Thursday, February 19, 2009


I have dealt with depression most of my life. In the last few years it has gotten more severe. I know that God could heal me and remove the depression, but instead, at least for now, God has chosen to give me His grace to deal with it. So, although I am not pastoring as I have before, I am still very much in the ministry and am preaching every week.

By The Way as I was spending time in devotions one morning this past week I came across some comments by Henry Blackaby that really spoke to me concerning how God often ministers to those of us who deal with depression.

In 1st Kings 18, 19 we have the story of how Elijah faced the prophets of Baal and God answered his prayer by sending fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice he had laid before the Lord. Shortly after, the drought of three years was ended. But after defeating the prophets of Baal, he received a death threat from Jezebel. His hope was shattered, and despondency and depression set in. He wanted to die! God helped Elijah …

Based on how God dealt with Elijah in his depression we can learn something about HOW TO DEAL WITH OUR DEPRESSION

1. The Lord did not rebuke him for his feelings. (WE SHOULD FEEL NO GUILT OR CONDEMNATION)

2. God sent an angel to provide for his physical needs. (KNOW THAT GOD WILL PROVIDE FOR OUR NEEDS)

3. Then, the Lord revealed Himself (GOD WILL REVEAL HIMSELF)

4. God reminded Elijah that He was quietly working among His people. (GOD CONTINUES TO WORK)

5. Next, He renewed Elijah’s mission by giving him new orders. (GOD WILL GIVE US NEW ORDERS)

6. Finally, God reminded Elijah that he wasn’t alone. (GOD SHOWS US WE ARE NOT ALONE)

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;

Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;

Leave to thy God to order and provide;

In every change He faithful will remain. —von Schlegel

Yours for living victoriously,


Saturday, February 14, 2009


Some years ago I was encouraging one of my church members to start coming for the Sunday evening service. His excuse for not attending was as he said, “preacher, you serve me so much spiritual food on Sunday morning I just could not handle any more. What you give me on Sunday morning fills me up for the rest of the week.” I started thinking about what this gentleman said. I finally concluded that his problem was not one of digestion but one of appetite. Many Christians think they have a spiritual digestive problem when instead they have a problem with spiritual appetite.

I like the way the “Message” translates Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:6 "You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat. We need to hunger and thirst for God. We need to seek his face not just his hand. That is, we need to desire His fellowship, not just desire something from Him.

By The Way I was looking through some poems I had written several years ago and found one that reminded me of a desire I need to constantly rekindle in my on spirit.


I will seek you in the morning
When the twilight wakes the sky
I will breakfast at your table
Morsels money could not buy

I will sip on Heaven’s water
As I contemplate the day
I will seek to walk beside you
And to hear the Words you say

I will seek to fill my calling
To a work ordained by one
In whose image I am made
And sets the path that I should run

There’ve been times the sky has darkened
By the clouds of stress and strain
But you fed my soul, dear Jesus
When I called upon your name
RFE (1994)

Oh how important it is to hunger for fellowship with God. The more we eat at His table the more our spiritual appetite is stimulated. God is glorified and we are nourished.

Bon appetit!


Wednesday, February 4, 2009


During this recent ice storm we have been reminded of how important it is to be connected to a power source. We have underground electrical cables, and so the storm did not affect the power lines that come to our apartment complex. But we were still without power because the break was farther down the line. The source of the power was cut off from our apartments so we could not get any of its benefits.

We were very fortunate that our power was off only about one and a half days. During that time I would go into a dark room and instinctively I would flip on the light switch. But no light would come on because we were cut off from the source of power.

By The Way power to live the Christian life comes from a source that does not originate in us. Jesus promised the disciples, “…But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” (Acts 1:8a, NIV) Left to our own energies we would not be able to live the Christian life. Someone has aptly stated, “the Christian life is not difficult for us to live…it is impossible.” It is impossible, that is, without the power of the Spirit of God working in our lives. Paul in Ephesians 5:18 says “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.” (Amplified Bible) Paul is telling us who belong to Christ to be under the control, the power of the Holy Spirit. We are to be connected to our heavenly power source. It is when the personal storms of life come that we realize how important it is to be connected to the Divine power source.

Arkansas along with Kentucky was declared by the federal government a disaster area. That declaration made it possible to get immediate help to repair lines and work on the infrastructure that was damaged. It will also help with money for relief and reconstruction. A Christian who is not solidly connected to our spiritual power source ought to be declared a spiritual disaster. It is truly an emergency situation when a believer is not under the control and power of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately many of us do no see this as an emergency situation.

Christ taught us that the Holy Spirit was our constant teacher and guide, and any time we had a need He would always be ready to empower us to say and do the right thing. Jesus says in John 16:13 “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.” (NIV)

Some folks have never been wired in the first place and it is impossible to be plugged into the heavenly power. When a person is born of the Spirit of God, he is “wired” to receive and benefit from the power of God’s indwelling presence. Some who are wired are temporarily disconnected from the source. What ever our need, God, the Eternal Master Electrician, is ready to go to work on our behalf. We need to give Him permission to start doing in our lives what is needed.

Let the Power Flow!