Dealing with Emotions | Holiday Anxiety, Depression, and Stress

November 27, 2021 by Curt Landry Ministries

Table of Contents

Many of you experience intense emotions during the holiday season. You are around family members who can provoke stress and anxiety. You are in situations that can be overwhelming. So then, how do you deal with the strong emotions of holiday anxiety, depression, and stress?

Understand the Battle of Holiday Anxiety

First, you must understand the battle is not against flesh and blood. The enemy uses anything he can to trip you up—situations, people, things, places, thoughts, and words. So then, when you are in stressful circumstances, remember that the enemy is prowling around like a lion. 

His only purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy the blessings that God wants to release in your life. He knows that you are more likely to allow circumstances to influence your emotions during highly emotional seasons such as the holidays. He wants holiday anxiety, depression, and stress to rule in your heart rather than the love and peace of Yeshua. 

Second, once your mouth starts to speak out of the emotional stress and holiday anxiety in your heart, the enemy has a foothold in your life. Remember, out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (see Luke 6:45). If the enemy can get you to speak in agreement with the anxiety, he knows your mind is no longer thinking on heavenly things. 

Third, be aware of familiar spirits, habits, and patterns in your family. Do you find yourself battling the same spirit or influence year after year during the holidays? Holiday anxiety can be an indication that familiar spirits and generational curses are running through your family line. 

Take note of them and ask Holy Spirit to reveal their source. Click here to learn more about identifying generational curses. 

Once you understand the battle, you know which armor to put on—God’s! Then, you can move forward in victory.

7 Ways to Battle Against Holiday Anxiety

A napkin that says "There is always something to be thankful for." next to a pen and cup of coffee on a wooden background.

1) Be thankful.

It is easy to go to a place of victim or lack mentality. So, thankfulness is a choice and a discipline. When you choose thankfulness, you act in the opposite sprit of victim and lack. This is when you come out of a carnal mindset, focusing only on what you see in the physical, and come into agreement with a Christlike mindset, focusing on what is true in the spirit. 

Declaration

“I am a new creation in Christ. I will take off any anger, wrath, malice, and blasphemy. I remove any filthy language out of my mouth. Any old man habits and patterns are removed from me by the blood of Jesus. I decree that I am renewed in knowledge according to the image of Yeshua. His Spirit lives within me. I am the elect of God, holy and beloved. I will put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering, and will forgive because I am forgiven. I will put on the love of God, which is the bond of perfection.”

  • Look up and meditate on Colossians 3:8-17. 
  • Ask the Spirit to press out the old thoughts and replace them with His Word. 
  • Write it down and start decreeing all or parts of this scripture passage. 

2) Create a gratitude and identity list.

Sometimes we simply need to be reminded of what we do have and who we are. When we stop and think about the blessings the Lord has given us and our true identity in Him, the lies from the enemy get quieter. 

Declaration

“I am chosen before the foundation of the world, predestined to adoption. I have every spiritual blessing available to me. I believe this and receive it, in Yeshua’s name! I will not focus on what I don’t have, but rather repent and turn my eyes to see all that I have been given through Christ: redemption, forgiveness, wisdom, blessings, an inheritance, protection, acceptance, and promises!”

  • Look up and meditate on Ephesians 1. 
  • Ask the Spirit to remind you of every spiritual blessing you’ve been given and who you are in Yeshua. 
  • Write down the words from Ephesians 1 that speak the loudest to you in this season. 

3) Focus on who God is. 

When you are meditating on who you are, you also must remember who the Lord is. You can only be the new creation He says you are if He is who He says He is. Because of Him, you are everything in Ephesians 1. 

Declaration

“Lord God, You are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. You are the author and perfector of my faith. You are Immanuel, God with us. You are my deliverer and redeemer. You are Adonai, and cornerstone. Lord God, You are my intercessor and advocate. You act on my behalf. You are faithful and true to Your Word as I enter into any battle.”

  • The book of John goes through the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus: I am the bread of life; I am the light of the world; I am the door; I am the good shepherd; I am the resurrection and the life; I am the way, the truth, and the life; I am the true vine. Go deeper into the character of God by reading through 25 names that describe His and power each day leading up to Christmas by getting this download. 
  • Ask the Spirit to reveal more of who He is. 
  • Write down the names that He highlights to you. 
Click here to learn the names of God!

4) Remember, you are not alone. 

Anxiety and depression go hand in hand. The spirit of depression capitalizes on the lie of “You are alone.” It couples with other lies such as: No one understands. No one gets your situation. Through God’s Word, you can challenge these thoughts with truth and fight holiday anxiety and depression. 

Declaration

“God’s Word says that He will never leave me nor forsake me. Jesus said He did not leave me as an orphan, but that I have His Spirit dwelling within me, guiding me and walking with me through every family interaction, holiday party, and other get-togethers. I trust Your Word over my emotions, Lord!”

5) Pray. 

In the busyness of the season, your head is filled with thoughts, and you naturally don’t speak or listen to the Father as much. Therefore, take time to pray intentionally. You can post a prayer on your bathroom mirror, in your car, or at your computer. These notes will remind you to simply stop and pray, giving thanks, focusing on who you are in Him, and who He is. 

Declaration 

“I am pausing to remember that God dwells within me. I dwell in the secret place and abide under the Almighty’s shadow. The Lord is my refuge and strength. I trust You, Lord! You deliver me from sickness and pestilence. You shield me. I may see a thousand fall, but nothing will come near me because I am not visiting Your secret place, I am dwelling there! You give Your angels charge over me to keep me in Your ways. I love You, Lord, and You promise to deliver me in my time of trouble.”

  • Get the Psalm 91 Prayer here. Pray it often. 
  • Meditate on verses that speak to you. 
  • Write them down and use them to battle the holiday anxiety you feel during this season. 

6) Take time to rest. 

Man wearing athletic clothing resting against concrete wall, sitting next to plastic water bottle and backpack.

Holiday anxiety and stress can be difficult to battle when you are physically tired. Take time to rest during this season. This might mean you need to cut out certain activities, saying no when your flesh wants to say yes. Saying no and intentionally resting can protect you against holiday anxiety. 

Declaration

“I will pause, turn to the Lord, and will find rest. Lord, You make me lie down in green pastures. I declare that none of my work will be in vain. I surrender my steps to You. Give me everything You have for me today, nothing more and nothing less. Create margin in my life so that I can be restored. In peace, I will lie down and sleep. You are the One who makes me dwell in safety.”

  • Look up and meditate on verses such as Psalm 4:8, Psalm 127:2, and Matthew 11:28-30.
  • Ask the Lord what He wants you to cut out during this season. 
  • Listen to His voice and accept doors that close. If you’ve been prayerful, these are gifts from the Lord to usher in the rest you need. 

7) Stay in the Word.

Busyness steals so much during the holiday season… prayer time, family time, and quiet time. Staying in the Word protects you. It protects your mind, will, and emotions. The Word brings life. Staying in the Word is tied to taking time to rest; this might mean you need to say no to something else. Take even a few minutes each morning to get quiet with the Lord and meditate on a few verses.

Declaration

“The Word is sharp, cutting out any lie that tries to influence my heart and mind. It is good for training me up for every good and righteous work. The Word lights my path and keeps me pure. It gives me knowledge and understanding. It is my daily manna, sustaining me throughout the day.”

  • Look up and meditate on passages such as Proverbs 2:6, Psalm 33:4, Matthew 4:4, and Psalm 119.
  • Write down the passages that speak to your heart. 
  • Declare them throughout your day. 

The Takeaway

Proverbs 23:7 reminds us that we are what we think. Think and dwell on the heavenly things. 

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

—Philippians 4:8

There is less room in your thought-life for holiday anxiety to creep in when you activate Philippians 4:8.

When holiday anxiety does creep in, follow the principle James wrote…

“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

—James 4:6-8

Do this…

  • Remember, the enemy uses holiday anxiety to trip you up
  • Humbly come before the Lord with prayer and thanksgiving 
  • Declare His Word: who He is and who you are
  • Rest and stay in His Word
  • Pray

The enemy will use thoughts and situations to put pressure on you, causing holiday anxiety. But submit to the Lord, resist the enemy, cleanse your heart so that you speak after the covenant rather than after the holiday anxiety, and you will be postured for victory in this season! 

How to Help Students Fighting Anxiety and Depression

By Isaac Jenkins -October 14, 2021

Here are six ideas that have helped struggling students.

The room was so full they were having to turn students away.

Last winter, I attended the yearly Cru winter conference in Fort Worth, Texas, with around 800 students. One afternoon there were multiple break out seminars students could attend.

I just happened to walk by a large conference room with a sign outside which read, “Dealing with Anxiety and Depression.” Inside the room students filled all of the chairs and floor space. Students outside wanted in, but were being redirected to other workshops.

I knew this was a growing issue in the college culture, but this was the first time I had seen it on such a large scale. When I was in college, I don’t think the room would have been half full.

When spring semester started a few weeks later, I attended a luncheon with our dean of students. When I told her how shocked I was to see a room overflowing with students wanting to hear more on dealing with anxiety and depression, she responded by saying that over the past two falls they have had hundreds more emails and students calling the “hotline” dealing with these symptoms. They have had to hire additional counselors to meet the overwhelming need.

I also mentioned my growing concern to a director of student conduct at a major university, and he believes students’ skyrocketing mental health concerns will soon be the No. 1 crisis we have to deal with at our universities—a greater issue even than frat parties and drugs on campus.

I by no means have an exhaustive answer to this complex issue, but as we face this together on our campuses, I would like to pass on a few ideas I have shared with students who are battling feelings of anxiety or depression:

1. God Knows You Intimately and Has a Plan For Your Life.

A common lie students will believe is that what they are doing in life has no purpose and does not matter. They have to understand that who they are and what they are doing right now actually matters to God.

King David had every reason to be stressed out and anxious at multiple times in his life when people were trying to kill him, yet he says:

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” —Psalm 139:13–16

The psalmist understood that God knew him intimately and had a plan for his life. He also understood that God was the one looking after him, and he did not have to go through life alone.

Psalm 119 is another picture of David crying out to God in his suffering. He freely approaches the Lord with his burdens, knowing his God is gracious and kind.

The 4+ hours a day students are spending looking at social media only compounds the lie that they don’t matter and everyone else is doing better or looking better than they are.

Challenge them to spend less time on social media looking at what the world is doing and focus more on God’s promises of what He will do in His Word.

Jesus also addresses this idea in Matthew 6:25-33. He basically challenges His listeners to not be anxious about anything because we belong to God, and ultimately He has our back.

God is the great provider and will take care of even our most basic needs.

I have been in ministry for 30 years, and I have had to trust in Him completely to supply my needs. I love to share with students how God has been faithful to provide during those 30 years!

2. The Joy of the Abundant and Fulfilling Life Is Actually in Dying.

German pastor, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, served his church faithfully during World War 2. One of the most famous quotes from his book, The Cost of Discipleship is:

“When God calls a man, He bids him come and die.”

This idea is essential throughout the New Testament and is the foundation for following Christ. Three of the four Gospels record Jesus saying:

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” —Matthew 16:24–25; Mark 8:34–35; Luke 9:23–24.

Living out the Christian faith is actually dying to self and living for Christ. The apostle Paul even called himself a bond servant and slave to Christ.

I challenge students to visualize placing everything they worry about and stress over in their hand and then imagine opening their hand and presenting all of it to God. As they do this I encourage them to let Him take away the things they don’t need and place the things they do need into their hand.

3. Dying to Self Literally Causes Us to Forget Ourselves.

I once counseled a student who was consumed with always wondering what others thought of him. I had to be honest and tell him most people struggle with the same thing … in other words those he was worried about impressing were actually not even thinking about him but were likely thinking only of themselves!

As a student, I found when I started getting more involved in my fraternity and helping minister to my brothers, I struggled less with personal issues. I wasn’t avoiding my issues, but the more I gave my time to helping minister to others, the more fulfillment I received. In other words, the more we sit around and do nothing (or stare at our phones), the more we compare ourselves to others which often leads to anxiety.

The art of the abundant life is finding our significance, not in what we can gain for ourselves, but through the investments we can make giving our lives away to others.

Tim Keller says it’s not that we should think less of ourselves but should think about ourselves less. He has written a short book on this very topic entitled, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness. This could be a great resource for you to give to a student.

4. Constantly Be Renewing Your Mind.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:6–8

A few months ago, my pastor was speaking on this passage and said something I had never thought of before:

“God is not trying to protect evil from coming to you so much as He is trying to protect your heart from going to evil things or thoughts.”

That makes so much sense! I naturally would run towards evil actions or thoughts if it were not for God’s protection in my life. This is one of the key reasons I spend regular time in the Word and memorizing passages like the one above.

5. Find True Community.

“Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” —Proverbs 18:1

While I was in college and ministering in my fraternity, I realized very quickly I needed Christian community. I made it a must to attend at least one campus ministry meeting a week as well as attending a local church. I got in a small group with several guys from different frats who were ministering in their chapters, and this was a highlight of my week.

Just like wolves will try to get the weaker animals away from the pack so they can attack them, the enemy wants to do the same to us. Also, the more time I spend in community with others, the more I realize I am not alone in my struggles. Most of my friends struggle with the same types of issues I do, and it has been so encouraging to see firsthand how they deal with their issues and overcome their personal hurdles.

6. Counseling and Medication May Need to Be an Option.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” — Deuteronomy 31:6

Although our students have the promises of God to stand on, there may be times when a student’s mind will not be able to move off of the fear or pain they are experiencing to focus on those truths. It is important to realize that sometimes counseling and/or medication may be the help our students need.

Learn to recognize which students may need more help than you or your ministry can give them. Network through your pastor or local mental health professionals to find doctors and counselors to refer students to. Familiarize yourself with the resources available on campus and in your area to support students’ mental and emotional health, and be ready to walk beside students in taking steps toward getting healthy.

Students who are struggling with anxiety or depression to the degree that they need professional help may need to step back from ministry commitments for a season. Extend grace and compassion, not confusing current inability with a lack of faithfulness.

Finally, I would encourage you to pray regularly and by name for the students you are ministering to.

Our students are in a battle bigger than they are. It’s also bigger than we are. Ephesians 6 makes it clear that prayer is our most powerful offensive weapon when fighting against the schemes of the Enemy.

Fear, Anxiety and Courage

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

31 July 2012

You can have all three. Crowded places, large gatherings and movie theaters have a growing commonality for many.

The shooting tragedy in Aurora, Colorado brought the worst and best of us, once again. We as exceptional Americans have unique qualities that help us in many ways. When confronted with an obstacle someone usually finds away to go overcome it or go over, around, or through it without waiting for a government solution.

There were several named heroes in the Aurora shootings who gave their lives protecting loved ones or friends, just as their were in the field outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania on 9/11 who brought down plane so it would not hit the Capitol building.

Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is acting in spite of fear.

There are many named and unnamed heroes who serve and have served in the US Military; they gave the government a blank check to include their lives.

There is a commonality with survivors, victims, heroes, first responders, and witnesses of tragic events or crimes. They all experience emotion.  It is possible that each could be diagnosed and treated for the medical condition of a mental illness called PTSD.

PTSD can cause many symptoms. These symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

1. Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts.

Re-experiencing symptoms may cause problems in a person’s everyday routine. They can start from the person’s own thoughts and feelings. Words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event can also trigger re-experiencing.

2. Avoidance symptoms:

  • Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in activities that were enjoyable in the past
  • Having trouble remembering the dangerous event.

Things that remind a person of the traumatic event can trigger avoidance symptoms. These symptoms may cause a person to change his or her personal routine. For example, after a bad car accident, a person who usually drives may avoid driving or riding in a car.

3. Hyperarousal symptoms:

  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.

Hyperarousal symptoms are usually constant, instead of being triggered by things that remind one of the traumatic events. They can make the person feel stressed and angry. These symptoms may make it hard to do daily tasks, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

It’s natural to have some of these symptoms after a dangerous event. Sometimes people have very serious symptoms that go away after a few weeks. This is called acute stress disorder, or ASD. When the symptoms last more than a few weeks and become an ongoing problem, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD don’t show any symptoms for weeks or months.

It is true most people would not want to think of PTSD as medical condition called a mental illness because of the Stigma attached the words mental illness.

PTSD and other the medical conditions of a mental illness are common and treatable.  If you or someone you know experience any of the symptoms please call your Doctor.

When you are confronted with an obstacle you can or someone can help you find away to go overcome it or go over, around, or through it.

Fear is okay and often healthy. Having some anxiety can be okay. Fear and anxiety can be debilitating if left unchecked. Have the courage to overcome.

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/fear-anxiety-and-courage/


Stress, Anxiety, Depression and Self Care

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

September 30, 2007, updated

Everyone is familiar with stress. Stress comes in various forms and degrees everyday. Some stress is good for us. When we experience great amounts of stress and our physical or mental functioning is affected that could be a problem.

Feeling like there are too many pressures and demands on you?

Losing sleep worrying about a project or task ahead of you? Eating on the run because your schedule is just too busy? You’re not alone; everyone experiences stress at times, – adults, teens and even kids. There are things we can do to reduce or manage stress.

When we feel “pumped” or “wired” or an increased amount of energy and alertness, this is a result of small doses of beneficial stress.

When the level of stress becomes too great for us to handle we can get “stressed out”, “burned out” or be at our “wits end”. That is when our physical well being could be compromised. We all handle stress differently and each has a different level of pressure we can safely handle. We must listen to our bodies. Symptoms that we feel may include: anxiousness, nervousness, distraction, excessive worry, or internal pressure.

Our outward appearance may start to change as we appear: unusually anxious or nervous, distracted, or self-absorbed.

If the symptoms persist over a longer period of time or the stress level increases we could experience: anxiety or panic attacks, a feeling of being constantly pressured, hassled, and hurried, irritability and moodiness, allergic reactions, such as eczema or asthma, problems sleeping, drinking, smoking or eating too much, doing drugs, excessive fatigue, depression, could even think of hurting yourself or others, headaches, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, chest pains or pressure, racing heart, dizziness or flushing, tremulousness or restlessness, hyperventilate, or have a choking sensation, feeling of guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness, and emptiness. If these symptoms persist or increase in severity or frequency seek medical help.

Call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room if your stress results in any of the following symptoms: thoughts of harming yourself or others, chest pain, fluttering or rapid heartbeats, headaches unlike your usual headaches, or any condition that you feel might cause you serious harm if not treated immediately.

Pressures that that become too intense or last too long or troubles that are shouldered alone can cause stress overload. Some things that could overwhelm us are: being bullied or exposed to violence or injury, relationship stress, family conflicts or the heavy emotions that can accompany a broken heart or death of a loved one, ongoing problems with work or schoolwork related to a learning disability or other problems, such as ADHD (once the problem is recognized and the proper support is given this stress usually disappears), or crammed schedules – such as not having enough time to rest and relax.

With all the above you might get the idea that we cannot do it alone. We are not designed to run at high speed all the time. We were designed for fellowship and to live in a community. A very wise person taught me to use my words. When we feel something is wrong we need to use our words to share our feelings in a safe setting. When we hold all these things in we become like a pressure cooker without a safety release valve and we could explode or implode. Exploding could hurt others or things around us. Imploding could do grave us great physical harm.

Remember to take care, eat right, slowly enjoying your meal, do everything in moderation, regularly exercise and really relax and rest.

Professional help is available, if needed, to help get on or stay on the right track. It is your body, listen to it, treat it well and it will treat you well.

More information and workshops on mental health was available at the NAMI State Convention Oct 132007 at the Sheraton in Framingham hosted by NAMI Greater Framingham. Oct 7-13 2007 was Mental Health Awareness Week.

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2007/10/06/stress-anxiety-depression-and-self-care/

Surviving the Fire

High Park fire, Larimer County, CO (2012), Author US Air Force, Source https://www.flickr.com/photos/usairforce/7462740970/, (PD as work of federal govt.)

Read the blogs of child abuse victims and those concerned for them.  Somewhere along the line, you will find mention of what the abuse damaged or destroyed outright.

Our innocence.  Our childhood.  Our peace of mind.  Our self-confidence.  Our self-esteem.  Our ability to trust.  Our capacity to select loving partners, and sustain healthy relationships.  Our faith.  Our voice.

And from far too many, the abuse took their very lives.

For many of us, what the abuse left behind was isolation, grief, anxiety, depression, rage, and a permanent sense of violation.

Unfortunately, that we will never be the women (or men) we might have been is not helpful information.  We are who we are…marked by these scars.

In some sense, the scars are our badges – if not of honor exactly, then certainly not of shame.  We were the ones sinned against, not the ones sinning, no matter how we were made to feel about the torture inflicted upon us.

As with the veteran who has lost a limb to war or the woman who has lost a breast to cancer, this is simply our reality now.

No single statement can characterize us all, except that we were blameless.

Some of us were victimized by priests; others, by family members or strangers.  Some of us pressed criminal charges against our abusers; some chose to remain (or were forced to remain) silent, sometimes for decades.

Some of us lived in denial, maintaining a painful status quo in our attempt to protect loved ones.  Some of us fled to the streets, from one kind of horror to another.  Some changed sexes or became sex addicts.  A few fled from sex, itself.

Some of us forgave; some never will.

The abuse did not make us bad citizens, bad neighbors, bad employees, or bad friends. Many of us became high achievers, first at school and later at work.

A surprising number of us have found a strength we did not realize we had.  We have found a way to use our anger to fuel the struggle against abuse and injustice; use our pain as a subject for art and literature.

A surprising number of us have reclaimed our joy.  We remember the past, but choose to focus on the present.

Somehow we managed to survive the onslaught against our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies.  Whether by luck or fate, intestinal fortitude or grace, we survived the fire.  We are here and entitled to live our lives.

Originally posted 10/19/14

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: https://alawyersprayers.com

https://avoicereclaimed.com/2018/05/27/surviving-the-fire-2/

VIDEO Recognizing signs of PTSD and TBI

Relating to civilians was a challenge for Schuyler after he got out of the Army. He felt on edge, and sometimes he had trouble managing his frustration. He didn’t believe he had PTSD, but he knew something wasn’t right. Learning he had a traumatic brain injury led him to VA and Vet Center resources that helped him turn his life around.

https://www.maketheconnection.net/stories/315/

Related

https://www.maketheconnection.net/resources/self-assessments/

https://www.maketheconnection.net/resources/self-help/

https://www.maketheconnection.net/resources/treatment-recovery/

https://www.maketheconnection.net/resources/

VIDEO Mothers Are Special

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II May 4, 2021

Mothers and Grandmothers are some the most important people in our lives. They help share our character and beliefs. Sometimes, because of circumstances, the mother’s role is fulfilled by a Grandmother or a step-mother. Godly mothers with Godly fathers provide the best foundation for children in their formative years and as they grow up.

Mothers have a special position appointed by God.

She teaches, ministers, loves, and nurtures the next generation of citizens.  And she challenges and cajoles her children to do their best and be the best.

But few people take notice.  There will be no news stories proclaiming the virtues of a child being taught what it means to be loved, that an infant was hugged securely, or that the wonders of the classics were introduced to a young mind.  No one seems to care that a house was made into a home, or that a mere table with food was transformed into a place of fun.

It isn’t too late to restore the fine art of motherhood to its time-honored position in our society.  In spite of the current cultural hostility, lack of support from many husbands, and incredible pressure inside and outside the home, a real mom will continue to affirm the importance of motherhood. (1)

There are children who test the patience of even the strongest believers. Sometimes tough love is needed. You might consider this another prodigal son.

It is said that a young man became very profligate. He almost broke the hearts of his parents. The mother was actually about to die from the strain. Finally, one day he acted so shamefully that his father said to him, “We have done everything in our power for you. You have disgraced the family and are killing your mother. All that we do for you is in vain. I am sorry, but I must ask you to leave our home and never return.” The young man left.

The months and years went by. Finally the boy became so miserable and homesick it seemed he could not stand it. So he wrote his mother this letter: “Dear Mother: I am ashamed of my fearful conduct in the home. I can hardly stand to think I must never see you again. However, I do not know whether or not Father and you can forgive me. But I will be on train No. 2 that passes your home at 10:00 a.m. [Then he gave the day.] Now if you can forgive me and will take me back, I want you to hang a sheet out on the clothesline. I shall look as the train passes and, if I see the sheet, I will know that you will forgive me, and I will get off at the next station, just below the house, and come home.”

Well, what do you think she did? Not only did she hang out one sheet, but every sheet, towel, pillowcase and everything else white that she had. The clothesline, fence, and rosebushes were covered with sheets, towels, etc. Of course he came home, and, oh, such a welcome!

It was forgiveness in abundance. (2)

We can find our schedule is really full and forget the really important things in life. The following is an example.

A man stopped at a flower shop to order some flowers to be wired to his mother who lived two hundred miles away.

As he got out of his car he noticed a young girl sitting on the curb sobbing.

He asked her what was wrong and she replied, “I wanted to buy a red rose for my mother.

But I only have seventy-five cents, and a rose costs two dollars.”

The man smiled and said, “Come on in with me. I’ll buy you a rose.”

He bought the little girl her rose and ordered his own mother’s flowers.

As they were leaving he offered the girl a ride home.

She said, “Yes, please! You can take me to my mother.”

She directed him to a cemetery, where she placed the rose on a freshly dug grave.

The man returned to the flower shop, canceled the wire order, picked up a bouquet and drove the two hundred miles to his mother’s house. (3)

Mothers are ready for us. The Bible has many things to say about Mothers including the following.

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”… (Proverbs 31:25-30)  Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

For those who were not Blessed with Godly parents or who otherwise endured rough times, do not despair there is healing available.  A rough upbringing can produce fear, anxiety, paranoia, PTSD or worse outcomes. A rough can be used as an excuse or can be overcome, that is a personal choice. Those who suffer, recover, and heal can help others who suffer.

Commemorations to honor mothers and motherhood have been happening for centuries and can be traced back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans who paid homage to their mother goddesses. Today, tributes to mothers occur all around the world at different times of the year, but the American version of Mother’s Day was started in May of 1908 by a woman named Anna Jarvis.

Mom needs a hug today.

References

(1)  Dr. James Dobson and Gary Bauer’s book, Children At Risk

(2) William Moses Tidwell, “Pointed Illustrations.”

(3) https://www.theholidayspot.com/mothersday/stories/a_short_story.htm

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2021/05/06/mothers-are-like-that-ya-they-are-2/

Interrupt the Downward Spiral

By Max Lucado

Anxiety is an out of control thought pattern.  It settles over the mind like a severe weather system, spewing thunderclouds and casting lightning bolts.  Life feels like an airplane in a tailspin.  It feeds on what-ifs and worst-case scenarios.

What if the Coronavirus is unstoppable.  What if a pandemic takes over?  I’ll be quarantined for weeks! The economy is sliding into a bear market.  I’ll lose my health.  I’ll lose my job.  I’ll lose it all.  How will I survive on unemployment?

Down. Down. Down.  Don’t give in to this thought pattern.  It’s a sinkhole. Don’t catastrophize your way into quicksand.  Take a deep breath and then…

1.   Pray about it. At the first hint of an anxious thought, Take the thought captive. Don’t tolerate the devil, not even for a second. Lasso the anxious thought with a word of prayer. Lord, there is an intruder at the door! Please take over!

2.   Identify the culprit.  Generalities are not permitted.  None of this: “I’m worried.” Get specific: Lord, I’m worried about the layoffs at work. Now, that’s better. But even more detailed: I’m worried that I will lose my job. Will I be able to find more work? Will we have to move? Specificity disarms anxiety.

3.  Take a reality check.  Is this a legitimate concern? Or is this a vague, ill-defined, rumor-fed possibility? They say layoffs are inevitable. Who are they?

4.  Take an action step.  Assuming the concern is legitimate, what can you do? Make a list of two or three steps you can Resist the urge to try to solve everything immediately.

5.  Ask: “Can God solve this?”  Is this challenge within his skill set? Is he overwhelmed by this setback? Are the angels pounding on the door of heaven trying to convince him to come out of hiding? Is he resisting?

I can’t handle this challenge It is too great. I don’t know what to do! I’m stumped, stuck, and stalled out.

No…I don’t think so either. God is never baffled or belittled. Take the problem to him.

Reflect on this verse: “No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment, You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me, says the Lord” (Isaiah 54:17).

And, pray it through:

Lord,

Thank you that “before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely” (Psalm 139:4).  Thank you that there are no surprises with you.  Help me find deep comfort in the fact that you are unshockable and nothing is too great, too terrible, too large, or too heavy for you.  Help me see the problems that I face today in light of how big you are.   Amen.

© Max Lucado  (adapted from Anxious for Nothing, Thomas Nelson, 2017)

VIDEO Not The Time To Put A Lid On It

By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

March 2, 2021

It has been on a constant loop: “If you see something, say something”. I don’t remember hearing there was any fine print or exceptions to that “rule”. We can see there clearly are.

With all the talk of what is essential; one item was left off the written list of the essential and non-essential items, and that is free speech.

In practice the drumbeat was “Thou Shall Not Contradict The Official Pronouncement”. No matter what your station in life, should you wander off the official script and have a different point of view, the hordes of Huns will be released to destroy you, your family, your employment or business and employees. Even if you should recant your ‘error’ of having a different point of view and grovel coast to coast, you will be destroyed, not welcomed back, and canceled. This does not fit any definition of free speech that I have seen.

Freedom of speech has become vital because, without freedom of speech, some people won’t be able to communicate effectively and even say a word when things are going wrong.  Freedom of speech is essential because it can change the narrative of how people feel when they express themselves in public.

Freedom of speech is not a new concept. Freedom of speech can be found between the early 5th and 6th century. It was recognized by the Roman Republic which added freedom of speech and freedom of religion also. The fact that freedom of speech was essential at that time should tell you that freedom of speech is vital and very important even in these modern times.

Freedom of speech remain essential to us and our society, although the first amendment was instituted in 1791, the ideas of human rights that lead to freedom of speech is on paper in ancient human right documents.

The Founding Fathers of our Constitutional Republic saw Freedom of Speech as so essential to maintaining our Republic that they included it within the First Amendment.

When Freedom of Speech is fully operative:

  • It enables the dispersion of excellent and accurate information.
  • It enables media to present both sides of an issue accurately, eliminating Fake News.
  • People will get the impact of new ideas.
  • Freedom of speech is essential and ensures meaningful communication
  • If you can’t communicate you don’t have the liberty to express yourself freely.

Clarity of information depends on the extent to which freedom of expression of thought and freedom of speech is open in all the changes and processes taking place in society. It helps the community to stay in harmony, protects the business, and promotes foreign exchange. Free Speech gives individuals peace in running daily activities with people.

Without Free Speech we would live in a Socialist or Communist society where dissidents are punished brutally, perhaps purged to re-education or death camps. Socialists and Communists quickly silence, canceled, opposition.

Much of today’s media in cooperation of Big Tech parrots talking points of one point of view to which “Thou Shall Not Contradict”

In support I offer the following news story with a video:

 Fox10 Top Rated News Anchor Resigns, “I don’t like the way the media is going

 March 2, 2021 by Sundance

Fox10 News Anchor Kari Lake has reflected on the trend-line for U.S. media and decided she can no longer participate in an industry that has devolved to a system of narrative engineering.  Ms. Lake speaks directly to the issue of manipulated news feed script and she is no longer willing to participate in this activity.

Kari Lake: “Journalism has changed a lot since I first stepped into a newsroom…  I don’t like the direction it is going. …I’m sure there are other journalists out there who feel the same way.”

——–

Dangerous attacks on the Free Speech are well articulated by Paul Craig Roberts in his article titled “The New Journalism Is Destroying Us” https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2021/03/02/the-new-journalism-is-destroying-us/

Why Is FREE SPEECH Important?

——–

A denial of free Speech relies on and foments fear, the same fear the schoolyard bully relies upon. This fear leads way to anxiety and a whole host of mental health issues.

Here is one expression of  Not The Time To Put A Lid On It from the Network


https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2021/03/04/not-the-time-to-put-a-lid-on-it/


Related

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/03/03/dr-seuss-books-hold-42-of-top-50-on-amazon-sales-ranking-chart/

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/03/03/in-2017-kamala-harris-celebrated-dr-seusss-birthday/

https://www.christianpost.com/news/6-dr-seuss-books-canceled-how-should-christians-respond.html

How to Get Back Up When Ministry Knocks You Down

ministry

By Charles Stone -October 19, 2020

If you’re a pastor, a missionary, or serve in a church, you can’t avoid discouragement, disappointment, and hurt from ministry. The Bible even uses the not-so-complimentary metaphor “sheep” to describe those we serve. And sheep get dirty and smelly and often kick and bite. Sometimes those sheep in the church do the same to their shepherds. So when you  get kicked, forgotten, disrespected, ignored, mistreated, gossiped about, or misunderstood, how do you move forward?

The story recorded in 1 Samuel 30 gives great insight. David had just begun his career to fight the bad guys. Early on he faced a huge defeat. While he and his army were in battle far from home, the bad guys, the Amalekites, attacked the city where his family and the families of his army lived. They burned the city and kidnapped their wives and children. When David’s men discovered this, they considered removing him from his position, not by a vote of a board or a congregation, but with big rocks to the head by stoning.

The Scriptures then record one of the most beautiful verses every written. The old King James Version captures it well.

David encouraged himself in the Lord his God.  (1 Sam. 30.6)

It worked because his guys didn’t stone him but marshaled their energy and once again pursued the bad guys under his leadership.

As I’ve faced discouragement in ministry, these simple choices have helped me encourage myself in the Lord.

  • Acknowledge your pain and emotion to the Lord but don’t wallow in it. Neuroscientists have discovered that when we name our emotions, it turns down the volume in our brain’s emotional centers.
  • Journal your thoughts. Writing them down helps me stop the tendency to incessantly mull over the hurtful situation. Writing therapy been scientifically proven to help us process pain.
  • Read God’s Word, especially those verses that speak of hope and victory. Every time you read the Bible, you are actually re-configuring the circuits in your brain and reinforcing Biblical values and truth.
  • Do something pro-active. Take action to move forward. In David’s case he took specific action to resolve the problem. He rallied his troops to chase down the Amalekites.
  • Stop condemning yourself and remind yourself that you are a child of God, loved by Him with great intrinsic value regardless of whether your church is growing or whether people treat you with respect.
  • Pray for those who have hurt you. I’m amazed how God defuses looming bitterness in my heart when I pray for the sheep that bite me.

How have you dealt with your ministry pain?

This article originally appeared here.

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