Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Feeding of the Five Thousand

Earlier in chapter 6 (v7) of Mark, Jesus had sent the apostles out two by two to teach and heal. Now, (v 30) they had all come back together and were telling Jesus what they had done and what they had taught. Jesus saw that they needed rest, which wasn't going to happen there because the people were round about them so much they could barely eat. Jesus took them to a desert place to get the rest the apostles needed. 
 The multitudes, however, figured out where they were going and they went too. Jesus didn't have the heart to send them away, seeing they were like sheep without a shepherd. He taught them many things for most of the day. Finally the disciples came to him and suggested that Jesus send the people on their way so they could go find food. Jesus replied, You feed them. The disciples didn't understand. You want us to go into town and buy 200 pennyworth of bread? 
  Jesus asked them to see what they already had here. There was found five loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus took the food and blessed it, and broke it apart, and the disciples fed at least 5000 that day, and most likely more. During that time women and children weren't counted, only the men.  After everyone had eaten their fill, all the leftovers were taken up, and they had twelve baskets full left. 
  Jesus saw to the needs of people, both spiritual and physical. We should follow his example and take care of others--not necessarily through letting the government take care of them. The disciples only had a little food, yet they fed many because Jesus blessed it. We ourselves may have only a little food, a few extra clothes, a few words of kindness, but it never ceases to amaze me what God can accomplish through us if we let him.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Doctor Visits, Broken Bike Locks, and Life in General

I'm not sure which is going to strike first, the urge to clean the house a bit or a quick nap if J decides sleep sounds good to him. That's the only way this mama is going to get a rest period today. Might as well clean house, right? Ehhhh.. not yet. I've got a headache going as well as a serious case of the blahs. Exactly why the blahs have hit I'm not sure, been trying to figure that out most of the day. 
 I woke up a little later than usual this morning and found that J had been awake and quite industrious. Hubby had put a lock on the fridge earlier in the week because J will not stay out of it. He does not understand the need to leave some food for later and at times he does not understand the meaning of being "full."  Bluntly, he has times where he eats till he gets sick. That is not good for him nor is it good for the pocketbook. So we tried a bike lock. That worked for about three days. J broke it and promptly threw it away, then helped himself to this afternoon's lunch.  The bike lock got replaced by a padlock. Being an intelligent lad, I'm wondering how long it takes him to figure out how to use a key.
  Just in case you're wondering, he's well fed. He gets access to snacks during the day, as he is very much happier  grazing through the day and keeping his metabolism up. 
   I went to see a new doctor yesterday. I adore my former doctor, I just couldn't afford to continue seeing him. Being forty years old, I now get to navigate new and interesting --ahem-- pokes and prods during some visits. He has not yet broached the subject of vaccines, but he has let me know in no uncertain terms that I need these procedures done and pronto. While I'm not looking forward to mammograms and other things, I want to be able to take care of my son and my family. That requires me to be healthy.
 Speaking of being healthy, on Friday I'll be heading to the pharmacy to pick up synthroid, iron pills, and a multivitamin. I'm actually looking forward to being back on those medications so that I can have my energy back. I don't like feeling tired and run down. But I'm also going to adjust my eating habits a bit and look into some more natural ways of dealing with hypothyroidism and anemia. 

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Death of John the Baptizer

Jesus went into Nazareth, and on the Sabbath taught in the synagogue. The people marveled at his wisdom, but did not want to listen to him. They had seen him grow up there, they knew his parents and his brothers and sisters. They could not believe that one such as he would try to teach them.
 Mark 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
 Jesus couldnt do much there except heal the sick. He went about to the other villages, teaching. He called the twelve disciples to him and charged them to go out and teach, and gave them power over unclean spirits. The were to go out two by two, with only the shoes on their feet and the clothes on their backs. They were to take no money, no food, and no change of clothes. Those things would be provided.
  King Herod heard of the preaching and healing going on, and he was convinced that John the baptizer had come back from the dead.  He had married Herodius, his brother Philip's wife. John told him it was not a lawful marriage (v17). Herodius did not like John and wanted him dead. She couldn't do it, but he was imprisoned. On Herod's birthday he had a supper and Herodius' daughter came and danced for him. He was so pleased he offered her anything, up to half his kingdom. On her mother's advice, she asked for John's head on a silver platter. Herod was extremely sorry he'd made the offer but he would not go back on his word. John the baptizer was executed and his head was brought to Herod. John's disciples came for the body and buried it.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All Clad Giveaway at Southern Homemaking

Do you like to cook? Southern Homemaking  is giving away a brand new allclad multipurpose  pot from Williams Sonoma! It comes with mesh strainer and steamer inserts, and she is including a copy of William Sonoma's new Cookbook,  Soup of the Day-365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year.  How cool is that? Good luck!

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Power of Touch

Jesus is now back on the other side of the sea of Galilee, and once again he's teaching the multitudes. We are beginning in Mark 5:21 and following.
  One of the rulers of the synagogue, came to Jesus and fell at his feet. He explained that his daughter was very ill, near to the point of death. But if Jesus would come and lay hands on her, he knew she would be healed. Jesus went with Jairus to his home, and those who followed Jesus came along as well. Wherever Jesus went, he attracted attention. 
  This time, he attracted the attention of a woman. She'd heard of Jesus and wanted to see him herself. But she had an issue of blood. I'm not entirely sure what that means, but by Jewish law she was considered unclean and really wasn't supposed to be out in public. She'd seen doctors and suffered through what they thought would help her, but nothing had helped, and the problem just kept getting worse. Jesus couldn't go anywhere without being mobbed by people, but this woman was determined. She thought to herself, If I can just touch the hem of his garment I'll be healed. She got close enough and touched his clothes, and was instantly healed. The blood dried up. And Jesus knew.
  He stopped in his tracks. Who touched me? He asked. His disciples were confused, for he had many people round about him, and many were probably touching him, whether by accident or design. But Jesus went straight to the woman because he knew. She was afraid, because she really shouldn't have been out in public to begin with according to the law, and also, she was just a woman. She had no idea what Jesus was going to do. She told him the truth.
  34. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
 While this was going on, someone from Jairus' house came to him and told him his daughter had died; there was no further reason to bother Jesus.  Jesus told Jairus, Be not afraid, only believe.
  Jesus went on to Jairus' house and saw everyone standing around crying and mourning. Jesus told them to stop that; she wasn't dead, only sleeping. The people did not believe him. They were scornful of Jesus and his sayings! Couldn't he see with his own eyes? Jesus sent everyone out of the house except the girl's mother and father, and he went in to where the girl lay.  He took her by the hand and told her to arise.  Talitha cumi.  This little twelve year old girl got up and walked. All because of the faith of her father and the touch of the Master's hand.  

Gratituesday: Prayer

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!

Almost every day on Facebook or in everyday conversation we see or hear: So and so needs prayer. His brother passed away. Or pray for this one, she was in an accident and badly hurt. We sympathize, we hug, we praise when the prayer calls for it --a young man who couldn't attend worship safely in his native country was able to come here for college. Although I don't "talk" to him very often on facebook like a mother hen I watch his posts and I see his love of God and the happiness he has here. He is enjoying freedom of worship, and he recently witnessed  a baptism that  filled his heart with joy as he remembered his own baptism. 
  We offer prayer as a connection to those around us as well as a connection to our Father. It lets us know someone cares when we hear the words, "I'll be praying". Healing begins right there, I believe. We need each other and we need the Father more and more these days. 
 Now. I am going to ask for prayer for myself today. I have to see a doctor later this afternoon because I've had some pain lately. It's got me a little concerned, but I'm still clinging to the hope that it's nothing serious and can be taken care of quickly --just a little inflammation. Pray with me, will you?
  If you have something on your heart, please feel free to share with me, here or privately. I'll be happy to pray with you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Demoniac of Gadara, Healed

When Jesus came off the ship at Gadara (Mark 5) he was met by a man possessed by demons. The man apparently lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him with chains or fetters. He'd simply break them. He spent his time in the tombs crying and cutting himself. But when he saw Jesus, he came to him and worshiped him. The man, or most likely the demon inside him, addressed Jesus.
 7. And cried with a loud voice,  and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God that thou torment me not.
   Even unclean spirits knew who Jesus was! They knew the power he had. 
  Jesus asked the demon his name, and he replied Legion, for we are many. They did not want to leave the area, and asked to be sent into a herd of swine, which Jesus allowed them. The swine then ran into the sea and were drowned.
 The ones who took care of the swine saw this, and ran to tell the news far and wide. People came to see for themselves, and there was the man, in his right mind and fully clothed now. They heard what had happened and now they were afraid. They asked Jesus to go, which he did.
  I've always wondered why the locals did not want Jesus to stay there. Were they afraid of that much power? Were they afraid the demons would be back? 
 The fact that the demons knew him on sight tells me that when he does come back for his bride (the church), there will be no doubt in anyone's mind. All unbelief will fall away. But it also shows that simply believing Jesus is the Son of God will not save. There is more to it. 
 Before Jesus left, the man who had had the possession wanted to go with him. Jesus told him no, but to go home to his friends and tell them what God had done for him. He went to Decapolis and told everyone. (v 19, 20)
 Tomorrow we will begin on verse 21.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Jesus Quiets the Wind

Good Sunday morning to you! I am home today, due to my husband's work schedule. It will be a quiet day, just J and me.
 Today we are finishing up chapter 4 of Mark. Sometimes I just want to zip through some of the chapters because they are similar to what we just read in Matthew. But what would I learn if I did that? Reading something over and over helps the information to stick better in the mind, and you comprehend it more. My mother in law, who these days listens to the bible more than she reads, says she learns something new all the time. There are always new lessons to be learned in the scriptures if we look.
  Jesus said in v24: And he said unto them, Take heed with what ye hear:with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.
 25. For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he hath.
 I like the next parable where Jesus says the Kingdom of God is as if a man had cast seed into the ground. The man sleeps, and watches the field by day, and the seed grows. The man doesn't really know how. But the fruit comes up; first the blade,  then the ear, after that the full corn. When the fruit is ready, then the harvest comes. (Mark 4:26-28)
  Jesus told them more parables, and sent the multitude on their way. He wanted to go to the next place by ship.  Jesus, I imagine, was worn out from teaching and healing, so he was asleep deep in the ship. A storm came up and tossed the boat around, and the waves brought water into the boat. His disciples came and woke him.
 Master! They cried. There is a storm, don't you care that we are all going to die?
 39. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still.  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 
40. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41. And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?
 I have a lot of "favorites" in the bible; lots of verses and stories for lack of a better word, reach out to me, touch me more than others. Jesus calming the wind and the sea always gets to me.  How often do we have storms in our own lives: loneliness, troubles that seem to come out of nowhere, fears that threaten to drown us like the sea did to the disciples and the others on the ship. And yet, if we let him, all Jesus has to do is say Peace, be still and things calm down again. All too often we (I) forget that Jesus is wanting to help. Is our faith an ongoing daily walk with Jesus, or do we have God in a bottle like a genie: we figure oh dear, I'm really stuck now, Lord please help me? He isn't a genie. He isn't Santa Claus. He is there to help us, but he also wants a daily relationship, to know your good times as well as your bad times. But when the bad times come, let Jesus say Peace, be still.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Sower

Today we are beginning chapter four of Mark. Jesus is sitting on a boat teaching the multitudes that are on the shore. Jesus taught them in parables, and the first one mentioned is the parable of the sower. The sower sowed his seed and some fell by the wayside, some fell onto stony ground, some fell into the thorns, and some fell onto fertile ground.
 That which fell by the wayside, the word does not stick in some people's hearts. The seed that gets sown on stony ground, the person receives the word with gladness, but when trouble arises, their faith goes away because it had no roots to hang on to. Likewise, with the seed that fell into the thorns. The joy is there at first, but it gets choked out by the cares of the world. Lies, deceit, riches of the world take precedence.  The seed that gets sown onto good ground is known by the fruit it produces. They are the ones trying to live better day by day, trying to bring others to Christ, by example and by word.
  Jesus reminded his disciples that a candle is not to be put under a bushel basket, or under a bed. 
  22. For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.
23. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. 

Saturday Morning Ramblings

Good morning! I hope you slept well. I think I slept a little too well because I'm just now up and moving. The Morning Cup of Tea will be out shortly, if you follow that part of my blog. I'm sorry I'm getting such a late start today.
  I'm staring into a face that could have been in a picture from about 25 years ago. My dear son looks a lot like his dad did when he was younger. Same brown eyes, same thick, untameable hair, same mustache (!), same infectious smile.  I love seeing J in a good mood in the mornings.
  My first thought this morning when I woke up was "oh dear, I forgot the butter last night." We had stopped by the grocery store to get a few things I needed for today, and because I didn't have a list, I forgot the butter. It's not that big a deal, I can manage without it today, but it got me to thinking: isn't it wonderful that we live on this side of the Cross? There are things that are expected of us if we plan for heaven to be our final destination, but as far as following the myriad laws they had in the Old Testament, we don't have to worry about missing one. We have Jesus. We still stumble, still forget, still sin. But we can ask forgiveness. How wonderful is that?
  That dear boy of mine is reminding me that its breakfast time so I think I'd better get moving. I'll be back a little later with a Cup of Tea.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Jesus, Followed by the Multitudes

Good morning. I have a companion with me this morning as I write. He insists that his place is near the monitor screen. Chubs is one of five cats who live here with my family and me, and one is just as spoiled as the next, but the others don't care so much to be around me during the day. They prefer to lavish their affection during the evenings and dinner time.
  In the next few verses of Mark chapter three, Mark gives a description of Jesus being nearly mobbed by his followers. Many wanted to be healed or have a loved one healed, others wanted to hear him speak. His disciples, the twelve whom he charged to go and preach and also gave the power to heal, probably felt like Jesus' body guards at times. At one point they went into a house 
 v20. And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread.
  Although at one point he got on a small boat while the multitude stayed on the shore (v9) Jesus never turned anyone away. He preached the gospel, he healed the sick, he raised the dead. There were times he needed to be alone though, and it seems he tended to retreat to the mountains during those times. 
  It was during one of these times that the multitudes had him healing so many that his friends tried to pull him away because they thought perhaps he'd gone  mad (v21).  The scribes who had come from Jerusalem gave their own spin on things. "He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils." (v22.
  23. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?
24. And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.
27. No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man: and then he will spoil his house.
  Jesus then went on to rebuke the scribes and told them that all sins would be forgiven except the blasphemies against the Holy Spirit (v 28 and 29) . When I read about the unpardonable sin in Matthew, I did not really understand it and got some help in understanding. This article here   from Apologetics Press  helped me to understand it better. The articles from Apologetics Press are written by knowledgeable men who study the bible greatly and are a good resource.
  The chapter finishes with Mary, Jesus' mother, and his brothers coming to find him. They called to him and Jesus was told they were looking for him.  Jesus asked them, Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? (v33)
 34. And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
 35. For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and my mother.
 He was not discounting his relationship with his kin; he was stating that his family is made up of people who do the Father's will.     

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Mark 3: 1-7

 Jesus is once again in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Waiting for him there is a man with a withered hand. Of course, the Pharisees are also there and they see this. For them it is unlawful to do anything on the Sabbath other than to go to the synagogue, and very little else. 
 Jesus asked the Pharisees, " Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life or to kill?" (v 4) But they held their peace.
  Mark says Jesus looked on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts. (v5) He healed the man's hand and when the Pharisees sought out the Herodians to discuss how to destroy Jesus, Jesus took his disciples to the sea. 
  Jesus was angry with the Pharisees. They didn't have compassion on a man with a hand he could not use. They saw and cared only for the law. Instead of caring for their fellow man, they were there only to be sure the law was kept.  We should not be so intent on "being good" that we forget to treat our brothers and sisters with kindness. That does not mean that we can choose to or not to follow Christ's teachings willy nilly. It means that if a friend needs to go to the emergency room on Sunday morning, by all means take him. Call a little later to let someone know where you are. It shouldn't matter what day of the week it is when someone needs you. 
  Also, notice that Jesus was angry but he did not throw a fit. He healed the man and went on.  We don't always have to act on our feelings.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: The Pharisees Find Fault

The second chapter of Mark has three instances where the Pharisees don't like what Jesus is doing. The first time is when Jesus is in Capernaum again. The crowds have found him and there is hardly any room to move and no way to get inside the house he's in. A man who was sick with the palsy was brought there, but they could not get in. Did that stop them? No ma'am. They took the man up to the roof where they made a hole and lowered him into the place where Jesus was preaching. Jesus was so moved by the persistence that he told the man his sins were forgiven.  
  I'm sorry, this time it was the scribes who were offended. They accused Jesus of blasphemy for saying the young man's sins were forgiven, because only God could forgive. Jesus calmly said, What is easier, to tell a man his sins or forgiven or to say arise, take thy bed and walk? To show you that the Son of God has such power, he said, and turned to the man and said Arise, take up thy bed and go thine way into thine house. And the man got up and walked. (v1-12)
  While at the sea side, Jesus passed by Levi, the son of Alphaeus (Matthew). He bid him come and follow, which he did.
  The second instance was when Jesus sat at dinner with the tax collectors and sinners. The scribes and Pharisees could not believe he would dare do this because they certainly wouldn't eat with common sinners. 
  17. When Jesus heard it he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
  Also in chapter two the disciples of John the baptizer came to ask Jesus why they fasted and Jesus' disciples did not. Jesus explained to them that he was with them so there was no need to fast. There would be a time to fast when Jesus was no longer with them.
  The third instance of the Pharisees finding fault was on the Sabbath. Jesus and his disciples were walking through a cornfield. They became hungry so they ate some of the corn. This was simply unheard of on the Sabbath!
 25. And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was hungered, he, and they that were with him?
26. How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?
27. And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gratituesday: Encouragers

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers! Each week my friend Laura at Heavenly Homemakers  invites us to spend time on Tuesdays reflecting on things or people for which we are grateful. I hope you will join us, either here on my blog or at Heavenly Homemakers, where she has a link to share your own thoughts.

  Today I am grateful for encouragers. These are very sweet people, a lot of the times quiet, sometimes in the background. They may not know what an important job they are doing because we (I) don't thank them often enough. A special word here, a note in the mail, a smile or a hug; all these things help when things are looking bleak. Even on days when things are going well it sometimes gives an extra lift to the day, knowing someone is there, cheering you on.
  I have a few such cheer leaders in my life. They are dear, dear ladies, some of whom I've not met in "real life" but hope to sometime, either here or in heaven. I am very thankful to each of them: if you are reading this you know who you are. I hope I am a blessing to you as well.
  In today's hurry up lifestyle, I think that particular ministry gets pushed to the wayside at times. We tend to get so wrapped up in our own lives we forget to see the need out there. So I would like to encourage each of us this week: I know you are busy as wives, mothers, students, workers. Thank you for taking the time to come here and read a little. Hugs to each of you, I hope you have a wonderful week.  Now. I'd also like to encourage us all to take the time to call or send a note or speak to someone who could use a little encouragement this week. Someone's been missing a few Sunday's? Give them a call, let them know you miss them. Talk a few minutes with someone who feels down, or just reconnect with someone. 
 This is the day that the Lord hath made. Help someone else rejoice and be glad in it.  

A Morning Cup of Tea: Jesus Begins His Ministry According to Mark

Today we begin the book of Mark, which, at 16 chapters, is the shortest of the four gospels. From what I read in the Thomson Chain Reference in the back of my bible, this book was written for the Roman, or gentile people. 
  Mark opens the the first chapter by beginning with John the baptizer, the one who came before Jesus.
 2. As it is written in the prophets, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
 3. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
   John baptized (immersed) people for the remission of sins. (v4). He lived in the wilderness, and his clothing was of camel hair. His food was locusts and wild honey. I think most of this was because his mission was so urgent, he didn't give much thought to food or anything else. He preached that Jesus was coming, and he was such that John felt he was not worthy enough even to bend down and unlatch Jesus' shoes.
 Jesus came of course, to be baptized by John.   10. And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
 11. And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
  Jesus went from there to the wilderness where he fasted for 40 days and was tempted of Satan, then the angels ministered to him. Mark does not go into detail about the temptations.
  After this John was put into prison and Jesus came into Galilee, preaching.
 15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
 Mark chapter one also tells of the first four disciples being called: Simon and Andrew, James son of Zebedee and his brother John.  From there they went to Capernaum, where on the Sabbath Jesus taught in the synagogue. The people were astonished at his doctrine, for he taught as that had authority, not as one of the scribes. (v22)
 It was here that Jesus drove out an unclean spirit from  a man in the synagogue. The spirit inside him knew who Jesus was. (v23-26) The people were amazed that he could tell an unclean spirit to come out of a man, and the man would be healed. Jesus' fame spread through the countryside.
 After this Jesus healed Simon's mother in law, and many others.  Mark continues telling of Jesus healing others, and trying to find solitude so he could pray. While there were followers who wanted to hear what Jesus had to say, or had a loved one (or themselves) who needed to be healed, I'm sure like celebrities of today there were people following him simply because of his fame. But even Jesus, Son of God, needed to be alone at times to pray and perhaps collect his thoughts. He was, after all, in human form here on earth. He had human needs just as we do.
  Mark seems to be going at a rather fast clip telling of Jesus, doesn't he? I'm  not the best by any means of retelling the events, so I do hope you will read along with me. Each writer of the gospel tells the life of Jesus in their own way, yet each has the same message. The "story" (dislike that word here, makes it sound like fiction) remains the same. I hope you'll join me tomorrow for chapter 2. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Merry Heart Doeth Good Like a Medicine

Proverbs 17:22 tells us " A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." I firmly believe that laughter does us good, in more ways than one. Whenever I am sick or a friend gets sick, I always recommend a good dose of the giggles. I know it makes me feel better. 
 I suffer from depression now and then, and as it continues to get darker sooner, I battle it more and more. It's not something I like to admit even to myself. It isn't something someone should be afraid of, or ashamed of, yet we tend to think of those who suffer from depression as weak. We aren't weak. Some of us have a chemical imbalance, others of us have situational depression, where the death of a loved one, or the constant care of a loved one, added to the day to day stresses of life just end up being too much. 
  I'm not on medication right now to control mine. I can't afford it quite simply, and I tend to take myself off when I feel I don't need it. I'm not the best example of someone who should say take the medicine, it helps. I depend on myself and my husband to let me know if I do need medication. If and when that time comes, I'll go see a doctor and figure out a way to afford the prescription the doctor says I need.  But my depression is not severe. It's bad enough to make me not want to do much, but it doesn't last long enough to warrant a long term solution.
 What I need is fairly simple: I need prayer time with God. I need sunshine; being stuck in a house all day every day is not good for anyone's well being. Fresh air and sunshine does a tremendous amount of good. Exercise doesn't hurt either.  I need other people. Interacting with others from time to time helps keep us healthy and happy. And sometimes I just need a hug, or someone to say, Hey, let me take J for an hour or two while you go take a nap, or catch a movie or catch up on some housework. An offer to help with the housework would be nice now and then too, but hey, I'll not push it. :)  And I need laughter. Being able to laugh from the belly makes us feel good. The body starts pumping out those feel good chemicals, and suddenly the sky is a little bluer, the flu doesn't feel so bad, I can get the kitchen cleaned up.
  Next time you're feeling a little blue, or sick, try my remedy. Prayer, a little sunshine even if its opening the curtains, chicken soup preferably homemade, and the funniest shows or books you can think of. I'm old school so while I like some of the newer comics, they tend to have more language than I like so I prefer the greats: Red Skelton; Jack Benny; Burns and Allen; Tim Conway and Harvey Corman. You know its funny stuff when the straight man can't even keep a straight face during the skit.
 This is one of my all time favorite sketches that Tim Conway and Harvey Korman have ever done. They rarely fail to make me laugh. 

**Disclaimer** I am not a doctor nor do I play one on television. I cannot diagnose anyone with depression or tell someone it's just " a case of the blues". I only know myself. I do not make light of true depression, nor do I think it will go away on its own.  There are good medicines out there, and there are also some good therapies that may help. If you suffer from depression or anxiety, please do not hesitate to seek help. Discuss the situation with your doctor and tell him or her everything. If he isn't willing to listen and work with you, find one who will. Don't just pay attention to the drug du jour ads on tv , do some research and (I cannot stress this enough) communicate with your doctor about how you feel. If medication is right for you, take your doctor's advice. 

On Bible Study and Missing Days

You ever have one of those days where you just can't seem to get motivated to get anything accomplished? Me too. Actually though, its been like that for the past several days.
 I'm in an online Bible study Digging Deep in God's Word and its been wonderful. I enjoy it. There is a facebook group   that is doing the study together, and they compare notes and encourage one another. Well, I started off gung ho and... faltered last week. I got as far as the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japheth and dropped the ball. I missed one evening of my reading in Genesis, and it turned into two, then three...and I was falling back into my old habit of not picking up the Word. Granted, I still had (have) my morning cup of tea with the Word (tomorrow starting on Mark) but it was too easy to drop this one which I enjoyed just as much as my personal study. 
  It's not unlike worship. One Sunday morning you over sleep, the kids are fighting yet again over who got the muffin with most chocolate chips, your husband can't find his favorite tie--nothing is going right. So you decide, just this once, you'll miss morning service. You can always go in the evening. But by evening Dad's so wrapped up in his game and Sally fell asleep finally so no one watched the time. Church was missed again.  The next week its a beautiful day so the family decides to go on a picnic and enjoy the day. Just this once. Time goes by and you wake up and realize, we haven't been to church in nearly a year. You've known something had been missing and at first you felt bad about missing, now it's just a minor guilt that you've managed to push to the back of your mind and not think about. It's not too late to go back. Just like its not too late for me to get back to the digging deeper study. I hope you'll consider joining me for both the study and for church. :)

A Morning Cup of Tea: He is Risen!

We are now in chapter 28 of Matthew. The Sabbath is over and the first day of the week (Sunday) is now dawning. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, have come to the sepulchre. Suddenly there was an earthquake, and the angel of the Lord came from heaven to roll away the stone blocking entrance to the tomb, and he sat on it.
  v3. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.
   4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake and became as dead men.

Now, if I had just seen this, I don't know if I would still be standing,  running screaming, or falling into a faint as it seems the watchmen have done. What a sight it must have been, to see an angel come down and roll away a heavy boulder by himself.
  The angel spoke to the two Marys, and told them not to be afraid. Jesus has risen. He invited them to look in the tomb and see for themselves that he was gone.  He then told them to go tell the disciples the good news, and have them go to Galilee where Jesus would meet them. 
  As the women were headed to tell the disciples, Jesus himself appeared to them. They fell at his feet to worship him.
 10. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
 While the women were going to find the disciples, some of the watch men went into town to tell the chief priests what they had seen. The chief priests took counsel with the elders and came up with a cover story: When the watchmen fell asleep at night, the disciples came in and stole the body of Jesus. This was what they were going to tell the governor and anyone else. That was their story and they were sticking to it.
  16. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee,into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
 17. And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted.
 18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying: All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
 19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

It's been a long journey and I know I need to go back and get the missing days here on the blog but I've enjoyed reading Matthew's account of Jesus. It's the first time I've read it completely. If you've read along with me, thank you for being part of the journey and I hope you will join me for the reading of Mark. Please, feel free to comment any time. I enjoy the company. :)