Archive for June, 2006

Here are comments from Pastor Gabe Reed from this past Sunday on depression:

6 Steps to Overcoming Depression

1. Acknowledge the Emotion and Identify the severity of it.
Jesus told His disciples, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful…” He recognized the condition – He acknowledged it to Himself, His friends, and to the Father. Realize that your feelings are real and that something needs to be done about it.

2. Decide Who or What is Going to Be in Control of your life.
Depression is like a person in a deep pool of water, holding on to a large, heavy rock. The rock will pull us down. If we refuse to let it go, it will destroy us. It is not the rock that will destroy – it is our decision. Is God controlling your life, or is the depression weighing you down?

3. Share the concern with God
We let go of that rock by giving it to God. Prayer is essential in dealing with depression. Let God know what is going on in your heart and mind. Put your concerns on the end of your fishing reel and cast it out….now walk away and leave them behind.

Read Psalms 55, 58 and 59. David was not one to hold back His emotions from God. He cries out in Psalm 42:
As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? F31 3 My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, “Where is your God?” 4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast. 5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.

4. Ask yourself, “What is this Depression telling me?”
Depression does not have to be seen as a weakness or something to be avoided, it can be seen as a message from God that something needs to be addressed. Depression is not a punishment from God, it is a natural God-given warning sign to help us avoid depression’s control of our lives.

5. Identify the Causes – there is usually more than one cause.
Am I getting enough rest? Am I taking care of myself physically [EXERCISE]? Have I started taking some new medication that is causing this? Am I depressed because I have not dealt with some past loss or conflict? Am I telling myself the truth about life, or telling myself lies? Is there sin in my life? If I know what God wants me to do, and I am not doing it – or if I’m doing something that I know I’m not supposed to be doing, then I am going to be prone to depression. Is there something that I need to clean up?

6. Get busy – make the changes.
Exercise! Check your thoughts; the Bible tells us to take every thought captive. Find the sin or the past hurts in your life that you have not dealt with and deal with them! When we know what we should be doing, and do not do it, it is a sin which pulls us farther from God.

Feel free to call or e-mail Gabe, myself, or another leader if you want to talk.

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A report by the US surgeon general says only smoke
-free places can protect nonsmokers from involuntary smoking. More than 126 million people are exposed to secondhand smoke,contracting smoking related illnesses, the report said. “Nonsmokers need protection through the restriction of smoking in public places and workplaces,” said Richard Carmona, the surgeon general. Carmona is especially concerned about children who are affected by their parentssmoking habits.

Reported in the Christian Science Monitor…

Delaware County already has a smoking ban in place… Madison County is working on it!

My sisters couldn’t quite make it all the way down the hill… not sure what happened there…

She likes me…

She likes me not…

she likes… rolling down hills with me!!
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Those that have known me know that I am fairly moderate politically, not blindly accepting what either political party nor the religious right has to say about an issue. This article really highlights that fact and is a great read. Below is a link and some excerpts. Sojourners while not identified ever in this article has done a lot of work on this area.

Here is the link to the article: Jesus is Not a Republican

Now for some captivating excerpts:

“The Bible contains something like 2,000 references to the poor and the believer’s responsibility for the poor. Sadly, that obligation seems not to have trickled down into public policy. On judicial matters, the religious right demands appointees who would diminish individual rights to privacy with regard to abortion. At the same time, it approves a corresponding expansion of presidential powers, thereby disrupting the constitutionally mandated system of checks and balances.

The torture of human beings, God’s creatures — some guilty of crimes, others not — has been justified by the Bush administration, which also believes that it is perfectly acceptable to conduct surveillance on American citizens without putting itself to the trouble of obtaining a court order. Indeed, the chicanery, the bullying, and the flouting of the rule of law that emanates from the nation’s capital these days make Richard Nixon look like a fraternity prankster.”

“The Bible I read says something quite different. It tells the story of ancient Israel’s epic struggle against injustice and bondage ‚— and of the Almighty’s investment in the outcome of that struggle. But the Hebrew Scriptures also caution against the imperiousness of that people, newly liberated from their oppressors, lest they treat others the way they themselves were treated back in Egypt. The prophets enjoin Yahweh’s chosen people to “act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” and warn of the consequences of failing to do so: exile and abandonment. “Administer true justice,” the prophet Zechariah declares on behalf of the Lord Almighty. “Show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.”

The New Testament echoes those themes, calling the followers of Jesus to care for orphans and widows, to clothe the naked, and to shelter the homeless. The New Testament I read says that, in the eyes of Jesus, there is no preference among the races and no distinction between the sexes. The Jesus I try to follow tells me that those who take on the role of peacemakers “will be called the children of God,” and this same Jesus spells out the kind of behavior that might be grounds for exclusion from the kingdom of heaven: ‘I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'”

“A number of people have asked me what the religious right wants. What would America look like if the religious right had its way? I’ve thought long and hard about that question, and the best answer I can come up with is that the religious right hankers for the kind of homogeneous theocracy that the Puritans tried to establish in 17th-century Massachusetts: to impose their vision of a moral order on all of society.

The Puritans left England and crossed the Atlantic in the 1630s to construct what John Winthrop called a “city on a hill,” an example to the rest of the world. The Puritans configured church and state so the two would be both coterminous and mutually reinforcing, but only one form of worship was permitted.

Without question, Puritanism in 17th-century Massachusetts was a grand and noble vision, but it ultimately collapsed beneath its own weight, beneath the arrogance of its own pretensions. By the middle of the century, Puritanism had become ingrown and calcified, the founding generation unable to transmit its piety to its children. By the waning decades of the century, in the face of encroaching pluralism ‚— Anglicans and Quakers ‚— and the rise of a merchant class, the Puritan ministers of Massachusetts were making increasingly impassioned, frantic calls for repentance. What frightened them ‚— no less than the leaders of the religious right at the turn of the 21st century — was pluralism.”

“The leaders of the religious right are also frightened by pluralism. That’s understandable, especially for a movement that propagates the ideology that America is ‚— and always has been – a Christian nation. Pluralism is messy. It requires understanding, accommodation, and tolerance, especially if we hope to maintain some semblance of comity and social order.”

“The leaders of the religious right have led their sheep astray from the gospel of Jesus Christ to the false gospel of neoconservative ideology and into the maw of the Republican Party. And yet my regard for the flock and my respect for their integrity is undiminished. Ultimately it is they who must reclaim the gospel and rescue us from the distortions of the religious right.

The Bible I read tells of freedom for captives and deliverance from oppression. It teaches that those who refuse to act with justice or who neglect the plight of those less fortunate have some explaining to do. But the Bible is also about good news. It promises redemption and forgiveness, a chance to start anew and, with divine help, to get it right. My evangelical theology assures me that no one, not even Karl Rove or James Dobson, lies beyond the reach of redemption, and that even a people led astray can find their way home.”

Definitely read the entire article… and please leave your comments! Thanks

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wow this is a little scary:


This wasn’t our Council or anything, but this is an example of great programs that Girl Scouting has across the country:

Excerpted from:

Associated Press
Girl Scouts Meet in Prison, With Fathers
By DEBORAH HASTINGS , 06.17.2006, 12:22 PM

The convicts stand in a circle, three fingers pointed skyward, nine faces set in stone, their deep, male voices raised in slow recitation:

“On my honor, I will try,

“To serve God and my country,

“To help people at all times,

“And to live by the Girl Scout Law.”

At their sides stand their daughters, their small fingers also raised in the Girl Scout salute. This is the regular monthly meeting of Troop 884 – not in a school, not in a church, but at the Allen Correctional Institution, a medium-security prison rising from the rolling farmlands of northwestern Ohio.

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