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Showing posts with label Paul Guaguin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Guaguin. Show all posts

Monday, December 11, 2023

Moving to Tahiti or Conquering Depression through the Spirit? - Purity 1219

Moving to Tahiti or Conquering Depression through the Spirit? - Purity 1219

Purity 1219 12/11/2023 Purity 1219 Podcast

Purity 1219 on YouTube:



Good morning,

Today’s photo of Paul Gauguin’s “Seascape in Brittany” (1889) comes to us from yours truly as I captured it during my visit to the Springfield Museums on Saturday. Gauguin “was a post-impressionist artist who was inspired by the land and seascapes of Brittany in northwest France. Some scholars believe this painting was painted during the summer of 1886 while the artist was visiting the village of Le Pouldu on the southern coast of Brittany. The early completion date of the painting explains the muted palette, as the artist used bolder colors later in his career.

Once a stockbroker, Gauguin abandoned this profession after the stock market crash in France in 1882 and devoted his time to painting. His unhappy family life, financial troubles, and turbulent relationship with Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh led to bouts of depression. The lone seagull visible in “Seascape in Brittany” suggests feelings of loneliness and gloom. Gauguin later traveled to more exotic places, like Tahiti, and illustrated the island's people and landscape in woodcut prints and paintings.

Well, It's Monday and while the forecast is for snow with a winter weather advisory in effect until 1 pm in my neck of the woods, that’s not necessarily going to send me into a bout of depression and cause me to quit my job, take up painting, and move to Tahiti, although I have to admit that idea does have some escapist romantic charm to it.  

But I don’t have a ton of artistic talent when it comes to painting and I really don’t hear the call to be some beachcombing artist on my heart, but I can fully understand how depression could cause us to seek sunny places and to escape from the high stress environments of the business world.   Seasonal affective disorder is a thing and work stress is definitely a thing but rather than abandoning all and heading off to Tahiti, I would suggest a daily spiritual practice of quieting and appreciation – box breathing and giving thanks for what you do have – to set the foundation for your day and to put things in their proper perspective.  And if the lack of light in the winter months seems to give you the blues, I would suggest taking Vitamin D, getting a sun lamp, and perhaps planning a February vacation in the south – to give you something to look forward to and to give you a break from the “90 days of night” that winter can sometimes feel like.  

Now that is just some practical advise but if you wanted to infuse all of those practices and your life with supernatural power, I would suggest living a life in the Spirit – by placing your faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and turning towards the Lord’s ways for living that lead to a life full of love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, patience, and self-control.  

If you are suffering from depression, don’t look at the world – because even sunny skies have a limited capacity to give lasting satisfacation, look to the Lord who created the heavens and the earth and is infinite in nature, so His love never runs out and He never fades away.  

We were never meant to seek our happiness from the changing circumstances in the world and now is the season to point to the “Light of the World”, Jesus Christ, to tell people the good news that in Jesus we have a Savior – who not only covers our sins but who also came to give us an abundant life. 

I suffered from negative thoughts, anxiety, fear, and depression through most of my life and tried to manage my emotions by “trying to make myself happy” with food, alcohol, drugs, sex, relationships, accomplishments, knowledge, and changing my environment with limited and fleeting success and no lasting satisfaction.  After being shown the truth of God’s gospel of grace, through Jesus Christ, I discovered that it was never supposed to be this way, that true peace and satisfaction are only found by having peace with God – through faith in Jesus – and by agreeing with what He says about living, and by abiding in the Lord’s presence and actually doing what His word instructs. 

Healing came through faith in Jesus and by repenting – by stop doing what was selfish and wrong and by doing what was right according to God’s word.  It really is that simple, but it may not easy as you have to surrender to Jesus’s Lordship and follow His lead which always involves changing the way we think by renewing our minds with God’s word and by changing the way we feel about how we live – by renewing our hearts to love the things of God and to forsake the fool’s gold of this world – the things that shine and offer some pleasure but ultimately can’t provide anything of enduring value.

So as we go into another Monday, let’s focus on the good in our lives, thank God for them, and agree to follow Him into the better life that He has for us, by becoming the people He created us to be.

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For those who want more evidence for Christianity than my simple encouragements provide, I offer apologist, Frank Turek’s website, https://crossexamined.org/ .

Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling” By John G. Kruis.

( While Bible verses on various topics of Counseling can be found with a quick Google search, we encourage you to purchase this resource to support the late author’s work. (https://www.amazon.com/Quick-Scripture-Reference-Counseling-Kruis-ebook/dp/B00CIUJZT2?ref_=ast_author_dp )

This morning’s meditation verses come from the section on Church Discipline.

Galatians 6:1 (ESV)
1  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Today’s verse  falls under the second point of our counseling reference guide resource’s section on Church Discipline

2. Restore one who has fallen, with gentleness.

Today’s verse encourages us to help our fallen brethren with compassion but to be wise in avoiding the snare that they fell into ourselves.   

I have been leading recovery ministries almost continuously since 2015 and I have seen a lot of lives changed by God when people decided to let go of the way they did things and choose to follow Him into repentance.  However, I have seen even more lives disrupted and literally destroyed when someone chooses to turn back to their former worldly ways, on their own or through the influences of others.  

When you go into recovery, you will inevitably lose relationships – quite frankly you have to – because your new sober life, preferably as a Christian disciple, is completely different from where you were living and the people you lived with in darkness, may not all be on board with going into the light, and will actively work to pull you back into the dark.   I have also seen the enemy introduce seemingly “good” or “Christian” people into recovering addicts lives whose worldly ways were enough to produce a relapse and destroy the addict’s recovery. 

Likewise, when we go to help a “brother in need”, there is a possibility that the person who has fallen will attempt to convince the one who has come to help to join them in giving into temptation, as today’s verse indicates – that has also been known to happen – as two addicts are convinced by the world, flesh, or the devil to be “independent together” in throwing off the restraints that had given their life peace and stability for some “good times” from the bad old days. 

So be quick to restore those who have fallen, but be not led into temptation yourself as you seek to help deliver them from evil. 

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we are sharing from “God is in the Manger- Reflections on Advent and Christmas” – By Dietrich Bonhoeffer.   

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage you all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available online for less than $10 at many sites.

God is in the Manger – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

ADVENT WEEK THREE -  REDEMPTION

DAY ONE

Jesus Enters into the Guilt of Human Beings

Jesus does not want to be the only perfect human being at the expense of humankind. He does not want, as the only guiltless one, to ignore a humanity that is being destroyed by its guilt; he does not want some kind of human ideal to triumph over the ruins of a wrecked humanity. Love for real people leads into the fellowship of human guilt. Jesus does not want to exonerate himself from the guilt in which the people he loves are living. A love that left people alone in their guilt would not have real people as its object. So, in vicarious responsibility for people and in his love for real human beings, Jesus becomes the one burdened by guilt—indeed, the one upon whom all human guilt ultimately falls and the one who does not turn it away but bears it humbly and in eternal love. As the one who acts responsibly in the historical existence of humankind, as the human being who has entered reality, Jesus becomes guilty. But because his historical existence, his incarnation, has its sole basis in God’s love for human beings, it is the love of God that makes Jesus become guilty. Out of selfless love for human beings, Jesus leaves his state as the one without sin and enters into the guilt of human beings. He takes it upon himself.

We have something to hide. We have secrets, worries, thoughts, hopes, desires, passions which no one else gets to know. We are sensitive when people get near those domains with their questions. And now, against all rules of tact the Bible speaks of the truth that in the end we will appear before Christ with everything we are and were.… And we all know that we could justify ourselves before any human court, but not before this one. Lord, who can justify themselves?

Bonhoeffer’s sermon for Repentance Sunday, November 19, 1933

For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

2 Corinthians 5:10[1]

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, ed. Jana Riess, trans. O. C. Dean Jr., First edition. (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2010), 34–35.