VIDEO Everyone Deserves A Second Chance

by America DeFleur September 26, 2019

Since as far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted a dog. But growing up on the streets has a way of depriving you of a lot of things that other people take for granted, so a dog was never on my list of necessities. It was just something I dreamt of.

Bouncing between broken homes and shelters before entering foster care, I never had the opportunity to have a dog. And as an adult, it wasn’t high on my priority list either. I became too wrapped up in trying to survive. No, scratch that, STRUGGLING to survive that I didn’t have time to even think about a furbaby.

Most foster youth and former foster youth lack resources and the parental guidance that it takes to become a successful and productive member of society in today’s world. It’s sad, but it’s true. We need more mentors, foster parents, friends and family to make it through this journey we call life. It’s one of the main reasons why you see so many youth branded as a “statistic” or labeled as “troubled” because there are not enough resources and support. Period. Had there been more people to reach out and offer me guidance, protect me when I needed it, support my transition into adulthood or been someone that I could talk to and ask advice from, I would have avoided so much pain, drama and a hundred different and treacherous paths. Paths that most foster youth succumb too. Why? Because pain, neglect, confusion, PTSD, Depression, lack of family members and years of boiling trauma can break anyone.

It takes a special kind of person to be there for you when no one else has, take your hand (or paw) and lift you up when everyone else let you down. It takes time, patience and unconditional love to heal anyone or in this case, any creature. Which brings me to my point, I spent the majority of my life wishing for a family that never came. It wasn’t until I was able to grow up and create a family of my own, through friends, co-workers my husband and my daughter, did I realize that no matter where you come from, You are capable of being loved. EVERYONE deserves a second chance. So can I have a drum roll please…Everyone MEET DOTTIE!

Dottie needs a second chance. She is a pit bull mix and desperately in need of a loving home. I had the opportunity to spend time with Dottie today through the Front Street Animal Shelter – City of Sacramento“Doggie Day Out” program. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s basically the coolest thing since sliced bread and helps so many animals find loving homes. You basically “borrow” a shelter dog and go on an outing. You can take the shelter pups hiking, jogging or even have them spend the night at your house. The idea behind the project is that these dogs have more exposure to loving individuals, burn off energy and spend some time away from the shelter. You can take pictures, leaves notes, advice or tips and hopefully all of this helps get the doggie get adopted.

When I first heard about this program I instantly thought that it was an amazing idea but never acted upon those “wanting to help instincts” Today, I said no more and decided to give it a try and honestly it was the best thing I could have done for myself and for Dottie. I’ll tell you why.

1. Animals are therapeutic, they have a way of making you feel better.
2. It motivated me to get out of the house, lately I’ve been a lazy slob.
3. I felt so much better after doing it (and so did she) Physically, mentally, emotionally. It was great!

For the past while now, I have been struggling with depression and have been trying to figure out a way to stay motivated and positive while impacting others and making a difference. I usually find that volunteering helps keep me distracted because let’s be real, when I have too much time to myself I overthink EVERYTHING and can’t escape my past. I need to stay busy. Which is why I’ve been excited about that writing workshop for foster youth I’ll be hosting! And now, more recently “Doggie Day Out” I’ve decided that at least once a week I will be at the Front Street Shelter “borrowing” dogs until I can have one of my own. Until then, check out my latest adventure with Dottie.

PS: She needs a home. NOW.

 

© 2018-19 All Rights Reserved America DeFleur

Fun Fact #18 – Everyone Deserves A Second Chance.

How Does Death Rule Over Us?

December 9, 2019 hepsibahgarden

Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. Psalms‬ ‭119:77‬

We need GOD’S TENDER MERCIES TO LIVE CONTINUALLY.

He did not call us to death. Rather, God called us forth from death and brought us into Life so that we may live eternally. We need to always keep “sin” in a dead state, and to do this we need God’s mercy. What does keeping sin in a dead state mean? It means to forsake the works of death immediately in our lives.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans‬ ‭6:23‬

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians‬ ‭5:19-21‬

To be carnally/fleshly minded is death, therefore this also needs to be kept in a dead state. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6

If we hate our brethren, he is a murderer. The Scriptures says there is no eternal life for such a person. Where there is no Life, there death is present. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 1 John‬ ‭3:15‬.

For mercy to remain upon us, we must perfect our works before God. If not, we are good as dead to Him. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. Revelation‬ ‭3:1-2‬

If we aren’t found in the first love, we are in a dead state. Falling away from First Love is referred to being asleepHence St.Paul writes, Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. Ephesians‬ ‭5:14‬.

If we are not in the Spirit, we are in God’s sight dead. This was why God asked prophet Ezekiel to prophesy to the wind looking at the Valley of Bones. When the prophet did so, breath came into them and in no time the Valley of Dead Bones revived into an exceeding great army.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army. Ezekiel‬ ‭37:7-10‬. May God help us to preserve His mercies in our lives!

Be blessed 💕

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‘Grinch’ group bullies elementary school into canceling live Nativity

Judge: Artistic performances don’t ‘establish’ a religion

December 11, 2019

A live Nativity scene in Stuart, Florida (Photo by Joe Kovacs, used with permission)

A “grinch” organization that flexes its influence each year during the holiday season, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, has “bullied” a school district in Oklahoma into canceling a live Nativity scene that had been part of the school’s annual Christmas celebration.

Liberty Counsel said it’s prepared to represent the school if officials decide they want to restore the holiday display.

LC said FFRF not only was wrong to insist such displays aren’t allowed, it mischaracterized a court ruling on the dispute.

FFRF wrote to Supt. Bret Towne of Edmond Public Schools in Edmond, Oklahoma, declaring “the Chisholm Elementary School Christmas program may not include a live Nativity scene in the performance.”

Liberty Counsel, which has handled many such disputes, said that while FFRF cited a 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, the atheist organization failed “to accurately describe” the decision.

“The 7th Circuit simply did not make the sweeping ruling claimed by FFRF. FFRF has once again selectively related what actually happened in a suit, in order to frighten a school district into compliance,” Liberty Counsel explained.

The ruling stated clearly, “We are not prepared to say that a nativity scene in a school performance automatically constitutes an Establishment Clause violation.”

FFRF had said, “While a public school can hold holiday concerts, religious performances and instruction that emphasize the religious aspects of a holiday are prohibited.”

It continued, “Please note that including a live nativity performance in a school’s holiday concert remains illegal even if participation in the nativity scene is ‘voluntary.'”

FFRF cited a previous dispute in which it wanted to ban a 20-minute Nativity within a program that covered about 90 minutes.

The appeals court said: “The district court found that the Christmas Spectacular program. … A program in which cultural, pedagogical, and entertainment value took center stage – did not violate the Establishment Clause.

One judge wrote: “It is not sound, as a matter of history or constitutional text, to say that a unit of state or local government ‘establishes’ a religion through an artistic performance that favorable depicts one or more aspects of that religion’s theology or iconography. [The school] would not violate the Constitution by performing Bach’s Mass in B Minor or Handel’s Mesiah, although both are deeply religious works and run far longer than the nativity portion of the ‘Christmas Spectacular.’ Performing a work of art does not establish that work, or its composer, as the state song or the state composer; no more does it establish a state religion.”

“Liberty Counsel therefore stands ready, along with our affiliate attorneys in Oklahoma, to provide assistance at no charge to Edmond Public Schools, if the district desires to resume a live Nativity in a school Christmas program,” the organization promised.

 

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How you Can Become a Better Person Starting Now

Can you Really Change?

Most people wonder if it’s possible to become a better person after maturity. The answer is a resounding yes. There’s actually room for change at every stage of our life. With a willing spirit, you can transform your personality. Once you figure out the best and easiest approach to take, you can decide the most important personal aspects to work on. Taking into account the best interest of others and your well being, below are some of the most important things you’ll need to work on, in order to make the changes.

Photo by Freshh Connection on unsplash

Help Others:

Good people support and encourage others to do and become their best selves. I believe one of the greatest responsibilities we have is to support ourselves and others to live as close to their unique potential as possible. Because everything we say and do has a negative or positive influence on others. We should always take into consideration the words we speak to and about others.

How you can show Support?

  • Have some faith in others.
  • Hold high expectations.
  • Be encouraging.
  • Be honest.
  • Share yourself.
  • Set the best example.
  • Challenge them.
  • Be mindful of your questions.
  • Invest your time in them.
  • Acknowledge them.

Let go of Anger:

Your relationships can create a haven from stress as well as help you become a better person. But if you walk away from unresolved conflicts, they can become a significant source of stress. Let’s face it, conflicts are common in our society. They happen with our families, neighbors, friends or colleagues. You have to face them in the right manner and come up with a fair solution. The best way to improve in this area is to learn conflict resolution strategies. Let’s take a look at 5 of this tools that are more effective:

Conflict Resolution Strategies:

  • Recognize that all of us have biased fairness perception.
  • Avoid escalating tensions with threats and provocative move
  • Overcome an “us versus them” mentality.
  • Look beneath the surface to identify deeper issues.
  • Separate sacred from pseudo-sacred issues.

You can also identify what your anger triggers and eliminate them as much as possible. Also learn to let go of any grudge and residual anger.

Be a good Listener:

Listening to others and is one of the best things you can do for another person and yourself. It shows them that you value their opinion and allows you to develop closer connection with others. You also get to hear perspectives you might otherwise dismiss. It is important to engage in active listening with the people in our lives. Being an active listener can change your life for the better. It fosters deeper relationships and exposes you to thoughts, ideas world wide views beyond your own experience. You never know what you might learn from someone.

Self Care:

Self care is vital for building resilience when facing life’s unavoidable stressors. Making sure that you get enough sleep is important for your physical and emotional wellbeing. Less sleep can make you less able to brainstorm solutions to problems you come across. I don’t know about you, but when l don’t sleep enough, it makes me very edgy the next day.

Eating a proper diet is also essential in keeping your body and mind healthy. When you eat healthy, problems like bloating and constipation are never going to be on your worry list. That means you will be in optimum shape for handling stress – which gives you added resilience to manage those challenges that come up unexpectedly.

Be Polite:

Being polite is an act of kindness. We can show politeness to everyone we come across. It is not a trivial thing. This little act instill positive feelings in the people around you. Maintaining a certain level of politeness and civility is appreciated because it shows thoughtfulness, considerations, and kindness.

Live with Integrity:

Personal integrity is a cornerstone of whom we really are. It also shows what we stand for. Integrity is part of our mortal foundation. Integrity shapes the person you become with time. Living with integrity means being true to your ideas. It means that your outward actions reflect your inner beliefs and values. It means making necessary changes to live up to your standards. Take time to understand what integrity means to you and how your decisions align with your values. These things can help propel you towards becoming a better person.

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VIDEO A Christmas Story

December 7, 2019   By Reverend Paul N. Papas II

 

 

The Christmas Story is story of a hero. The greatest evil the world has ever known made the greatest hero the world has ever known. Crucifixion was the cruelest form of torture and execution man devised or used.

Not every hero since has given up his life for another. Heroes generally take no concern for their own life while trying to save the lives of others.

The acknowledgement and veneration of heroes has existed for centuries. It was the ancient Greeks who are accredited with first coining the designation.

A very recent tragedy brought to light another hero.  A young graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, whose dream was to become a pilot, is a hero after he reportedly related crucial information about the identity of the Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola shooter to first responders, despite having been shot several times, a family member revealed.

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, was confirmed as one of the three victims who were killed Friday morning when Saudi national Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani opened fire on a flight training program for foreign military personnel, Adam Watson revealed in a Facebook post. (1)

Joshua Kaleb Watson, 23, was confirmed as one of the three victims who was killed Friday morning.

“Today has been the worst day of my life. My youngest brother gave his life for his country in a senseless shooting. Joshua Kaleb Watson saved countless lives today with his own. After being shot multiple times he made it outside and told the first response team where the shooter was and those details were invaluable. He died a hero and we are beyond proud but there is a hole in our hearts that can never be filled. When we were little I gave Kaleb the name little poot and it stuck. It eventually evolved into pootis and finally uncle poot. Just wish I could talk to him one more time or wrestle with him one more time even though he could probably take me now. Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. “(2)

Simply put, the key to heroism is a concern for other people in need—a concern to defend a moral cause, knowing there is a personal risk, done without expectation of reward.

Philip Zimbardo: What Makes a Hero?

 

Christians who helped Jews during the Holocaust were in the same situation as other civilians who helped imprison or kill Jews, or ignored their suffering. The situation provided the impetus to act heroically or malevolently. People choose one path or the other.

Some choose a path to meet the needs of others. For example there is New England Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson will use his custom-made “My Cause, My Cleats” cleats to bring attention to his One More Foundation. H e created the One More Thing Foundation to spread the love and hope of Christ to one more soul.

“And, we do that by following the three charges that are given in Micah 6:8 when it talks about doing justice, loving-kindness, and walking humbly with our God,” he explained.

Watson said that, for the last decade, the foundation has given him the opportunity to meet people with “real needs” and “to know the one who can meet their needs forever and ever.”

“Whether it’s promoting and giving food to those who are hungry, doing events around the holidays, promoting education, standing against injustice — whether that be sex trafficking, abortion, or racial injustice … and also, just bringing kindness to people,” he continued. (3)

Courtesy of Eric J. Adler and the New England Patriots

Heroes | Restoring Faith in Humanity | 2017

 

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.” — Arthur Ashe, professional tennis player.

There have been thousands of unnamed and unknown heroes over the centuries. Heroes include those who stood ready, who fought and who died for the cause of freedom, first responders, those who served others, and the many that have helped someone without regard to their personal safety,

The true Christmas Story is an everyday story.

The real reason for the season was born to die and save us all.

——-

(1) https://www.foxnews.com/us/naval-academy-grad-shot-5-times-hero

(2)  https://www.facebook.com/adam.watson.397/posts/3471855006187806

(3)  https://www.foxnews.com/media/patriots-benjamin-watson-one-more-foundation-my-cause-my-cleats

——-

Below are a handful of links to heroes

https://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/2019/11/14/sons-american-revolution-honor-first-responders-heroic-acts/4193217002/

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/08/05/soldier-praised-for-heroic-act-at-el-paso-shooting-what-i-did-was-what-i-was-supposed-to-do/23788523/

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/westchester/2019/09/17/hero-westchester-cops-honored/2354177001/

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bradley-plane-crash-heroic-acts-saved-lives-in-deadly-b-17-bomber-crash-official-says/

https://www.usla.org/page/HEROIC

https://publicholidays.la/anguilla/national-heroes-and-heroines-day/

https://preacher01704.wordpress.com/2019/12/08/a-christmas-story/


Never Suppress Your Emotions

 

Oct 21, 2019

Anxiety, Depression, tension and frustration are some of the most common problems of today’s life. There could be very few people not suffering from these mental ill-health problems.  It happens normally but some people are effected more, as compared to others. Emotional suppression also has some negative effects on human body and brain. Some normal emotional effects that causes are, increased alertness, Depression, fear and physical signs, like fast heartbeat.

Suppression of emotions: Suppression of emotions may be very dangerous or fatal for your nervous system. Don’t try to suppress your emotions. We should always have an eye on how do we suppressing our emotions, and how it is effecting our lives. We all need to release our emotions regularly, but remember, don’t let them to control your mind. If you keep letting emotions take over, your life may be end up depressed, anxious and frustrated. Emotions make us weak during crucial times. It’s a bit difficult to express your emotions in a hasty manner because sometime this expression becomes dishearten for others.

Anxiety, Depression, Frustration
Anxiety, Depression, Frustration

Expression of emotions: Expression of emotions is much better. Expression of negative emotion in a hasty manner is a good option. We should express our emotions in such a way it does not heart somebody. We must train our mind to be stronger but it should not be at the cost of our emotions. Always try to think positive even you see there is something going negative, you just assume and look at the positive side.

Family: Family always has a real time importance in our lives. Spent some time with your family. Try to get them together for some time. Try to arrange a small party such as birth day party, happy new year party or any other such type of party can give you a real time happiness and hundreds of thousands of emotions are expressed easily. We all need some true and honest friends in our life. We can share anything to our friends easily and they can get us more then anyone.

Traveling: Whenever you feel anxious, angry or get emotional due to some reasons, just get into your car and drive somewhere away from your palace, to see nature, and just give yourself a good break. It is easy when we are busy with our careers and other goals to get so involved that we forget to do this but it is so crucial. Life is so much beautiful, and I am sure that everything you do will take you towards success. I think when we have a heavy load, even though we can handle it all, we still need quiet contemplative time, and traveling is one of the good option to overcome it.

Grouping: One idea to get rid of emotional and mental disorder is to join group or company where people get together out in nature, and just sit listening to the wind and the trees as the leaves move about, and to have a quiet time to pray and to share what is in their hearts about life in general. Everyone will express his inner feelings and thoughts to others. This is an awesome way to release stress and anxiety. As you regularly join this type of groups you will feel that you are going to be enough stronger in a very limited amount of time. This type of groups may also help you to get some real time friendship that will be a great achievement.

These are some general solutions, I have learned from my experience of life and participation in social gatherings. You can disagree with at any of the point, because everyone has experience to overcome such problems in their own way. I have a simple request to you that we should always help such type of people, so that, they can overcome their problem easily. Mostly aged people suffer a lot because they feel lonely, and they required a company always. Promise me, you will try your best to do something great in your life and try to change your own destiny and others as well.

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5 Ways Helping Others Can Help You Overcome Depression

Dr. Ryan Noel Fraser Sept 12, 2019

5 Ways Helping Others Can Help You Overcome Depression

“Why have I been feeling so depressed lately? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever feel like my old self again?”

If you’ve recently been asking yourself these types of questions, please take heart! I want to encourage you by offering some practical suggestions and much-needed hope for your journey with depression, and to start, it’s important for you to know that you’re not alone.

The dark blue landscape in our nation looms ominously with 18 million adults (one in ten) impacted by depression in a given year. Women are twice as likely to suffer as men. Diagnoses of depression are growing fastest among millennials (ages 18-34), with stats having increased 47 percent since 2013. Among adolescents (ages 12-17), the depression rate has skyrocketed 63 percent over the past six years, with nearly one-in-five teens afflicted. Parents often feel at a loss and woefully ill-equipped to intervene and help their children recover.

Christians are not exempt or somehow immune to the disease or disorder of depression.

In fact, it’s an epidemic in the church as a whole. Just ask your minister or pastor and they’ll tell you what churches are up against when it comes to serious mental health challenges. The devil, as an insidious enemy and predatory roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8), is having a veritable field day with the hearts and minds—and basic sense of emotional wellbeing—of many believers.

When depression assaults believers, it can be extremely disorienting and demoralizing to their spiritual walk. The oppressive, internalized stigma they carry can feel almost unbearable at times, as they struggle with profound shame and irrational guilt for their “unacceptable” emotional state.

Many who suffer either with episodic or more chronic clinical depression mistakenly feel that their faith is flawed, which only compounds the issue and adds insult to injury. “If only I trusted fully in God’s power and was a more dedicated and faithful Christian, I surely wouldn’t be so depressed,” they tell themselves.

All the while, they continue to suffer with depression in silence and embarrassment.

They’re often their own worst critics and struggle with a vicious cycle of self-loathing and unrealistic self-imposed expectations, unwilling to extend any grace to themselves.

If you find yourself battling with depression, you don’t have to look very far in Scripture to discover stories of faithful men and women who, at times, struggled with their mental health. I’m reminded of biblical characters like Abraham, Sarah, Moses, David, Elijah, Hannah, and Paul.

While they had immense personal struggles, they ultimately found comfort, confidence, and courage in the Lord. In fact, in many ways it was in the midst of their many weaknesses that they discovered God’s divine strength and through their service that they found lasting meaning, hope, and healing. It supplied them with the impetus they needed to keep on moving forward in life, despite being confronted with seemingly insurmountable obstacles in their paths.

In confessing his thorn in the flesh, Paul said, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Cor. 12:8-9, NIV). In verse 10b, he exclaimed, “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Paul had finally come to terms with accepting his tough situation and had learned the challenging lesson of complete trust and total dependency on God.

Depression presents you with a unique opportunity to grow as a person if you’ll let it.

It can serve as sort of built-in radar that sensitizes you to the suffering of others and provides valuable insider knowledge to effectively reach out with empathy, Christ-like compassion, and kindness. Thus, your battle with the blues can serve to deepen your faith and strengthen your care. Not in spite of depression, but precisely because of it.

The apostle Paul says something rather revolutionary in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”(ESV)

From Paul’s perspective, being on the receiving end of divine comfort during times of personal duress may result in an increased propensity for gratitude, a heightened awareness of others’ pain, and a greater capacity for providing effective spiritual care and comfort to other sufferers.

We operate out of the deep godly wisdom and maturation gleaned from our own refining process that occurs when confronting difficulties such as depression. Depression can, therefore, serve as a doorway to greater spiritual depth and discovery.

Here are five ways that helping others can serve to empower you to be victorious in your battle with depression:

1. Helping others encourages you to refocus your emotional energy and redirect your negative thought patterns in a more positive direction.

In other words, you will shift your perspective from internal absorption to external mission through selfless service. Jesus said that he didn’t come “to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

Therefore, when we help others and thereby develop Christ’s servant heart within us, we can be assured that we are walking in the footsteps of the Savior. In Philippians 4:8, Paul encourages the believers to refocus their minds on “excellent or praiseworthy” things. Serving others fundamentally changes our perspective. It supplies sufficient mental space to count our blessings and meditate on uplifting thoughts that counter the distorted, unhealthy thought patterns endemic to depression.

2. Helping others will supply you with a renewed sense of being a worthy and valuable person.

Depression will cause you to get down on yourself and disparage your personal worthiness. You may arrive at the flawed conclusion that you’re nothing but a great big burden on your family and friends.

But by finding ways to serve and use your talents, resources, and opportunities in a meaningful way, you are able to counteract these unhealthy perspectives and clearly see the positive difference you are making in the lives of others.

This important recognition will strengthen your self-esteem, facilitate your personal validation, and gradually improve your self-image in Christ.

3. Helping others by means of hands-on work (or physical labor) will provide the built-in advantage of exercising your physical body.

Whether you areraking a widow’s leaves, mowing an injured person’s grass, mopping a shut-in’s floor, washing an elderly relative’s car, pushing a grocery cart as a you lend a hand to a frazzled young mother, or carrying boxes and furniture for people who are moving in or out of the neighborhood, these are all physically demanding activities that have the effect of bringing up your heart rate.

In this way, there is an inherent cardiovascular benefit that, in turn, works to counteract unpleasant emotions, as feel-good chemicals are stored up and released in your brain.

4. Helping others gives you a good reason to climb out of bed in the morning, take a shower/bath, get dressed and groomed, and actually leave your residence.

When we have a specific task to do for someone else, it can function as a powerful motivator to get us mobilized rather than wallowing in the mud of melancholia. The longer you remain in bed or lying on the couch, the worse off you will feel physically and the more defeated and helpless you will feel emotionally.

Many times, a significant percentage of the day’s battle is won when you force yourself to get up, get out, and get busy serving to the best of your ability.

5. Helping others can provide you with much-needed social interaction and uplifting Christian fellowship.

While you’re volunteering to serve, you will likely find the opportunity to talk, laugh, and positively engage with others in an enjoyable and meaningful way, rather than feeling lonely and isolated. This is particularly true when you work alongside other people, perhaps in a soup kitchen or outreach food pantry, construction or house painting project, community cleanup effort, clothing closet, children’s or seniors’ ministry event, care-package assembly line, or even a domestic or foreign mission trip with a team of believers.

Small talk will come easier and conversations feel more natural when you’re working together on a common project for a greater good with other volunteers.

The avenues of volunteerism and helping others can serve as a restorative strategy for overcoming various shades of the blues. God gives us the grace we need to live victoriously and abundantly with great joy and real spiritual purpose.

Serving is more than a short-lived distraction from your own suffering; it is a powerful and restorative antidote. It’s a transformative way of life that facilitates healing, health, and hope.

Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/HeroImages


cover of Overcoming the Blues book by Dr. Ryan Noel FraserDr. Ryan Noel Fraser grew up in Cape Town, South Africa. He holds a Master’s in Divinity and a PhD in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling from Brite Divinity School (Texas Christian University). A licensed clinical pastoral therapist, he directs the Masters in Pastoral Care and Counseling program at Freed-Hardeman University. He and his wife, Missy, have two adult children and a terrific son-in-law. They live in sunny Tennessee where they enjoy hiking and barbequing in the backyard. For more resources on depression and to learn more about Overcoming the Blues, go to ryannoelfraser.com.

[Information sources:
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db303.htm
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/
https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/depression-teens
https://centerfordiscovery.com/blog/todays-teens-depressed-ever/
https://www.johnshopkinshealthreview.com/issues/fall-winter-2017/articles/the-rise-of-teen-depression
https://www.newportacademy.com/resources/mental-health/teen-depression-study/]

https://www.crosswalk.com/special-coverage/depression-suicide/ways-helping-others-can-help-you-overcome-depression.html