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Thursday, November 12, 2020

Purity 263: Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


Purity 263   11/12/2020             

 Good morning!

Today’s photo comes from Taconic State Park in Copake Falls NY. They recently announced that “a large portion of the beautiful new section of Harlem Valley Rail south from Undermountain Rd to Rudd Pond Rd in now open.”

I love the blue skies above this trail and the contrast of water on the left and land on the right.  Based on this photo, it looks like a good destination to stretch your legs or go bicycling.

I share it today because I am always here to encourage myself and all who will listen to look forward, to make progress, and to enjoy the journey along the way.  God created man to have dominion over the earth and Jesus called us to go out to all the world and make disciples so we should get out there and see some of it.  

I understand the struggles of work, family, and personal fulfillment and it is not always easy to keep a positive outlook and often we don’t want to do anything but rest.  We should all attempt to get our rest for it helps our mood tremendously when we are not always exhausted but at the same time we have to be aware of the subtle dangers of taking a mentality that says we are always in need of rest, that we are always exhausted, or that we are always tired. 

I mean I just woke up and if I chose to it wouldn’t take much to convince myself I am tired and stay in bed.  Hear that?  Part of being tired is a choice.  I’m pretty sure we all have known people who lamented that they were always tired and how their mere presence made us tire of their company.  

Another danger of seeking rest continually is that you won’t make plans to do anything else. If we are not careful, we can miss out on a lot in our lives when we become glued to the couch or bogged down in bed. We can neglect our relationships and quickly become isolated. 

Isolation can be a remedy for stress, but it is also the environment where self-deception can wreak havoc on our mental and physical health.  Some of us can thrive by ourselves, but sometimes being alone can lead to false impressions of the world and one’s self.  So, get your rest but be careful that you are not creating an environment where you are slipping into depression. 

I recommend getting involved in the community. Whether its volunteering for local causes, going to church, or joining a club or social organization, the benefits of community are vast. We have a richer life when we share with others our talents and presence.  If we know Christ, we can share our hope.  People need it and frankly we need to remind ourselves sometimes that we have it to give! 

Regardless of whether you decide to get involved or just get out there, I encourage you to make plans to DO SOMETHING, even if its just projects around the house or with your family. Experience the life that God has given you. Share yourself with the world. You can change someone’s life with your words of hope and the life you change just may be your own. 

Today we continue in Anderson & Baumchen’s Finding Hope Again, where they offer a diagnostic tool to see if you are depressed. Try it and see how you do:

Depression Diagnosis

Are you depressed, or do you know someone who may be? Try taking the following questionnaire, which can serve as a rough evaluation for depression and help determine whether the condition is mild or severe.

Circle the number that best describes you or the person you are evaluating. For instance, on line 1, circle number 1 if you are exhausted all the time and 5 if you are normally a high-energy person. Circle 3 if you are generally neutral, having neither high nor low energy. If you are applying this inventory to yourself, you will get a more accurate picture of your general condition if you take it when you are not reacting to a crisis. Some mild depressions are a reaction to temporary setbacks or depressing circumstances that may last for a few hours or days. It is best to wait a few hours or days after such episodes before taking the inventory because they can momentarily skew the results.

1.  Low energy

1

2

3

4

5

High energy

2.  Difficulty sleeping or sleep all the time

1

2

3

4

5

Uninterrupted sleeping patterns

3.  No desire to be involved in activities

1

2

3

4

5

Very involved in activities

4.  No desire for sex

1

2

3

4

5

Healthy sex drive

5.  Aches and pains

1

2

3

4

5

Feel great

6.  Loss of appetite

1

2

3

4

5

Enjoy eating

7.  Sad

1

2

3

4

5

Joyful

8.  Despairing and hopeless

1

2

3

4

5

Hopeful and confident

9.  Irritable (low frustration tolerance)

1

2

3

4

5

Pleasant (high frustration tolerance)

10.  Withdrawn

1

2

3

4

5

Involved

11.  Mental anguish

1

2

3

4

5

Peace of mind

12.  Low sense of self-worth

1

2

3

4

5

High sense of self-worth

13.  Pessimistic (about the future)

1

2

3

4

5

Optimistic (about the future)

14.  Negative (Perceive most circumstances as negative or even harmful)

1

2

3

4

5

Positive (Perceive most circumstances as positive and as opportunities for growth)

15.  Self-destructive ("I and others would be better off if I weren't here.")

1

2

3

4

5

Self-preserving ("Glad I'm here.")

If you most often circled numbers 3 through 5, you are not struggling with depression. Most of the flu  If you most often circled numbers 3 through 5, you are not struggling with depression. Most of the fluctuations on the right side of the scale can be explained by general health, differing temperaments, and growing levels of maturity. A person of average health and maturity, having an introspective or generally pessimistic temperament, would likely circle many 3s, and not be depressed. A person of good health and maturity with an optimistic and outgoing personality would likely circle 4s and 5s.

Temperament and personality can affect many of the individual items on the inventory. You can get a rough determination of your level of depression if you added up all the circled numbers and compared them with the following ratings:

45 – 75

Likely not depressed

35 – 44

Mildly depressed

25 – 34

Depressed

15 – 24

Severely depressed


Finding Hope Again: Overcoming Depression.

------------------------------more tomorrow----------------------

No matter how you “scored”, you are always welcomed to join me at Celebrate Freedom tonight. See the information about our program at: http://info.celebratefreedomrocksolidchurch.org/

If you are not local, friend me on Facebook at MT Clark and I can offer you encouragement via messenger.

God bless you all!

 

 

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