Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘mental illness’

Surviving with Doubt


Doubt

Today’s Sermon

The sermon at our Madison Valley Presbyterian Church was delivered today by Elaine Hundley, Christian educator extraordinaire. She titled it, “Perfect Weakness,” as she focused on the messages in Isaiah 40:1-8, 28-31 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.

Is there Perfect Weakness?

The Apostle Paul spoke of his weakness, his struggles, and his ability to find strength in spite of his troubles – by leaning on the Power of God. But, is there “Perfect Weakness?” The message today said, Yes, there can be, but not without giving our weaknesses to God… and letting Him take away our doubt and give us the strength found only in His Power.

Poetic Sermon Notes

Here are the notes I took away from the message as I heard it this morning:

 

Is doubt your constant companion?
Do doubts creep into your heart?
Do you read or listen to the news
And wonder when the next war will start?

person holding a burning news paper close up photography

Photo by Connor Danylenko on Pexels.com

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The mass murders in the USA
Are so many in number this year
That there have been more deaths by far
Than there are days, I fear.

photo of man holding rifle

Photo by Maurício Mascaro on Pexels.com

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Struggles abound – and it’s hard
To keep our chins up!
Can there ever be peace on earth?
God, says, “Believe, trust I’ll fill your bins up!”

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But we are a fragile people
Who struggle to see our future bright.
We wonder if we even have bins –
Let alone bins that are filled up bright.

focus photo of yellow paper near trash can

Photo by Steve Johnson on Pexels.com

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We need to remember that God is HERE
And He can lift us up.
We need to trust His power
And know He’ll fill our cup.

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We need to know that He knows
Our every struggle – our loss –
He’s here beside us by the grace
Of Jesus, who took our loss upon the cross.
.

Let’s follow His lead –
Accept His grace –
And just love one another!!
Can’t we???

mountains nature arrow guide

Photo by Jens Johnsson on Pexels.com

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Breaking News:
29 dead and many more injured
in the past 13 hours
in the USA
in two mass shootings!

When will these senseless
tragedies cease?

What can we do??

I pray:
God bless the families,
the friends,
the loved ones of those
involved in these mass shootings
in the USA yesterday and today.
May they somehow find comfort in their faith
and in the compassionate comments,
hugs, and support of their friends.
.
I beg:
Lord, help us find solutions
for the problems of
mental illness
that rampage our country –
and the proliferation of assault weapons
that are in the hands of unstable civilians.

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See ya tomorrow
(God willing!)

What’s in Gray?


So much is being written and spoken about the Boston bombings and the brothers – some say they are sick and disturbed; others say kind and compassionate. Some say cruel, out-of-their-minds, while others attest to their normalcy, their friendliness. Their uncle called them “losers” but went on to define them as simply “lost” young men – who never really learned to “fit in”  after they immigrated to the USA. He saw something objectionable years ago… and distanced himself and his family from them. Whatever adjectives we use to describe them, we know this for sure: they committed those heinous crimes. So much hate is emitted from them – toward them – so much evil.

Our Writers’ Group met last Friday. We meet every first and third Friday each month. We begin our time together with a “Free Write” – fifteen minutes of writing – on a random topic, a subject pulled out of a hat. Then we share with one another what we have written.

Last Friday the random topic was a strange one: “What’s in Gray?”  I thought about it a long time. Then, this is what I wrote:

“What’s in Gray?”

Gray is black and white –
But gray is neither.
Gray is right or wrong.
Can it be either?

Gray is “Not Been Tested,”
– like stretchin’ out the law.
Gray is on the tip
Of a red tail hawk’s claw.

Gray is often in
The color of the hair
On an older person’s head –
Wise enough to leave it there.

Gray is in the tolerance
Of seeing the multiple views
On NBC, FOX, and CNN,
When watching ugly news.

Some only see the black;
Others screen in simply white.
But life is seldom pure,
So in the gray may be some light.

Lighten up the darkness
With the white of joy and peace.
Entertain some gray, friends.
In it, you’ll find release.

– Jan Beekman
– April 19, 2013

I’ve given a lot of thought to the “captivity of extremes.” That’s where the word “release” comes from. For me, all terrorists are victims of EXTREME. They are captured by extreme thinking. They have allowed themselves to be brainwashed or they have become mentally ill. They cannot let the white of joy or peace into their lives. Life is bleak and black for them. Bombings, killings, suicides, wars of all nature are the result of people whose thinking has become so skewed to the extreme that they have failed to see humanity, to feel love in its pure form, to allow any movement away from the corner they’ve painted for themselves. Gray is not a part of their mental capacity and logic is lost. There is no point in trying to REASON why they act as they do. Reason is gone – buried in the extreme – lost is the black bleakness of their terror. For these Captives of Extreme, death and destruction is the only option. They have become incapable of letting the light – the enlightenment – find a way into their miserable world. Can this be changed? Is there hope for the hopeless? Only God knows.

What a bleak week this has been!

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