Tag Archive | prayer

Depression/Anxiety

Did you know that even Big Bird got depressed? The man inside Big Bird, I mean, Caroll Spinney (December 26, 1933 — December 8, 2019). He walked around in Big Birds feet for 49 years, retiring in 2018.

I_Am_Big_Bird_poster

a really good 2014 documentary 

 

It was a challenging job to operate Big Bird. Spinney stretched his right arm up through the puppet’s neck to control the mouth and eyes. Can you imaging doing that for almost 50 years?! His left arm controlled both of BB’s. To not trip over a kid or another character on Sesame Street, Spinney wore a TV screen strapped to his chest. Pinomagic

As Big Bird, Spinney was cheerful and optimistic, but in real life, he suffered from depression, and even suicidal thoughts, after a divorce in the early 70’s.  In a documentary about his life, called,  “I Am Big Bird”,  Caroll explains how he was able to overcome it. To anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts, he said “It isn’t that bad. You will find a day that’s better. The sun will eventually come out for you.”

Big Bird quote

Caroll Spinney quote illustrated by @Gloris_Smith_Young

I’ve struggled with depression, myself, off and on, over the years. Prayer has really helped. Well, not just prayer, but the One to whom I pray, God. He has really helped me when I’ve cried out to him. Again and again, he has lifted me up, brushed the dust off my clothes, so to speak, and set me up on a higher place, sheltered safely beneath his wing.

“He will cover you with His feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Psalm 91:4

I feel comforted. In fact, God is called “The God of All Comfort” in the Bible.

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort…”  (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV)

When I pour my heart out to Him, like Psalm 62:8 encourages us to do, I feel better. Even if I’m still depressed, I feel better. 

Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts before Him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8

God comforts, and has guided me to resources, like an article  written by Dr. Erica Eliott. She is a physician in Santa Fe, NM, who discovered a link between gluten and depression. She explains:

In some people, gluten sensitivity can manifest as a neurological disease affecting primarily the brain, and can cause or exacerbate “brain fog,” profound fatigue, depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar illness, schizophrenia and other mental conditions.”

I learned through research and trial and error to avoid gluten, sugar, and to limit pretty much anything that comes in a box, a bag or a tube.

IMG_20200512_133644842-01-01

The better I eat, the better I think and handle the hard things in life, like this pandemic.

Exercise, sunshine and music help, too.

What about you? Do you struggle with depression? If so, how are you overcoming it? Or maybe you aren’t and want some prayer? Comment below.

What you say may be more important to someone reading this than what I’ve said. 

And remember,

“Bad days happen to everyone, but when one happens to you, just keep doing your best and never let a bad day make you feel bad about yourself.” — Big Bird

Gloriadelia sunset

For Christ’s Sake…

“For Christ’s sake…”

“Get a job, for Christ’s sake!”  “For Christ’s sake, stop making that racket!”  “What do you think you’re doing, for Christ’s sake?!”

“For Christ’s sake” is a popular exclamation when things go wrong, especially in the movies.

It’s said a lot in the Bible, too, especially by the Apostle Paul, but for different reasons…

Paul asked the Romans to pray for him, for Christ’s sake:

“Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me…” (Romans 15:29)

And, Paul told the Philippians that, for Christ’s sake, he considered worldly achievements to be nothing:

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ “ (Philippians 3:8)

And, then, Paul reminds the Ephesians that we are forgiven, for Christ’s sake, and so we ought to forgive each other:

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32)

There are many other Biblical examples of living, loving, and forgiving for Christ’s sake.

So, get out there, and do some of that for Christ’s sake!

Let’s pray! Oh, Father, for our sake you died on the Cross so that we should no longer live for ourselves, but for your sake. (2 Corinthians 5:15)  May my thoughts and words honor you. (Psalm 19:14) May I live, love, forgive for your sake.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Chocolate Wisdom

"You're invited to relax today"

Isn’t that great advice from that chocolate wrapper up there?

Hey!  What if that wrapper could be a “rapper” instead?

Hmmm….

“Chocolate is my name

Rappin’ is my game

Relaxin’ is my thing…”  Maybe not…

But, one thing this wrapper did do right, is remind me of this verse.  I added explanations in brackets:

“Do not be anxious about anything [Relax!], but in everything [EV-ER-RY-THING!], by prayer and petition [Petition = over and over again.  Isn’t that nice of God to want the hear the same old requests over and over again?  I would get bored.  It shows how much He loves us], with thanksgiving [don’t forget to be thankful], present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

Here it is in my own words: “Be anxious for nothing. Pray about everything. Give thanks to God.”

What’s in it for you and me if we do this?  Peace!  See? It promises it in the next verse:

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:7

Yay!!

So, let’s take that chocolate’s advice and the Bible’s.  Let’s pray:

Click the puppy to see where I got his picture on Flickr

 

 

Father, thank you for inviting us to pray to You.  Here’s all the things I’m anxious about: ____________________________

_____________________________.  (List as many as come to mind).

You are BIG!  Bigger than my problems.  So, I put them in your hands.  Please work out all the details.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!”

There.  Feeling a little more relaxed?  Good.  Remember, you can pray again if you start to feel anxious again.

The invitation is for forever, and ever, over and over again.  =]

P.S. Do you know the One who made chocolate?  If not, click on the pic below to be introduced:

"Catch snowflakes on your tongue."

Without Him the Boat Don’t Float

image from Amazon

I found this poem in  Moonlight on the Amazon , a book about missionary life in Brazil:

Without Him…

The boat don’t float
The goat don’t bleat
The beat don’t rhyme
The time don’t tick

The eye don’t see
The tree don’t grow
The foe don’t flee
The sea don’t roll

The voice don’t sing
The king don’t reign
The rain don’t fall
The ball don’t bounce

The ounce don’t weigh
The day don’t break
The steak don’t grill
The pill don’t help

The hunch don’t pay
The hay don’t pitch
The stitch don’t hold
The cold don’t end

The wound don’t heal
The meal don’t serve
The nerve don’t hold
The bold don’t pray

The house don’t stand
The band don’t laugh
The calf don’t rope
The boat don’t float
Nope…

The boat won’t float.

clic pic for source

Let’s pray:

Jesus, please be the Captain of my  boat.  I know it won’t float without You at the helm.

May You be first in my heart, first in my thoughts.

Thank you that I can cast all my anxieties on You because You care for me. (1peter 5:7)
Here’s the worries that threaten to sink my faith:
[fill in the blank, take your time.  Don’t forget the little naggy things.  They can tangle up to form quite a block in the river]______________________________________________________________

Thank you that I can trust You with these concerns, no matter how big, or small.  May my  boat float smoothly today.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Teeth Whitening

TEETH WHITENING

I read that thin-lipped  women everywhere are paying big bucks to have Angelina Jolie lips.


click pic for source

Hmmm..  Her lips aren’t bad, I admit, but, for the money, I’d want her gleamy white teeth.

click pic for source

See what I mean?  My teeth used to white, back in the day, but these days they’re competing with my hair to see who can become gray the fastest.  sigh…   Hello, Middle age.

So, yesterday, I was pretty happy to be leaving my dentist’s office with my arm snugly wrapped around a shiny box of 21 little strips of magic.  Hello, Teeth Whitening!

I tried it out this morning.   One strip across the top, one across the bottom.

Yayyy…….ay?????!!!!! Gooey, sticky stuff oozed out the sides and into my mouth — Am I thuppothed  tha  thwallow thith thtuff?  Grossth!

The box said to leave on the strips for 30 minutes.  Thirty minutes is a looooonnnnng time when you’re drooling like Angelina Jolie’s dog.  (if she has one, and assuming it has big  lips, too).

I couldn’t stand it, so, after 20 minutes, out they came!  White-schmite!

I looked in the mirror — Hey!  Hello, white teeth!

Well, less gray, anyway.  Nice! 🙂

Now, don’tcha wish there was a strip we could apply to our insides, too;  something to kinda bleach out all the muck and mire in our hearts,  and leave behind shiny white goodness?  Oh, wait, we have something for that —  Jesus!

“Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”  Isaiah 1:18

Reminds me of that church song, “What can wash away my sins?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus… Oh, precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow…”

Stop! Drop! and Pray!

Let’s Pray:

Oh, Father, thank you for loving me and saving me out of the muck and mire.  You  brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And You set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. (Psalm 40:2)

I still seem to be drawn back to that pit, Father.  Daily it calls my name, so thank you for 1John 1:9. [It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

So take a minute or two, or however long it takes, to confess your sins to God.  You can think of it as soul-whitening 🙂 ]

Thank you for forgiving me, Father, In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know the One who made the snow?  Well, he’d love to say “Hello” to you!  Click the pic below for a quick introduction:

“Heartland paralyzed by 2,000-mile wide storm system”

“Heartland paralyzed by 2,ooo-mile wide storm system.”

I can relate to that headline.  Not just because I survived the Blizzard of 2011, but because I’ve been there, done that, emotionally, as well.

Sometimes life blows in like a storm with a blizzard of hard knocks and painful circumstances, and I’m stopped in my tracks, paralyzed by fear and worry.   I can’t move forward, or backward.

At times like that, I just need to sit and wait for rescue, like these motorists on Lake Shore Drive during “Smowmaggedon!”


"Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings like eagles." Isaiah 40:31 (click pic for source)

Because, like another Blizzard headline read,it’s  “Time to Dig Deep”

"Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgements and unfathomable His ways." Romans 11:33 (Ron Johnson, photographer. Click pic for source)

That’s what Jesus did.

When things got tough (like when everyone wanted to healed all at once and crowds were following him everywhere, or when his cousin, John, was beheaded)

or when he knew things would be getting tough (like the night before the cross)

He’d go off by himself to pray.


"But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed..." Luke 5:16 (click pic for photo source)

“At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place…” Luke 4:42

“When Jesus heard what had happened [to John, the Baptist] he withdrew by boat to a solitary place…” Mark 14:13

If Jesus needed to draw near to His Father for strength, how much more so do I…and you.

Stop! Drop! and Pray!

Let’s pray: Oh, Father in heaven, you are in control, even of blizzards.  You have “entered the storehouses of the snow..and hail” as it says, poetically, in Job 38:22.

You are near the brokenhearted (Ps. 34:18) and you save those who are crushed in spirit.

“Come to me”, you say, “all ye who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon You and learn from me, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-29)

I’m coming to You now.  Here’s my concerns:_____________(list them out, take your time.)

They’re too big for me to carry, so I give them to you.

Thank you for carrying me.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

“Cast your cares on Him, because He cares for You.”  1 Peter 5:7


Camping: The best and worst place to pitch a tent, as demonstrated by Lot.

“Lot looked up and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan was well watered, like the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, toward Zoar. (This was before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.)
So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company:
Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom.” ~~ Genesis 13:10-12

What Lot's tent may have looked like. (For source, click image.

Interesting. Lot had the “whole plain of the Jordan” to settle down in, but he “pitched his tent near Sodom”, where “… the men of … were wicked and were sinning greatly against the LORD.” (:13)

Made me think how often I pitch my tent near sin sometimes.  Oh, I’m not actually living in it, just flirting with the idea.  But, pretty soon I am living in it, just like Lot eventually moved into the heart of Sodom.

“Father, help me to be careful where I pitch my tent.  Help me to camp far away from sin.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Where have you pitched your tent?  Click the pic below to see a safe campground:

 

see below for image source

**tent photo from: http://www.traveling-images.com/text_documents/patagonia/camp.jpg**

What’s in your mouth? The story of Peter and the fish…

“…open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin…” click pic to see more paintings by Darlene Slavujac Thau

Remember that credit card commercial — “What’s in your wallet?”

Well, what’s in your mouth today? Complaints or compliments? Encouragement or despair?

If you were a fish swimming near Jesus and Peter, it might just be a coin taking up room in there:

“After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”“Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes-from their own sons or from others?”

“From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him.

“But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line.

Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Biblical Coins, click pic for source

The Four-Drachma Prayer:

Oh, Father in Heaven, if you can use a smelly fish to give you glory you can use me.  Please put something  in my mouth today that I can share with someone else to bless them — an encouraging word, a joke,a prayer — something of value, a shiny coin for their heart.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Do you know the Lord? Invest a few minutes meeting Him, by clicking the pic below.  It’ll be time well spent, with great dividends 😉

Fish Bank by Sue Henshaw. See below to link to her site to see more of her beautiful pottery.

Fish Bank image from: http://suehenshawpottery.com/FunctionalPage.html

Bikeride Across America: Arizona City, AZ

Arizona City, AZ. ( 32.755N latitude, -111.67W longitude) click pic for more info from podunk.com

64 more miles down the road on our Bike Ride Across America and we roll into the quiet and HOT! little town of Arizona City, AZ.

My bike riding partner husband and I are on mile 2,005! of “BAA” (Bikeride Across America, or BAA for short, pronounced,  ba-a, like a sheep, ’cause that’s what we are — wooly little bikeriders bringing glory to our shepherd, Jesus Christ!)

NOTE: If you’ve been checking in on my blog lately, you know this is a virtual bike ride.  We ride the miles around our midwestern town and record our progress on a map of the United States as if we were riding from Florda to California along highway 10.

We have 355 miles to go and are hoping to take a real trip (not virtual) out to San Diego in the fall to dip our front tires into the Pacific Ocean at Mission Beach.

One of the advantages of a virtual ride is we get to miss out on all the horrible heat down south.  It got up to 102 degrees today in Arizona, for instance, but we rode in a comfortable 70 degrees up here in the north, with cool breezes.

It was still hard work, 64 miles is 64 miles, after all, but SOOOOO much more do-able with a steady breeze and cozy temps.

Well, sometimes life forces us to ride in the heat whether we want to or not, so I found some verses that can fan our faith with a steady breeze of hope when we’re riding out a hot spot.

I found them using the longitude and latitude of Arizona City, AZ (see caption above)

They are Psalm 32:7 and Psalm 111:6-7:

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah” ~~ Psalm 32:7

“He has shown his people the power of his works… The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.” ~~ Psalm 111:6-7.


Let’s Pray: Oh, Father, thank you that I’m never riding alone.  You promised to be with me till the very end (Matthew 28:20).

Thank you for being my “hiding place” (Psalm 32) and  surrounding me with songs of deliverance.  Increase my faith so I can hear the music!

No matter how uncomfortably hot my life may get, I can trust that your faithful and just hand is he one that turned up the heat. (Psalm 111)

You are trustworthy!  I will put my hope in You.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Are you suffering in the heat all alone?  Click the pic below to meet the only One who can stand in the flames with you and bring you through unscorched:

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace

source for photo above, click HERE

Special Thanks to CLIP ART, ETC. for the lovely letters “Y” and “H” above.

Bike Across America: New Mexico


New Mexico! “Land of Enchantment”.  After a tiring 85 mile ride we finally crossed the border from Texas to  New Mexico!

Click pic for source

(Not really, just pretend.  My husband and I are on a virtual bicycle tour of the southern states.  We ride around our corner of the midwest and log our progress on a google map as if we really were riding through Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and now New Mexico.  We’re hoping to dip our front tires into the Pacific by October.)

When I think of New Mexico I think of the Albuquerque Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! Photo by Imran Mansuri, click pic to see more of his lovely photographs

For nine days, colorful balloons of all shapes and sizes fill the blue skies above Albuquerque, NM.

I’ve never been up in a balloon myself but someone said it is SO peaceful up there in the air; no noise, just beauty all around and PEACE. All  problems seem to melt away up in the sky.

Balloon Fiesta! an Imran Mansuri photo. Click pic to see more.

That’s how I want to be, faith-wise.  A Hot Air Balloon!  I want to be just filled with faith.

I want faith that floats!

Stop! Drop! and Pray!


Let’s Pray:

Oh, Father in heaven, thank you for loving me.  You are the “author and perfector of faith”, the Bible says.  (Hebrews 12:2)

Please fill me with faith.

I want Hot Air Balloon faith that lifts me up into your arms where all is peaceful.

And, speaking of “lifting up”…

Psalm 25 encourages me to lift up my soul to you, O Lord.  So, I will lighten my load, by lifting up my soul to you right now.

I know fears  weigh my faith down, Father, so I’m going to toss them out of the basket to You so I can fly higher with You.

I’m afraid of this:____________  and this:_______(fill in the blank. Just spill out your heart to the Lord.  Tell him what scares you, what keeps your faith on the ground instead of “up in the clouds” with him.)

And I’m worried about this:_______ and this:________

You told the disciples, Jesus,  “My peace I leave you; my peace I give you.” (John 14:27) I want to be filled with Your peace, Jesus.

Thank you, Father, for lightening my load and filling me with your peace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen!

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~~ John 14:27

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” ~~ 1 Peter 5:6-7

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.”  ~~ Psalm 56:3

Do you know the Lord? Click on pic below for quick intro.  God’s like the Balloon Fiesta, only instead of balloons, He accepts people of all colors, shapes, and sizes 🙂

Darth Vader Hot Air Balloon created by Benoît Lambert. See link below to read more about it.

**Darth Vader Balloon story

**Special thanks to Imran Mansuri for allowing me to use his lovely balloon pictures!

**Praying Cat from HERE