans 3:23 says we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory, God’s perfect standard. So there lies a tension. 

God is perfect, man is not! 

So what do we do when we are hurt or we hurt others? What do we do when a church fails to be a place where God is honored and obey and becomes a place when people act as if they are God’s sole spokesperson? In the coming blogs I hope to encourage and challenge your thinking. This is a work in progress and I want you to know from the start that pastors still sin, myself very much included. 

But God has many things to help us. First on that list is His Word, let’s submit to that. Secondly, we have His Spirit, let’s allow Him to lead us.
Please feel free to email to respond or just post a comment. But just one parameter, I don’t want to slander God’s church by sharing story after story that simply extends what I’ve already said. The church isn’t perfect but God is. So let’s see what He says and how that applies. caringpastorglyn@gmail.com.

When depressed, please don’t do this

One last word in this series of depression. Please don’t withdraw or isolate yourself. Even though it will feel like the most natural thing to do. 

Have you ever gone through a really hard time and felt like you are alone and no one really understands? In times of suffering and pain the sense of isolation can be so real. You may walk down the street carrying this pain in your heart and think you are the only one going through that pain. You can feel very much alone. No-one understands. Have you ever been in a crowd and felt so isolated and alone? 

In my experience with depression I have found that there have been some very real times of isolation. It seems like everyone else is doing better than I am and everyone else seems to be stronger than I am. This perception can reinforce that sense of isolation. Here’s what I have found – It’s so easy to keep your head down looking at others and looking inside. These are some of the tools the enemy has used to keep me down. 

I have always been an ocean kind of guy. Vacations have often been times at the beach. I grew up in England and went to a place called Sennen Cove most years. I mean, check this place out: 

Then I lived in Colorado for a couple of years. The mountains are amazing. We live on the front range, about an hour from Estes Park. I would regularly see something that shouts ‘There is more to this life than what I feel’. I regularly see in creation the shadow of the evidence for the existence of God. Check out this picture: 

Evolution doesn’t make any sense to me. When I look at pictures like this one all I hear is ‘Somebody designed that and they designed it to make a statement’. That statement is clearly this ‘There is a God and He is all powerful’. If God can create such an amazing world then surely He is all powerful and all knowing. 

This thought and conclusion is not unique to me. Think about this verse:  Psalm 19:1 – ‘The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork‘. God Word makes that clear statement – there is a God! 

My perspective is changed when I look to Him and away from my own challenges and emotions. My faith encouraged as I remember God is all powerful. If God can create the world He can handle everything that comes my way.  My worship is fired up as I think about the awe and wonder of all that God has made and how that reveals only a part of His power and creativity. 

I hope and pray this though encourages you.

What I learned about depression: 

  1. Be courageous and let someone in. 
  2. Depression is often anger turned inward.
  3. Depression often grows by looking to others to do what only God can do. 
  4. Consider speaking to a medical doctor.
  5. Faith calls us to trust and worship even in depression. 

Depression and Faith:

One of the hardest pieces of journeying through depression as a Christian is the stigma that comes with depression. I felt my faith was weak as I believed Christians don’t get depressed. I felt shame and guilt and that led to me withdrawing and isolating myself. I had concluded that my depression was clear that I was both weak in mind and faith. 

It was at this point in my own journey that I started to understand a little more that I had a massive problem with the fear of man. I believed and trusted in God but had fallen into the fear of man. At some point I started looking to people to do what only God can do. I prayed, read and journaled and here’s what I came up with: 

  1. I needed to set emotional goals for myself and pray! I had to understand not everyone will be fair or understand me. I need to allow disappointments and hurts to cause me to turn to Jesus. I needed to understand that apart from Jesus I can’t do anything
  2. If I was going to see lifelong changes they would start with daily adjustments. 
  3. I learned that if I was going to grow I would need to stop isolating myself and make myself accountable to at least one person. 
  4. I needed to see the emotional healing that was happening as part of my spiritual awakening. I needed to focus on God and worship Him and spend less time looking to others to do what only God could do. 

God helps in the daily ups and downs. He helps in the life changing disasters in our lives. He helps as I trust that I can’t know myself as well as God knows me. That’s a point of faith. I can’t understand my situation and circumstances as well as God knows them. God helped me a little at a time to understand what was going on in me. It began with this point of faith: He knows me better than I know myself. Psalm 139 was like medicine for my soul. 

I have recently bought a house with my family. One of the projects I’m working on is the kitchen and bathrooms. Have you ever taken a sink apart? There is some stuff in there that has no proper name so we call it slime or dirt. It’s gross but it needs to go! Going to God with an open heart often results in His confronting in me what needs to go. The slime in my life was my faith rooted in others and not in my loving, merciful God.  He continues to pull that slime out a piece at a time 

A summary so far: 

  1. Be courageous and let someone in. 
  2. Depression is often anger turned inward.
  3. Depression often grows by looking to others to do what only God can do. 
  4. Consider speaking to a medical doctor.
  5. Faith calls us to trust and worship even in depression.

Depression, taking one step at a time out of the darkness.

It was in my understanding of the relationship between depression and anger that I started to learn how to identify what was happening in my mind. The third massive step came from my understanding of the relationship between depression and expectations. It was in understanding my expectations that I could start to make allowances for painful truths I had pushed deep down.

Here’s how that understanding grew in my mind:
I had an over-idealized view of what my reality could and should be like.
When I look back it is clear now that when my expectations didn’t become a reality I would start to drift into depression.
I considered my value to be driven by my performance.
My depression had come from my expectations or hopes as a child that didn’t become a reality.
To avoid depression’s trap I had to understand and accept that life isn’t perfect. I had to identify the myths about my family life.
I learned that I had looked for contentment from external sources. I thought contentment came from my world being what I want it to be and looking to others to do what only God can do. If others can’t do for me what I want them to do, it doesn’t mean that I am worthless or useless.
I can’t get rid of depression forever. I may be more susceptible to depression from the impact of rejections and misunderstandings.
I need to learn about the patterns of my depression.
I found I rose and fell based on how others responded to me. If I felt encouraged, supported, understood, and cared for I felt good. But when those things didn’t come I would drift into depression. I learned that only God was perfect and everyone else would fail me, as I would fail them in some way and some point in our lives.

  • A summary so far:
  • Be courageous and let someone in.
  • Depression is often anger turned inward.
  • Depression often grows by looking to others to do what only God can do.

Do you resonate with any of those 3 statements? If so, it might be important to take the next step. This step was as hard for me as the first step. My counselor friend suggested considering medication. My face must have revealed my heart as he recommended medication. I thought to myself “Am I that bad in this battle and so weak in my efforts to break free that I need medicine?”. I wrestled for a long time with this step. I thought it wasn’t medicine I needed but more faith. Eventually I shared this perception with my friend. He then asked me a hard question. If I have strep throat, is that a sign of weakness and a sign that my faith is weak? Is having strep a test of my faith, and if I had stronger faith would the strep disappear? I had never thought about that before. So here’s what I learned about medical help for depression:

Be open minded as you consider the medical aspects of depression. If your car’s engine warning light comes on you don’t think twice about bothering a mechanic you get it fixed. Do the same with your chemical levels. Sometimes we all just need a little help.
Depression can happen for a number of reasons and all avenues need to be considered for treatment, help and support.
Medication can help with emotional management.
Here are some physiological signs that medication should be considered: erratic sleep; excessive pessimism; easily led to crying; moodiness; significant change in weight; decreased sex drive; decreased motivation; poor concentration and thoughts of self harm. At various times I had experienced all of these symptoms.
Depression is sometimes caused because emotional health is depleted.

Can I encourage you with these first steps. Pray that God would help you manage your depression. Depression is deep and doesn’t usually just disappear. As I said in my previous blog I want to write these blogs to be a caring pastor and if I can pray for you please email me at: caringpastorglyn@gmail.com.