The Dark – not a haiku

Silently in creeps the dark.
A soft snow fall in the heart,
Things that matter are so easily forgotten,
Just wait five minutes,
Silently in creeps the dark.
Familiar but unwelcome guest,
Makes itself at home,
Like it owns the place,
Who does the wounded healer call?
Who does the wounded healer call?
Silently in creeps the dark.

Fight Back

I struggle with depression. It usually comes in on Tuesdays and stays until Thursdays. I became aware of it back in 2012 and at that time it was suggested I was clinically depressed and should consider medication. I decided instead to make some life changes. Now, it’s not so bad; my dark days are less frequent and not as severe.

Each person’s situation is different but there are some things we can do to fight back when depression comes knocking on our door. Here’s is what I’ve learned from my journey. (This is not a substitute for medical assistance if you need it!)

Get active: this can be hard to do at first but if you can get moving it’s easier to stay moving. I went back to the gym, started cycling, then swimming, and now running. Now my wife and I are doing triathlons. The bonus is, I dropped 40 pounds and I have much more energy. With that said, you don’t need to do anything extreme – start walking for 20-30 minutes each day.

Get a routine: depression makes our days mush together so it’s good to establish a routine. To that end, take a class, exercise at the same time and on the same days, arrange a regular and ongoing meet or call with a good friend. Another really important routine is gratitude. Daily reflecting and being mindful of what you are grateful for changes our focus off ourselves.

Get plants: you can go get a plant if you want but I mean get into a plant-based diet. This may require some gradual changes and some learning (take a vegetarian cooking class!) but the benefits are both mental and physical. There’s evidence that flax and chia seeds,  spinach, and avocado may help ease depression.

Get faith: having a consistent devotional and prayer life is very helpful but it also has to be lived out in community and put to use in service to others.

I hope this is helpful. I would be interested in hearing what you have done to fight back against depression.

Prophecy Gap

Most people are interested in prophecy. Who wouldn’t want to know the future? This is from a series of posts but Dr. Jon Paulien who gives a valuable perspective on this topic. 

Q2. Has every apocalyptic prophecy already been understood or there are open gaps that are not understood yet?

A. In my book What the Bible Says About the End-Time, I studied fulfilled prophecy throughout the Bible, from Genesis through Revelation. The results of that study are also summarized in the second chapter of The Deep Things of God. In short, I learned that the fulfillment of many prophecies was quite surprising to those who had studied them in advance, for a number of reasons. God sometimes fulfills prophecies in a spiritual, rather than a literal way. Sometimes the prophecy is worded in terms of God’s past actions and does not fully disclose God’s plans for the future. Sometimes the prophecy is open-ended and depends to some degree on the human response to the prophecy. Sometimes God simply decides to “do a new thing” (Isa 43:16-19)! Prophecy is best understood at the time of fulfillment, not before (John 13:19; 14:29). 

 This leads me to believe that even when we have fully understood a particular prophecy, events may not turn out exactly as we expect. There will be surprises in the fulfillment of God’s prophecies at the Second Advent, just as there were when the Messiah came the first time. We need to keep on studying, but anticipate that there will be gaps in our understanding of the future right up to the time of fulfillment (1 Cor 13:9-12). Prophecy was not given to satisfy our curiosity about the future, it was given to teach us how to live today.

this is probably inevitable (however unfortunate)

 This was written by a friend of mine. It’s powerful; well worth the time. Please read it but, more importantly, let it change your life. 

Here are the statistics: One in three women. Only six percent will be reported. I don’t think that hit you. That means there are ninety-four bastards* that will get away with it. Sixty percent of the victims are girls under the age of seventeen. And boys – I see you too. I hear you. I […]