Christian Women and Their Addictions

In the book of Hosea, we are told about a time when the people of Israel had turned their backs on God. They had become a faithless nation that rejected the Lord and His word. It was a time of material abundance for Israel, because God had blessed them. However they didn’t give Him the credit. They even used their blessings to make idols and built temples to false gods. The people pursued immorality and lawlessness. The prophet Hosea warned Israel. He told them that their iniquity was causing problems for their nation and that the Lord would judge them. But they denied they were sinning and therefore refused to repent. Israel began deteriorating, because they had turned from their God. He didn’t want Israel to be destroyed, but He wanted His relationship with them to be restored.

We can apply the story from Hosea to ourselves. There are times that we put our faith in the things of this world instead of God. We may not realize it because we can deceive ourselves. Sometimes we even find ways to justify our sin. But it is so important to listen to the conviction from the Holy Spirit, to confess our sin, and to stop doing it. God wants restoration for us, too. He wants us to grow in holiness and grow in our relationship with Him.

In Hosea chapter 7,
Verse 1a says - I want to heal Israel, but its sins are too great.

Verse 2 says - Its people don’t realize that I am watching them. Their sinful deeds are all around them, and I see them all.

Although they tried to ignore their sin, the Lord saw it. We can’t pretend that God doesn’t see our sins. Our sins make us distant from God and it hurts our relationship with Him. Sometimes we wonder why it feels like God isn’t nearby or listening to us. Maybe it’s because of our sin.

Verse 10 says - Their arrogance testifies against them, yet they don’t return to the Lord their God or even try to find him.

They needed forgiveness for their sins. But they were unwilling to go to the Lord. We’ve been forgiven, because of Christ’s death on the cross. All we have to do is surrender and turn to Him. Then confess, ask forgiveness, receive His forgiveness, and not pursue that sin any longer.

Verse 11a says - The people of Israel have become like silly, witless doves, first calling to Egypt, then flying to Assyria for help.

Verse 14 - They do not cry out to me with sincere hearts. Instead, they sit on their couches and wail! They cut themselves, begging foreign gods for grain and new wine, and they turn away from me.

Verse16a - They look everywhere except to the Most High.

Sometimes when we have terrible problems in our lives, we don’t know how to deal with them. We may look to the wrong people or look to the wrong things to help us. Many of us, even us Christian women, have our secret addictions that we are using for comfort.

Some of our addictions are to: alcohol, prescription drugs, over eating, under eating, exercise, sexually related, shopping, over working, and even TV. We may use addictions to numb or cover up our pain. However, the addiction is not the root of the problem. That’s just the thing that we’re using in order to not feel the pain. But our problems won’t be helped by addictions. It’s time to give up the addiction.

The right thing to do is to turn to Jesus and to trust Him. You can talk with a pastoral or Christian counselor, too. Talking will help you work through the problem. Just don’t turn back to that addiction. See it for what it really is – sin. Commit to turning away from the addiction. You don't need something sinful to give you comfort.

The dependency on the addiction won't go away overnight. But you can ask
God for the strength that you need and rely on Him to help you. It's important to:
  • Admit your struggle with this addiction to God and to someone else.
  • Admit that you need God's help to overcome this addiction.
  • Surrender yourself to Him and to the will of God. Seek His will for you.
  • Confess your daily failures concerning this addiction and keep going.

Here are some ways to get help with overcoming addictions:
  • A Christian counselor or pastoral counselor
  • Hope for the Heart Call Center 1-800-488-HOPE (4673) - Free. Spiritual guidance, heartfelt prayer, honesty, resources, and connections to skilled Christian counselors.
  • Breaking Everyday Addictions by Dr. David Hawkins

Romans 12:1-2 tells us how we are to use our bodies to glorify God.

"And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

Ideas for Pastor Appreciation Month

I've started writing sermons. Here's a sample:

 Ideas for Pastor Appreciation Month

Our pastors (the clergy) need appreciation and encouragement. The official day of honoring pastors is the second Sunday in October. However, you get the whole Month of October to celebrate and appreciate them.

The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. (1Timothy 5:17)
Free Up Your Pastor
Take inventory and notice the different jobs and responsibilities of your pastor. Find other people in the church that could do some of these things to free up the pastor. That way he can spend more time in God’s Word, his ministry, and with his family.
Church Member Video
Present a video to your pastor that is filled with appreciative messages from the church members.
His Favorite Ministry
Donate to your pastor’s favorite Christian organization.
Scholarship Fund
Establish a scholarship fund for a seminary student in honor of your Pastor.
Prayer Calendar
Ask members of the church to sign up for one day to pray for your pastor, so that he or she will be prayed for every day throughout the year. You will need to find a volunteer who will call people to remind them of the day that they committed to pray for him.
A Month of Meals
For the month of October, provide supper for the pastor’s family. Church members can sign up to provide supper for a certain night. They can provide a home cooked meal, bring over take out, have a pizza delivered, or give a restaurant gift certificate.
Send Your Pastor to a Pastor’s Conference
The church can pay for the pastor and spouse to attend an annual pastor's conference. This will give them a time to meet and share with other pastors and spouses. They will be strengthened, become more educated, grow spiritually, and have a renewed passion for their ministry.
Give Money
Have a party for your pastor and present him or her with a money tree or have a card shower with dollars inside the cards.
Special Delivery
Deliver donuts or pizza, when the pastors are at the church office working.
Gift Certificate
Give a Gift Certificate to or a gift card to a restaurant.
Send the Pastor on a Special Trip
Your church can send the pastor and spouse on a Christian Cruise or on a Trip to Israel.
Bulletin Board
Put together a bulletin board honoring your pastor and display it at church. You can include photos of your pastor’s history at the church and his childhood photos.
Slide Show
Put together a slide show presentation honoring your pastor. Surprise your pastor by showing it at the church service.
Remembrance Book
If you’re into scrap booking, you could make a scrap book or photo album for your pastor.
Respond to the Sermon
Really hear what your pastor is preaching and commit yourself to respond and apply what you’ve learned. If it makes a positive difference in your life, let your pastor know. He or she preaches for a reason and is encourage to find out that the church applies the teaching.
When the pastor is trying to recruit volunteers, show that you support his or her visions by volunteering. Commit to being an active participant in your church. Get involved by teaching a class, leading a workshop, singing in the choir, helping in the nursery.
Motivate Others
Encourage the other church members to show their appreciation to the pastor. List ideas on bulletin inserts or fliers, or call people on the phone.
Prayer Time During the Service
Have a special prayer time for the pastor, during the worship service. Your church can pray for: personal needs, the family’s needs, spiritual life, leadership and ministry. Get detailed ideas from How to Pray for Your Pastor.
Meet a Need
If you see an area that can be improved, commit yourself to working on it. Tell the pastor that you want to volunteer to help meet that need of the church. Ask him or her for direction if you need to.

Preach about Pastor Appreciation

When the pastor is out of town, have someone preach about pastor appreciation. Provide a list of appreciation ideas to the congregation.
Surprise Guest
Invite a special guest to speak about your pastor, someone that your pastor loves and admires.
Use Your Skills
What skill can you share with the pastor? Maybe you could help upgrade the church computer or make a website for the church? Offer to give his or her car a free tune up. Provide free dental or medical treatment. Can you bake, sew, do yard work? Whatever skill you have, you can probably offer it to your pastor.
Honor Your Pastor in the Newspaper
Write a letter of appreciation about your pastor and send it to the local newspaper. Or, take out a newspaper advertisement that honors your pastor.
Honor Your Pastor on a Marquee
If you are a business owner, thank your pastor on your advertising marquee.
Hall of Fame
Create a pastor’s Hall of fame in your church.
Send a Prayer or Tribute
Take the time to write a personal prayer or a touching tribute and send it to your pastor.
Gift Card Tree
Get a small artificial Christmas tree. Ask the church members to buy gift cards to restaurants, bookstores, etc. and hang them from the tree
Ask Your Pastor
Tell your pastor that you want to help and ask how you can.
Give the Pastor a Raise
Discuss and pray with the church board about giving your pastor a raise or more benefits. Honor your pastor by paying him or her a reasonable salary. Does your pastor need medical benefits, days off, a retirement account, or a housing allowance? Financial concerns can be a big stress on a pastor’s family. Your pastor may find it difficult to ask for a raise or let the church know that he or she is having difficulty making ends meet with personal finances.
Appreciation Ceremony
Honor your pastor with an appreciation ceremony and a cake. Or, you can have an ice cream social. Interview the pastor's family, friends, professors, and the past people in his or her life. Put all the stories together and write a tribute to the pastor. Read it at the appreciation ceremony.
Scholarship Money
Your church can collect donations for scholarship money so that your pastor can work on continuing his or her education.
Something for Your Pastors Hobby
Give your pastor a gift that encourages his or her hobby or personal interest. Give something that your pastor has talked about buying, but never spent the money on - like a gym membership.
Create a Pastoral Ministry Team
Form a team to help care for the mental, emotional, and spiritual health of your pastor. Make sure your pastor has a counselor or someone to confide in. Support your pastor through a personal crisis. Send your pastor to conferences for support and spiritual growth. Does your pastor have enough time to spend time with the Lord? Does your pastor need an accountability partner? Does your pastor need more family time? Does your pastor have realistic goals? Pastors can experience loneliness, stress, conflict, anger, depression, and temptation just like any other human. Make sure your pastor gets the help that he or she needs.
Recruit Volunteers
Tell your pastor that you are going to find the volunteers that he or she needs for a special event or outreach.
Make Banners
The youth group can make banners and decorations that express their love for their pastor.
Pray for Your Pastor
Get a special prayer group together to pray for your pastor and family.
Basket of Thank-Yous
Place an empty basket in your church that the members can fill with thank you notes, cards, and appreciation letters. Present it to your pastor at an appreciation ceremony.
Write Your Appreciation
Express your appreciation through a letter or card.
Do a Skit
Kids from the youth group can perform a skit at an appreciation party.
Tribute on YouTube
Make a video tribute to your pastor and play it on YouTube.
Give Your Pastor a Plaque
Order a plaque from a trophy store. You can honor your pastor for his or her service to your church for a certain number of years. Or, you can award a plaque to your pastor for all of the work that he or she did on a certain project.
Testimony Time
Provide a testimony time during your service when the church members can share what they appreciate most about the pastor.
Surprise Party
Throw a surprise party for your pastor. Give your pastor a special gift, and also gag gifts.
Plant a Tree
What is your pastor’s favorite type of tree? Plant a tree, on the church property, in honor of your pastor.
Honor His Name
Name something after your pastor. It can be a library in the church, a camp scholarship, a Christian foundation.
Sign the Journal
Buy a journal and pass it around the church. People can write about what they’ve learned from the pastor, how he or she has encouraged them and helped them, and how they appreciate the pastor. Then, present it to your pastor at an appreciation ceremony.
Cleaning Day
Recruit adults and kids from the youth group to clean at the pastor’s house. Make a list of jobs that need to be done. Ask the pastor to contribute jobs to the list, too. Volunteers can: wash and vacuum the car, mow the lawn, pull weeds, prune trees, clean the garage, wash the outside of the windows, put on a new roof, paint the house, split fire wood, baby sit that night while the pastor and spouse go out for dinner.
Homemade Treats
What homemade treats does your pastor love to eat? Pie? Fudge? Cookies? Cinnamon rolls? Make your pastor something good to eat?
Gift Basket
Get a basket and fill it with items that your pastor would like: his or her favorite kind of music, a journal, a new book, favorite coffee, home baked treats, a gift card, and favorite snacks.
Encourage Your Kids
If you have kids, help them write a letter or make a card for their youth pastor or children’s church pastor.
Motivate the Church
Get the church people excited about Pastor Appreciation Month. Write about it in the church bulletin or print this list and distribute it to the congregation.
For Those Who Just Want to Buy a Gift
There are over 9000 Gift Items at, plus books and music and the Gift Certificate

Revelation - It Isn't That Hard to Understand

Revelation 1:3 says - God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and he blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

Wow. We get a blessing for reading the book of Revelation.

I just finished studying Revelation - for the first time in my life. And I discovered that Revelation really isn't that hard to understand, if you have some help from a good pastor.

Pastor David Guzik, of Enduring Word Media, explains the book of Revelation, verse by verse, in everyday English. He even tells the listener how to apply the lessons learned in Revelation. He covers the entire book of Revelation in 22 audio sermons. You can listen online for free.

J. Vernon McGee also teaches about Revelation in great detail. You can download his audio commentary for free at Thru the Bible.

At Biblegateway you can read Revelation in many different translations. You may find it easier to read from the NLT version or The Message.

Revelation seems to get skipped by a lot of people. Maybe they are to afraid to read about what will happen during the Great Tribulation . Some people do start reading Revelation, but then get confused and quit.

But I found Revelation fascinating. And it didn't scare me at all, because I'm not going to even be here for the Great Tribulation. I'm going up with the rest of the raptured Christian believers.

The book of Revelation taught me - how Christians are suppose to grow in holiness and godliness, what Heaven will be like, what the Antichrist will be like, how terrible the Tribulation will be, how Jesus will conquer evil, the Millennium, the new Heaven, the new Earth, and the new Jerusalem.

Revelation also taught me about Jesus - His righteousness, His patience, His mercy, how He deserves to be worshiped - and His need for judgment and justice.

The Unveiling by Michael Card

Deliver Fall Flowers

Make people happy by giving them potted Fall flowers - like Chrysanthemums.

Your family or your church can deliver potted flowers to the people that live near your church - along with Gospel tracts or invitations to church.

How to Improve the Church

Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, begin with Jesus dictating letters to John - letters to be sent to seven churches in Asia Minor (now western Turkey). In His messages to each church, Jesus complimented the church for the good that it was doing. However, He also instructed them as to what needed to be changed or improved. We can apply these directions to our own churches - even to our biggest and most popular churches that appear to have it all together.

Grow in Love

The church of Ephesus was praised for - it's hard work, patient endurance, not tolerating evil people and false apostles, suffering for Jesus without quitting, and hating the evil deeds of the Nicolaitans. Nevertheless, they were also told by Jesus
“But I have this complaint against you. You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lamp stand from its place among the churches." (Revelation 2:4-5)

Some of our churches look so great with their growing congregations, numerous activities and expanding outreaches. But, how much more the church could please the Lord if we grew and ministered in love also.

We can grow in love with Jesus as we get alone with Him daily - studying the Bible, praying to Him, and singing praises to Him. It's unbelievable how many Christians don't even read the Bible - the word of God. How can we be used by the Lord if we won't even spend time with Him improving our relationship?

We can grow in love with each other as we pray for and with other church members, console, mentor, help, encourage, show concern, include those that are less outgoing. Instead of gossiping, complaining, and judging each other we should work at loving each other. Out of a growing love we should be praying for and encouraging the salvation and spiritual growth of others. The best way to grow in love is to ask Jesus how.
He will be faithful to show us.

Don't Fear Suffering

The church of Smyrna was praised for their good works and being spiritually rich despite their suffering and poverty due to being Christians. They were also commended for persevering the blasphemy of those who opposed them. Nevertheless, Jesus also had this message for them. "Don’t be afraid of what you are about to suffer. The devil will throw some of you into prison to test you. You will suffer for ten days. But if you remain faithful even when facing death, I will give you the crown of life." (Revelation 2:10)

Some of us suffer - social rejection, being fired from jobs and other economic hardships due to our Christian beliefs. There are even many Christian believers through out the world who experience persecution on a much more serious level. But, God can use suffering and Satan's attacks. For example: True Christianity is growing rapidly in the countries that have terrible persecution against believers. We need to remember to pray for and support our fellow Christians that are experiencing persecution. Ministries like Voice of the Martyrs gets the news about the Christians who are suffering for Christ. People are killed for converting to Christianity, pastors are imprisoned, Bibles are confiscated, Churches and Bible Colleges are destroyed, and missionaries killed.

It is an honor to suffer for Jesus Christ. He can use suffering to strengthen our spirits, glorify Himself, help others, prepare us for eternity, fulfill the plans for His will. We may not understand what He is doing, but He uses suffering for good. We need to get our eyes off our problems and focus on trusting Jesus.

Do Not Compromise

The church of Pergamum was praised for staying loyal to Jesus' name and for not denying the Christian faith despite living in such a difficult city. Nevertheless, they were also told by Jesus "You tolerate some among you whose teaching is like that of Balaam, who showed Balak how to trip up the people of Israel. He taught them to sin by eating food offered to idols and by committing sexual sin." (Revelation 2:14)

We still have to deal with the sin of idolatry and sexual immorality today. Some in the church are doing this and we're allowing it, we're compromising and allowing immoral conduct of our fellow believers. Sin keeps people from growing closer to the Lord. Our keeping silent excuses their behavior and doesn't encourage their growth. Our churches need to preach the truth straight from the Word of God, even if it isn't a popular modern message.

The Lord doesn't change and his biblical instructions don't change. Idolatry, sexually immorality, and all other sins are just as wrong and wicked as they were many years ago.

Do Not Become Corrupt

The church of Thyatira was praised for their love, their faith, their service, their patient endurance, and how they were improving in all these things. Nevertheless, they were told by Jesus "You are permitting that woman—that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet—to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality." (Revelation 2:20-21)

Do we allow people to be in Christian leadership, knowing that they can lead others astray? I remember going to a church in which workers in the children's church were going through a divorce. What a terrible example that was for the children.
I've also heard about an unmarried couple that wanted to start a new ministry at church. But they wanted to remain living together. Do we justify when we see this type of thing happening? I've heard other Christians say - "Well, we're living in a different time. That's just the way things are now."

The Lord wants us to be good witnesses to those in the church and to unbelievers. We are not to lead or follow others into sin. He wants us to stand strong against all the immorality around us. We must continue to do our good works in the church and be sure that we have godly Christians leading the congregation.

Jesus promises us - "To all who are victorious, who obey me to the very end,
to them I will give authority over all the nations. They will rule the nations with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots. They will have the same authority I received from my Father, and I will also give them the morning star (Jesus)! (Revelation 2:26-28)

Be a Church That is Alive

The church of Sardis was only praised for having a few believers that hadn't defiled themselves with evil. Jesus told them - “I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive—but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again." (Revelation 3:1-3)

When we do good things for the Lord, we need to do them with the right heart. Good works isn't enough.We need to do them out of a love for Jesus. Doing good things for God without drawing close to Him or being in the Bible won't measure up to His standards. Though our church may appear to be alive and active, it is really dead without a closeness to Jesus. Improving our relationship with Jesus should be more important than volunteering at church.

We need to guard ourselves and avoid temptation. Pursuing holiness and getting the sin out of our lives, will help our churches become alive. God can work through holy believers to create wonderful ministries in our churches - ones that will honor Him and will help others grow spiritually. And ones that will draw non Christians to the church.

Be Faithful in Evangelism

The church of Philadelphia was praised for having strength in the Lord, obeying Jesus' word, not denying Him, and for obeying His command to persevere. Jesus informed them - See, I have set before you an open door (of evangelistic opportunity), and no one can shut it. (Revelation 3:8)

Jesus opens evangelistic doors for us, too. But many times we don't even realize it.
Many of us want to leave the evangelizing up to the "Called" - the missionaries. But, I don't think that is what Jesus intended for us to do. If we are Christians, it is our responsibility to evangelize and lead others to Christ, too. If you aren't ready yet to talk to someone about your faith - you can still evangelize. Invite someone to church or do one of the many ideas at

Be Passionate for Jesus

The church of Laodicea was praised for nothing. Jesus just reprimanded them - “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!" (Revelation 3:15-16)

They had a poor water supply in Laodicea. So, they used an aqueduct to pipe in water from hot springs, from outside of the city. The water went into the aqueduct hot, but by the time it got to Laodicea it was lukewarm. When enemies planned to cut off the city's water supply, the Laodiceans were quick to compromise for fear of losing their water.

They also compromised and tried to play the middle ground spiritually. It was really an empty religion that they had. They appeared to be fine Christians, but they weren't really followers of Jesus at all. If they had been like hot water (on fire spiritually), Jesus could have used them to do His work. If they had been like cold water (didn't know Jesus yet), He could have sent people to witness to them. But because they thought that they were just fine spiritually (but really in the middle like lukewarm water), He couldn't reach them or use them to do His will.

Being in the middle is an insult to God. It is terrible if we give the appearance to others that we are more spiritual than we really are. Those who call themselves Christians need to take following Jesus seriously. Many who think that they are Christians will be surprised on Judgment day when they are sent to Hell.

Is your church lukewarm? Is everything pleasant, good feeling, organized, and appears to be good, but there is no zeal or passion for Jesus and growing holy? Does your church focus on what the people can do and what the people can get? There are some huge, successful churches out there preaching how to get financial prosperity and that you alone have the power to make positive changes in the world. They've taken the focus off of Jesus, the Bible, and God's will for us, and have made their churches humanistic.

Jesus loves us and He wants us to get things right.
He says in Revelation 3:19-20 "I correct and discipline everyone I love. Be diligent and turn from your indifference. Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends."

He corrects us because He wants us to change. Jesus wants us to be zealous for Him. We need to stop looking at ourselves and to what the world can give us. We must look to Jesus. We can't meet our own needs and find what we really need from the world. We need Jesus. He wants us to repent and get passionate for Him.

Dealing With Depression

What is depression?

Those who suffer with depression experience intense feelings of being trapped in sadness, despair, grief, or guilt. When you're depressed, it's hard to see and believe that there is any hope that things will get better.

Depression doesn't just effect the mind; it effects the whole being - body, soul and spirit. It can be situational depression (caused by an event, situation, or illness) or chemical depression (an imbalance that can be helped with medicine). You can have both.

Some of the symptoms of depression are: change in appetite, change in weight, insomnia, hypersomnia, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or failure, inability to concentrate, feeling overwhelmed with normal tasks, anxiety, avoiding people, irritability or anger, mental confusion, guilt, hopelessness, and no sense of the future.

If you feel that you may have symptoms of depression, then you may be interested in taking the Online Depression Screening Questionnaire and then talking to your doctor about the results.

What to do if you are depressed.

One of most helpful things is to talk about it - it will help you process it. Talking will give you the opportunity to grieve the unresolved pain. Here are some people that you can talk to:
  • a professional counselor
  • a pastoral counselor in a church
  • a biblical counselor at Hope for the Heart
  • a spiritually mature person or mentor
  • a friend
If you are still experiencing the same level of depression despite counseling, you may have a chemical imbalance. A chemical imbalance is not a spiritual issue and it cannot be fixed by being more spiritual. But a chemical imbalance can improve with medication prescribed by a doctor.
  • Antidepressant medication is available at Wal-mart and Target pharmacies - $4 for a month's supply.
  • If you can't afford to visit a doctor, call your state health and human services department and ask if there is a free clinic nearby.
  • Taking antidepressants doesn't mean that you are less spiritual.
  • You do not need to feel embarrassed about taking medicine for a chemical imbalance. It is just like a diabetic who needs to take insulin.
Put your hope in God. Trust Him to make things better. Draw closer to Him. Grow spiritually.
  • Thank God for your blessings (even if they seem little) - like 5 a day.
  • Memorize bible verses that will give you hope. Isaiah 54:10, Jeremiah 29:11, Isaiah 42:16, James 1:12, 1Thessalonians 5:24, Psalms 130:5, Isaiah 43:2
  • Grow in prayer with God. If you don't know what to pray - start by praying the words in the Psalms. This is a great time to pray for other people, especially those that are worse off than you.
  • Commit to perseverance and ask God for help. He will strengthen you and get you through this painful time in your life. There is hope when you trust God and rely on Him for help. If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus this would be a great time to get to know Him and receive Him as your Lord and Savior. His Holy Spirit living in you will guide you and strengthen you as walk through this depression.
  • Listen to positive Christian music that will get your mind off of you and onto the Lord.
  • Read the Bible. Story after story tells how God overcomes evil, and how He uses weak people to do His work. If the Bible seems too difficult to understand you can listen to J.Vernon McGee or Pastor David Guzik. They read through the Bible verse by verse and explain it in everyday language.
  • Depression effects people spiritually. It may be extremely difficult for some people to pray or do spiritual things. This is very common. If this is true for you, know that you're not alone and take smaller steps.
Other things to know about.
  • Spend time with other people. It isn't good to spend a lot of time alone when you're depressed.
  • Do not expect to just "snap out" of depression.
  • A woman can get postpartum depression even if she never had it with her previous pregnancies.
  • Do not make major life decisions while you are depressed without getting advice from others who may see your situation differently.
  • Do not accept your negative thinking as the truth.
  • Tell someone if you feel like harming yourself. Don't dismiss the thoughts and wait until it gets really bad.
  • Do some activities that you enjoy and that could make you feel better. Consider volunteering.
  • God can use this difficult time in your life to encourage others later.
  • Left untreated, depression can worsen.


Life on Earth doesn't always have to be happy. We have to wait for Heaven if we want no more sadness, pain, or death. Even though you struggle with depression, you can have joy in the Lord. You will start to experience this joy in the Lord as you grow closer to Jesus, make yourself available to do God's will, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you. Please remember that this will take time though. During depression, turn to God for comfort and strength. Only God can truly heal those deep hurts and make you feel whole again.
And please remember - things will get better. This is just a season of your life - maybe a long and painful one, but still it is just a season.

How Depression Affects the Brain (an animated video)

Causes of Depression

Postpartum Depression Information

Lower Your Utility Expenses

These are some things that our family has done over the years:
  • keep the heat between 58*-62* during the day (65* is still living in luxury)
  • used oil-filled electric space heater in living room and kitchen to lower our need for heat from the expensive oil furnace.
  • bought and installed a wood stove on the first floor
  • don't heat the upstairs bedrooms, but let the heat rise from the first floor (have a family slumber party in the living room on really cold nights)
  • take very short showers
  • canceled garbage service and drive our own garbage to the dump
  • use the cheapest phone service offered and use a calling card for long distance
  • put clear plastic on the inside of all the windows (this made a huge difference for us)
  • prop open the dishwasher to let the dishes drip dry
  • instead of using a dryer - hung wet clothes (on hangers) on the shower rod to dry
  • use 40 watt light bulbs and only one light per room
  • lived in an apartment on the middle floor (the bottom and top floors pay more to heat)
  • block all drafty cracks with towels or toilet paper
  • wear long sleeves and fleece sweaters at home, watch TV with a blanket
  • use microwave much more often than the oven
  • bake 2 casseroles in the oven at one time (save one and microwave it another day)
  • during summer, use the ceiling fans over the beds instead of AC
  • make sure that everything is well insulated (I've read that some people even put 3M insulation right up against their glass windows.)
  • hang blankets over unused doors
  • canceled cable TV 12 years ago (I estimate a savings of $6000-$7000)

Lower Your Cost of Housing

  • Get a house that you can actually afford on only one income. A lower cost house will also reduce your homeowner taxes and insurance costs.
  • Determine what monthly rent you want to spend and then go find a place for that price
  • Get a smaller house or apartment. It will cost less to heat and cool.
  • Consider moving to a place or neighborhood where the housing prices are lower.
  • Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. (This is the correct spelling according to the dictionary.)

Lower Your Medical and Dental Expenses

  • go to a dental college or hygienist school for teeth cleaning, fluoride treatment, sealants, and X-rays
  • go to a free clinic instead of the emergency room (sometimes they ask for donations if you can afford it)
  • look for free health screenings
  • prevention: practice being healthy, brushing teeth often and well, and avoid risky activities that could cause an accident

The Wisdom of God

“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!” Romans 11:33

God has the ability to contrive and obtain perfect ends to His plans. With His wisdom, God makes no mistakes. He knows best and His guidance and instructions are the best.

Knowing this, why do I not consult with Him about everything?

Proverbs 2:6 tells me that "
For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding."

I can gain much earthly knowledge on my own, but if I want wise guidance it must come from the Lord God. Since I can't see the end results of His plans, I should ask His advice about everything - before I write a post on my blog, discipline my children, talk to my husband about a disagreement, volunteer for a ministry at church, give money to a Christian organization.

Even though I have the head knowledge about what seems to be right, I should still talk to God about it first. He may be leading me to do something else or to do nothing at all.

I'm beginning to realize that I need to be seeking God's will on a daily basis - not just once a day, but through out the day as situations arise. Sometimes, at the end of the day or even a few weeks later, I realize that I should have consulted with God first before diving right on in.
His wisdom is necessary if I want to live in His will and be used by Him.

Shoes for Orphans

Shoes for Orphan Souls is a Christian ministry program of Buckner International. They distribute new shoes to orphans and at-risk children throughout the world. One of the greatest and most immediate needs of these children is a pair of shoes - the ministry has an ongoing need for donations.

Your family can help by sending in a new pair of shoes or hosting a shoe drive for this Christian ministry.

Do You Feel Like Giving Up?

Do you ever have one of those days, or months, where you just feel like giving up?

I have those - when my mind and spirit feels weak and I just don't feel like fighting. When I feel like I've gone through something for years and I've had enough of it. But I know that it is important to hang on. The Bible tells us to persevere. It's important to keep trusting God, even when we feel like things won't really work out.
He can strengthen us and keep us going.

When I feel really down, I like to listen to songs that get my mind more focused on the Lord and what the truth is. These following video songs are great to listen to when you feel beaten down and weak. God can give us the strength we need to press on. Please don't give up.

Press On by Selah

Faith in You by Jami Smith

Everlasting God by Chris Tomlin

You Never Let Go by Matt Redman

Cry Out to Jesus by Third Day

Praise You in This Storm by Casting Crowns

You're Not Alone by Meredith Andrews

The Importance of Herman Who?

"As Christian women, we must repudiate the worlds agenda for women and seek to understand the Words agenda for women... we must determine to be obedient to the the Word of God no matter what is says, with no compromises. This is what is means to be a woman of the Word. We must find out what the Bible teaches about marriage, about children, about men and women and their roles, and then we must be obedient with no apologies, no matter what the cost. Is this radical Christianity? No. This is basic Christianity."

-from The Fruit of Her Hands by Nancy Wilson.

Most definitely, Christian women should find out what the Bible teaches and obey it, even if it goes against our popular culture. However, I'm realizing that many Christians don't really understand what the Bible is instructing them to do. They read a section of the Bible and make it fit their situation. Some Christians interpret the Bible based on our modern culture, our current meaning of words, and even the policies of our church.

One of my pastors, Pastor Doug, loaned my husband and I a DVD called Herman Who? It is a
hermeneutics primer - about the importance of interpreting the Bible properly. Oh boy, did that open my eyes. I realized that I was guilty of misinterpreting the Bible.

That DVD was one of the things that motivated me to start digging into the Bible and really studying it. The other motivator was my head pastor - Pastor Rick. He told us in a sermon that if we really are wanting to get to know the Lord better and to grow closer to Him, then we should be wanting to read His Bible more than anything else. That would be more than the latest Christian best seller or listening to what a pastor on the radio or TV has to say. He wasn't discrediting these resources, because they are important. However, a lot of times Christians skip over or skim through the Bible and give greater amounts of time to the other Christian things.

So, with the proper motivation and conviction, I started studying the Bible. Even though I've been a Christian since I was a pup and I even went to a Bible college for a year, it's like I'm discovering the Bible for the first time. I'm understanding what many of these ancient stories really mean and how their lessons apply to us today.

I like to listen to the commentary of J. Vernon McGee of Thru the Bible. He has a 5 year Bible study plan. Then I like to read that section of the Bible and compare the text in some of the different versions at BibleGateway. For even more detailed insight, I read the online notes or listen to the audio sermons of David Guzik. Understanding what the Bible really means is something that we all can do. It doesn't even require that we buy materials. All of the ones that I use are online for free.

In order to obey what God has called us Christian women to do, we need to read the message of the Bible correctly. It doesn't please God if we live our Christian lives based upon misunderstandings. I don't think that our ignorance impresses Him one bit. He expects us do dive in and find out what His Word is really calling us to do.

Married to an Unbeliever

My heart goes out to the many Christian women who are disappointed in their marriage because their husband is not a Christian. I've read some of your blogs and emails and I've learned about the daily frustration that you face. Please don't give up. Your situation isn't hopeless.

Ephesians 3:20
says that God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or can imagine.

While you're waiting on your husband there are things that you can do:
  • practice scriptural marriage principles
  • pray for your husband
  • trust God to work in your husband's life
  • get Jesus centered, instead of being self-centered
Scriptural marriage principles are for all Christian women - those in Christian marriages and those married to unbelievers.

Ephesians 5:33 tells us that men are to love their wives and women are to respect their husbands. I heard Dr. Emerson Eggerichs talk about this verse on a radio show. He pointed out that the verse doesn't say anything about respecting your husband only if he deserves it. We are to show respect to our husband despite his spiritual condition and lack of spiritual leadership.

1 Peter 3:1 tells us that wives should accept the authority of a husband. A woman's godly life can speak to him without any words as a Christian witness. A husband will notice if his wife is respecting him, honoring his family leadership, and if she is growing as a Christian.

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband is a prayer calendar that many Christian women are using right now. It can be useful to you as you pray for your non-christian husband. Prayer is so powerful and I've seen God do dramatic things because I prayed for my husband.

I really enjoy the radio ministry Revive Our Hearts. Nancy Leigh DeMoss talks to women about many different subjects, including being married to an unbeliever. You can listen to her past programs online:

When He Doesn't Believe Series -
Choosing Love
Demolition Queen No More
The Lip Zip Principle
How to Pray for Him
Hope in God
An Obnoxious Christian Wife
He's Still a Guy
Staying Commited to an Unbeliever

Love and Respect Series with Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

The Crazy Cycle
The Energizing Cycle
Unconditional Respect
When He Won't Respond

Spiritually Unequal Marriage is a blog for women who are married to unbelievers. The blog offers help and encouragement so women can thrive in an unequally yoked marriage.

I hope these resources are helpful to you as you wait and pray for your husband's salvation. Please remember - even if you don't see any evidence of it, God may be working in your husband's life. Keep trusting the Lord and drawing close to Him.

Temptations Can Mess Up God's Will

We can learn a lot from Samson. Last week, I read some stories about him in Judges 13-16. God had big plans for Samson. An angel even announced to his mother that he would be born. However, Samson made some decisions that keep him from fulfilling God's will for his life. Although he didn't save the Israelites from the Philistines, we can still learn lessons from Samson.

If Samson had realized his temptations and protected himself against them, I think things would have turned out much different for him and the Israelites. His temptation seems to have been women. Though my big struggles aren't with lust or seduction - I have other temptations that could get in the way of God's will. We all do. Right?

So, I need to admit to myself where I am easily tempted and stay on guard. Because that is what the enemy is going to probably use to get at me. I'm really excited about living in God's will and doing what He wants me to do. I've been learning about how God likes to strengthen weak people and use them to do His work. Here I am, weak and poor in the eyes of the world. But I feel so honored that I am valuable to God. I just have to stand strong, with His strength, against any temptation that comes my way.

I don't want people to say of me - Oh, what she might have been.

I want people to say - She made the best of the abilities God gave her.

2 Milestones This Week

There are 2 milestones being celebrated right now - Revive Our Hearts ministry turns 7 and Nancy Leigh DeMoss turns 50. For the past 3 days, Bob Lepine has been interviewing Nancy about herself, the Revive Our Hearts ministry, and plans for the future.

If you haven't been listening to these past 3 shows, you can listen to them online. If fact, many of the past shows are available online at the Revive Our Hearts site. Nancy talks about many subjects that will help Christian women grow spiritually. Here are some of the topics that are available to still listen to:

  • marriage
  • a non-christian husband
  • mentoring
  • forgiveness
  • biblical womanhood
  • Christian living
  • modesty
  • parenting
  • revival
  • suffering
  • relationships
  • singleness
You may also be interested in Nancy's challenges:

31 Days of Praying for Your Husband

30 Day Husband Encouragement Challenge

Are You Good Enough for Heaven?

Interview with Kirk Cameron