Tag Archives: faith

Upcoming Series: Mental Health

Hello, my dear readers!

As some of you know, I am attending school to become a counselor. Through my own life experiences and career experiences, my eyes have been opened to the great need for discussions and more knowledge about mental health. I am disappointed to see the stigma that exists around mental health, even in the year 2017. Counseling is still viewed by some as something for crazy or “messed up” people. For some, mental health has a negative connotation and is equated with shame.

I want to play a part in helping to break free of the stigma of mental health! Jesus came that we would have life to the full! (John 10:10) Our mental health is an important aspect of living an abundant life, and living life to the full.

I hope to bring awareness of the importance of mental health and how it affects us all! I pray that all may take steps to improved mental health and never be ashamed to ask for help when they are struggling!

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Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

 

I will be posting one post a week for the series. I am not sure yet how long the series will last. How many posts will depend on the demand of topics. Here is what I plan to cover so far:

-Counseling and mental health

-Food and mental health

-Relationships and mental health

-Faith and mental health

Are there any other topics you would like to see related to mental health? Don’t be shy! I want to write what YOU are interested in reading!

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Photo by Jordan Donaldson | @jordi.d on Unsplash
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Live Courageously.

The United States of America is entering a new chapter. For actually a few years, I have had the sense that the United States was going to enter a time of difficulty. I believe that the time of difficulty has now begun. Recent events have thrown my workplace into upheaval. Really, the entire country and, to some extent, the world, are in a place of uncertainty. There is a culture of animosity right now in the United States. At certain points, all of these events have been a lot to take in emotionally. I’ve been surrounded by them from morning to evening. I felt so weak and drained. Then, I felt the Lord telling me to live courageously. He confirmed this as every song that came on the radio seemed to echo the theme of courage and bravery! No matter where you are, YOU are being called to live courageously.

What does it mean to live courageously?

Living courageously means keeping your center on JESUS even when the world has gone crazy.

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(photo courtesy of unsplash.com)

 

Living courageously means being PEACE in a world where anger and negativity is rampant.

Living courageously means walking HUMBLY with God even when you are surrounded by darkness and ego on every side.

Living courageously means casting out fear and replacing it with LOVE.

Living courageously means speaking up for JUSTICE for those who are voiceless.

Living courageously means RELIANCE on Jehovah-Jireh (God the Provider) when you don’t have a paycheck and wonder how you will pay the bills, or when you don’t know if you will soon have a paycheck.

Living courageously means being a sign of HOPE to others even when you feel weighed down by the burdens of your life and the world.

Living courageously means being a person of PRAISE as the storm rages all around you.

Living courageously means TRUSTING in God when all stability is pulled out from under you.

Living courageously means picking up your shield of FAITH and the sword of the Spirit, the WORD OF GOD and knowing they are your weapons.

Living courageously means staying in a place of PRAYER in a world that distracts and fills us with noise.

Living courageously means knowing that God’s POWER is made perfect in your WEAKNESS. (2 Cor. 12:9)

Are you ready to live courageously? It will not be easy, friends. Thankfully we have our perfect Heavenly Father to fight for us, His Son who endured every temptation that we do (without giving in), and the Holy Spirit who permeates every darkness and every fiber of our being. Let’s go!

It’s time to live courageously.

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Reflecting on Christmas and Gifts

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”~James 1:17

This time of year we celebrate the greatest, most perfect gift the world has ever seen: Jesus Christ! God the Father sent us His only Son as a gift. Jesus Christ coming as a human being enabled us to have a personal relationship with God, a more intimate relationship. All along the Father knew that His Son would suffer a horrific death. He sacrificed His only Son for wretched human beings! But He knew that this would bring salvation for His children. The gift of relationship with Jesus Christ is one that can’t be beat. And the gift of salvation? It’s an eternal gift!

I have asked for many gifts throughout my lifetime. In this post I am thinking specifically of gifts that I have asked of my Heavenly Father. Some gifts I have asked for years, but they are not gifts He has seen fit to give me–at least not yet. Instead, He’s given me many other gifts–gifts that have blessed my life abundantly and made my heart full.

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I have an amazing roommate. I am a hugely independent person. If one year ago you would have told me I’d be sharing a house, I wouldn’t have believed you. Having a companion to share life with has been one of the biggest blessings of this year. Especially a roommate that God truly chose and made it clear to us that this was an open door from Him. Our temperaments and our vision for life are so alike.christmas-party-cute

I have Benny, an amazingly affectionate kitty. I was “maybe” going to get a cat. Then he put his paw on my arm and looked up at me. So he came home with me. Never in my life have I met a cat like him. I am so grateful he is mine to care for and love. Every day he provides laughter to us with his antics.The Lord knew I needed him.benny-cuddle-2

The Heavenly Father has given me a job that allows me to interact with my brothers and sisters from around the world daily–one of my greatest joys. And this year, He gave me the long-awaited opportunity to travel across the world!

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I could go on and on. The thing is, what I’ve noticed is that nearly all of these gifts were unexpected. They weren’t what I prayed for, but they were still answered prayers. I didn’t ask for these gifts, but I needed them greatly. And I am so grateful. My heart is happy and full.

What great gifts from our Father are we not seeing because we’re simply focused on the ones we don’t have?

Our Father is a good, good Father!

The Word on Wednesday

“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay.”~Habakkuk 2:3

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So many times I have attempted to plan the timeline of my life. It is fruitless because life has never happened according to my timeline. I know that my God knows the timing of each detail of my life. Other translations of this verse, instead of saying “it will not delay,” say it “will not be late.” The timing of the Lord is perfect! Many times I’ve been tempted to think I am “late” in certain regards, but that thinking is not according to my Lord. Again, the Father’s timing is rarely, if ever, our timing! Remember that He has plans for your welfare and not for woe (Jeremiah 29:11). It is difficult to trust in the moments when we can’t see. Even though we can’t see one step in front of us, He has a vision. Every detail is working together. And He has given us a vision, too. But we must wait. We must continue to work in His vineyard faithfully, as we await the proper time and the fullness of the revelation. It will not delay-it will not be late.

 

The Persecuted Church

On Sunday mornings, I get in my car and drive to attend Mass, to worship the Lord with my brothers and sisters. It’s the highlight of my week. Though I know the times are perilous and anything can happen, I know that my church in a suburb in the U.S.A. is much safer than many of the places my brothers and sisters worship. I always have a thought for my brothers and sisters all over the world who are persecuted for their faith. They realize that any public act of worship may well be their last. They step into a church that they know could be a target, or crowd into homes or secret places where someone may have followed them.

Today I arrived home and read the sad news of the bombing of a cathedral in Egypt, where more than 20 people lost their lives. Then I read about Pope Francis praying for the victims of terrorism from this weekend. Egypt was not the only place where people lost their lives the past 2 days. Persecution and terrorism are widespread in this world. This map gives an idea of the places where Christians are persecuted and the severity of the persecution.

Don’t forget to pray for our brothers and sisters throughout the world. And remember that religious freedom is not something to take for granted. So many of our Christian brothers and sisters live daily with persecution, and we need to be prepared for the same. Today we mourn and remember the victims and their families, as well as pray for the conversion of those who carry out attacks.

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“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”~2 Timothy 3:12

On Faith, Finances, and Being Rich.

Lately I’ve been talking to my roommate about the issue of finances. When we have an opportunity to save in one area, it seems that unexpected expenses arise in another area (or areas). In times when we believe that we’re (finally) going to start growing our bank accounts, it just doesn’t happen.

But you know what? Jehovah-Jireh always provides. It might not be through a steadily growing bank account, but we always have what we need, and more.

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How does He provide? Through a loving friend cooking a meal or paying for your groceries. Sometimes, it’s unexpected money that shows up, like a long-awaited refund, or a side job that you didn’t expect. Or a friend giving you an item of clothing they no longer need, and it just happens to fit.

Financially, I think he wants us to trust and rely on Him continually, rather than storing up treasure. Remember Matthew 6:19-21?

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Obviously, we are called to be stewards of what we do have and not to mismanage our finances. But I think the Lord likes to test our faith in this area. When we trust in the area of provision, it shows that we realize the Lord’s goodness and reliance as Father and Provider. And when we keep our heart set on God, we are seeking the real treasure.

I can’t say that I’m on my foreseeable way to becoming a millionaire, or even

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much closer to not living paycheck to paycheck. But I can say that I’m rich in the ways that do matter–a supportive family, an inspiring roommate (and a place that costs less than half as much as I used to pay in rent!), and a meaningful job that does manage to pay the bills and allow me to serve others. Most of all, I have Jesus, and He promises an eternal life. 

If I have Jesus? I am absolutely rich.

With Jesus, we have everything.

You Are Not Stuck

Feelings of hopeless situations and being stuck keep us there. It’s like someone in deep mud. They realize that they are stuck, and they stay in the mud as they continue to sink deeper and deeper. Because they are already stuck and sinking, they don’t believe there is a way out of the mud.

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So, in certain situations where I was not moving forward, can you guess why there was no progress? It was my attitude keeping me stuck. Because I believed that the situation wouldn’t change, it didn’t. I kept sinking deeper into the belief that things were the way they were, and that was that.

I wasn’t thinking outside of the box. I failed to remember that faith moves mountains. When I thought certain situations would stay the way they were–they did. Sadly, I failed to remember that we serve a God bigger than any situation we will ever face. Our God can do anything, and believe me–there are some pretty creative ways that He changes situations and help us out!

I have been reflecting a lot on Ephesians 3:20: “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” His mighty power is at work within us-wow! Are our thoughts and attitudes cooperating with that mighty power?

As God has blown me away with open doors, and situations have changed that seemed but a dream, I have begun to work harder on shedding those attitudes that keep me stuck. As my attitudes have changed, new possibilities and realities are coming into view. Living in faith is living in freedom!

I am ready to put on the attitude of faith and expectation, ready for the miracles that are sure to come. I am stepping out of the mud. How about you?

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