Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Holiday Break

It's been a crazy year. I started a business, WRITECOVERY, INC. Another took off like gangbusters, FIVERR and SUCCEED AT WRITING and I suddenly became a popular speaker a writers' groups and conferences.  This coming year is no different, and we haven't even started it yet. I'm scheduled for a journaling panel, and two speaking engagements before the winter is officially over.

All of which pales in comparison to the myriad of personal issues I've faced this year. The least of which I'm going through right now. ECT treatments.  Towards the end of this year I had a serious bout of depression triggered by events out of my control. These events caused a "perfect storm" of depressive symptoms that triggered a depressive episode so bad that I required ECT treatments. I had ECT treatments back in Spring 2013.  I wrote about them again later.

I hope you take the time to review my old blogs about ECT. There is a lot of helpful information.

So far, I'm only scheduled through the end of the year. I don't know what will happen after that. I don't know if I'll continue with treatments or be released. It's just a matter of whether or not the doctor thinks I'm making progress.

I do know I'll be stronger and healthier, because I'm taking care of myself.

I have a lot of close friends who are helping me do just that as well.

Right now, the motto is "one day at a time."

I wish you a very blessed and merry Christmas and splendid New Year.


Choose JOY!

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Birth of the Son of God

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph... The angel said ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son…’ 
Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’  

And the angel answered ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and…the Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God..’    Luke 1:26-35

The Book of Luke gives us the best and most unique perspective of Jesus' story. Luke was a Gentile, a physician and the first historian of the early church. 
As a medical doctor, Luke knew the importance of being thorough. He used his skills in observation and analysis in thoroughly investigating the stories of Jesus. His diagnosis? The gospel of Jesus Christ is True! 
You can read Luke's account of Jesus' life with confidence that it was written y a clear thinker and a thoughtful researcher. Because the gospel is founded on historical truth, our spiritual growth must involve careful, disciplined and thorough investigation of God's Word so that we can understand how God has acted in history, if this kind of study is not part of your life, then find a pastor, teacher, preacher, or even a book to help you get started and to guide you in this important part of Christian growth.

Every birth is a miracle, and every child is a gift from God. But nearly 20 centuries ago, the miracle of miracles occurred. A baby was born, but he was the Son of God. 
The Gospels tell of this birth, but Dr. Luke, as though he were the attending physician, provides most of the details surrounding this awesome occasion. With a divine Father and a human mother, Jesus entered history -- God in the flesh.
Mary was young, poor, female -- all characteristics that to the people of her day, would make her seem unusable by God for any major task. But God chose Mary for one of the most important acts of obedience he has ever demanded of anyone. You may feel that your ability, experience, or education makes you an unlikely candidate for God's service. Don't limit God's choices. He can use you if you trust him.
God's favor does not automatically bring instant success or fame. His blessing on Mary, the honor of being the mother of the Messiah, would lead to much pain, her peers would ridicule her; her fiancĂ© would come close to leaving her, her sone would be rejected and murdered. But through her son would come the world's only hope, and this is why Mary has been praised by countless generations as the young girl who "found favor with God." Her submission was part of God's plan to bring about our salvation. If sorrow weighs you down and dims your hope, think of Mary and wait patiently for God to finish working out His plan.
So why is the Virgin Birth so important?
Jesus was born without the sin that entered the world through Adam. He was born holy, just as Adam was created sinless. In contrast to Adam, who disobeyed God, Jesus obeyed God and was tis able to face sin's consequences in our place and make us acceptable to God (Romans 5: 14-19) Jesus Christ, God's Son, had to be free fro the sinful nature passed on to all other human beings by Adam. Because Jesus was born of a woman, he was a human being; but as the Son of God, Jesus was born without any trace of human sin. Jesus is both fully human and fully divine. Because Jesus lived as a man, human beings know that he fully understands their experiences and struggles (Hebrews 4:15-16) Because he is God, he has the power and authority to deliver people from sin (Colossians 2:13-15). People can tell Jesus all their thoughts, feelings, and needs. He has been where they are, and he as the ability to help.

Blessings to all and have a Merry Christmas!