The Bus Stop is a series of true stories about my life, people I've worked with and events I've experienced. Of course the names have been changed. I hope these stories will brighten your day with a few laughs as well as give you encouragement. Hopefully you can avoid making some of the mistakes I've made and if you have already made them, then you can identify with me.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dealing with Guilt

I have spent most of my life wrestling and hurting with guilt and shame. It has crippled me so many times from enjoying life and those around me. It has driven me to depression and to the points of feeling worthless and of no use to anyone. So the question that came to me is guilt good or bad. Since guilt had almost destroyed my life I am going to say guilt is bad.

Guilt is extremely powerful and has caused so many problems and confusion throughout our world and in our society. You can always find guilt somewhere at the root of most problems we have in our life. Guilt drives us to do things we shouldn’t do to keeping from doing the things we should.

For example: Many times guilt it is at the root of volunteers, contributions and appeasing others. Many ministers have been enlisted into various religions due to guilt. Many parents have controlled their children through guilt and shame. Guilt has been forced upon many children due to molestation, physical abuse, rape, bad grades and divorce or even for the clothes they wore to school.

Guilt is a powerful tool used by Satan to manipulate and destroy so many people. It’s a good tool because it works so well. The reason for the religion of “Evolution” was based on guilt. It was an attempt to remove God. No God, no guilt was the purpose.

If you commit a crime and have to go to court, they will try to prove you innocent or guilty of committing a crime. This is not a court to determine if you are a good or bad person and this is not what you will be judged for in essence. You will be convicted if you are guilty of committing the crime. Whether or not you stole the car is the point and the fact you are a nice guy doesn’t matter. You may have even said please and thank you when you took it.

At the root of guilt you will always find selfishness. Anyone whoever uses guilt will do it to accomplish their own personal selfish desires and control others. I have used it on many occasions to get what I wanted. To guilt someone to do something against their will or boundaries is all too common. Many young girls have sacrificed their virginity of feeling guilt while the young man selfishly manipulated her. Mothers (I can’t help but think about Ray’s mother on “Everyone Loves Raymond.”) have attempted to use guilt to achieve the type of behavior they desired from their children. Have you ever heard the statement, “If you loved me you would…or if you really cared about me you would…or if you were a really a Christian you would....Has someone ever given you something, but you knew there were strings attached?” I have even heard this kind of manipulation from the pulpit.

This is the most important part that I want you to remember and this will help you to evaluate others motives in the future. Guilt has nothing to do with love and never will. God doesn’t use guilt to get His way. God is love and there is no love in guilt, only selfishness. God wants us to come to Him because we desire to and because we love Him. The guilt that Satan has used to imprison us, God will take away from us and give us a new life.

What about conviction? Doesn’t God convict our hearts to turn to Him? Yes He does, but He’s not doing it through guilt. He is convicting us out of love because we are already guilty and we now are just agreeing with Him. You confessed you stole the car because you were found guilty. Consider Adam and Eve after they had sinned and hid. They were already feeling guilty for what they had done. All God wanted to do was remove the guilt and shame. He did this by asking them questions. The first question was, “Where are you Adam?” (God already knew everything) Then Adam confesses he was hiding. The second question, “Why are you hiding?” Adam confesses again because he was naked. The third question, “Who told you, you were naked?” Then Adam goes into the blame game and not only did he blame the woman, but he also blamed God. God wants us to confess our sins so He can restore our relationship with Him.

One of the big problems we have is we’re feeling guilty and confessing to things we haven’t done. We feel guilty many times for something someone did to us. Then we feel stupid for feeling guilty. This happens many times when a crime is committed against us, such as molestation, rape, robbery or simply feeling guilty when we set a boundary or tell someone no.

Guilt is not an emotional problem. That’s why psychotherapy never works when dealing with guilt. It is neither a physical or emotional issue. It is a spiritual problem and can only be dealt with through God’s forgiveness. Once God has forgiven us you can be assured Satan will be there to continually accuse you of your wrong doings. Self-forgiveness is actually accepting God’s forgiveness. Do you believe He has forgiven you or not? He said, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9

This all comes down to the choice of walking in the darkness or the light. If we are walking in the light we can see the truth about guilt and what it does to us and others. If we are walking in the dark we can’t see what’s happening and we fall into the pit of ignorance. We simply cannot see where we’re going. In Romans 8:1 it says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The last part is saying if we are walking in the light we can see the truth, but if we’re in the dark then we can’t see.

So what is the boundary between darkness and light? From my own experience it was unforgiveness. Once this wall came down I was able to see things more clearly. I had created a huge wall between God and me blinding me from the truth. Once this wall of unforgiveness came down I could see more than I ever could. Part of it was forgiving God in what I perceived He had done and the other part was accepting His forgiveness.

Many won’t even read this because they are stuck in the darkness or they’re afraid this is going to make them feel guiltier than they already do. Guilt will imprison us so far from the truth that we will only return when we feel we have no place left to go. Guess what? If we had gone to God to begin with, then we wouldn’t have to go through the garbage to get there. Sometimes it takes the garbage to see how bad off we really are.

I Deserve It!

So many times I hear this statement “I Deserve It!” So, what do you deserve? I heard many say, “I deserve to be happy, rich, attractive, healthy or basically to have a better life.” There is no place ever written in stone that says we deserve any of these things and to demand this is as absurd as the statement itself. So, do you deserve to be treated well or do you deserve to be treated badly? Neither… do we deserve anything!

If you live your life with the “I deserve it” mentality you are headed for many disappointments and pains. To find just one picture of our cats that didn’t have the “I deserve it” look wasn’t easy. To say we deserve something is affiliated with having great expectations. Having great expectations may turn out the way we want, but it could turn out just the opposite as well. You may be able to understand this better if you have kids.

My sister has a saying on her refrigerator that says, “If everyone is not meeting your expectations, then maybe your expectations are too high.” How many times has the father wanted his musical son to be the big football player and the mother wanted football player to be the great musician. I’ve seen so many hurt people because life wasn’t what they expected or bargained for.

I’ve heard many say, “I deserve a better marriage.” So I tell them to get with it and start having one. If you are waiting for someone to give you what you think you deserve, then you have a long wait coming because it will never come or they may give you what they think you deserve and this may not be so good. If you are waiting for someone to make you happy, you have a long wait coming for that too.

I’m not talking about things you earn. If you work for someone with a promised wage, then this is something you earned, not deserved. Even then there are no guarantees that you will get this wage. I’ve been there several times.

Let’s suppose I came to your house everyday at 10:00am and handed you a $5.00 bill. At first you would probably reject it, but I insisted and you took because there were no strings attached. The next day I did the same thing again. I did this everyday for the next 2 months. It would get to a point that you would be waiting at the door every morning at 10:00. Then after 2 months I started coming a few minutes later. One day at 10:10 and the next at 10:15 and eventually I didn’t show up until 11:00. Chances are I would receive a tongue lashing for being late. Then eventually I quit coming completely. Not only would you get mad, but you would come to the decision that this was something you deserved when at first you were grateful and undeserving.

I would assume no one has actually ever done this for you in this manner, but hasn’t God done something similar for all of us. He allowed me to have a Dad for 19 years and took him home. I could either be grateful for having a Dad for 19 years or bitter and angry at God for taking him so soon and the 29 years I haven’t had him. Have you lost a job that you may have had for 20 years, but you turned your back on God because you felt you deserved more and wasn’t grateful for the 20 you had. Have you lost something else precious to you like the life a child, friend, parent or a spouse? Were you grateful for the time you had together or angry for losing them?

I heard once that everything this side of hell is grace because this is what we really deserved. I know I don’t deserve heaven, but God and His grace and love opened a door so that I may receive it. Every breath you take is another chance God has given us to accept His love and salvation.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Good Vs. Evil

When I was a child (which was many years ago) I learned many of the evils of life such as playing cards, pool tables, dancing and drinking alcohol. Of course we shunned such desires as a child and learned to be judgmental of anyone who partook in such evils. When I became older and wiser I came to understand all of these evils were neutral objects, meaning they were neither good or evil, but what mattered was how someone might use them that would make them good or evil. I remember one day the pastor’s wife emphatically refused to let her children play the “Old Maid” card game with me simply because it was cards and she wouldn’t let her kids go to the movies to see “Bambi.” What are some ways these objects could be used immorally? Playing cards and pool could be used for gambling, dancing such as the Lambada could be used to sexually arouse someone and alcohol can be used for drunkenness which could lead to DWI or spouse and/or child abuse.

So, what is good and what is evil? How do we determine what is moral or immoral? Is there anyone on this planet that has the right and ability to dictate what is right and wrong? Are there some good people in this world and some bad? Is something that was immoral and wrong 3000 years ago still immoral? Yes! Sin doesn’t change with the times. Solomon said there was nothing new under the sun. Are you an evil person because you do or have done something wrong or sinful? Are you a good person because you have done some good things in your life? The answer to the last two questions is NO! You are neutral. You are neither good nor bad. In Isaiah 64:6 it says, “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.”

For some time I’ve been telling people that they were actually good, but were doing bad/evil things. This was an inaccurate statement. The truth is the people were neither good nor bad, it came down to what they believed about themselves and they acted accordingly.

This is where this gets really interesting. From our childhood on Satan has distorted and corrupted mankind’s thinking. He is the father of lies (John 8:44) and he loves to twist us up in knots trying to convince us we are evil and bad. Therefore he knows we will bring him the fruits of pain, sorrow, guilt, fear and death. Here’s the good part. God is working even more diligently to bring us to him, Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22) but He will not interfere with our free will. We have to choose the love He has demonstrated through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus and He will bring righteousness in us through Him. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. Romans 6:13

What about Charles Manson and Adolph Hitler? Were these evil men or were they used to do evil? They were men that submitted to evil, but they were just men. I have heard so many stories of people who had horrible atrocities happen in their lives, but some used this as excuse to commit crimes and others used their past to reach out and help others. It came down to choice.

So if you do good things, does that make you a good person and is this all we have to do to get to heaven? No matter how hard and diligently we try to be good it will never be enough to please a Holy Father. This has never been a matter of following rules because if it was, all of us would fail. As Max Lucado says, “If we only had one rule to follow to be allowed into heaven and that one rule was to jump as high as you can and touch the moon, we would all fail.” Even in my youth I might be able to jump four feet and of course it’s much farther to the moon.

Fortunately Jesus was willing to jump up and touch the moon (so to speak) for us so that we would and could have a chance of eternity with Him. The moment we accept Christ into our heart we instantly become everything God wants us to be. It has never been Jesus and good works, Jesus and sacrifices or Jesus and anything else. Just Jesus!

So as I said earlier, how do we determine what is good and evil? The only way I know is to go to the highest authority on the matter and see what His Word says. (The Bible) I have heard so many ridiculous forms of advice that come from people meaning well, but there basing their advice on what they saw in a movie or something. I’ve heard some couples say that God brought them together when they were involved in an adulteress relationship. How ridiculous! I don’t ever recall God advocating this. Many religions have been based on someone’s morality.

How can we determine what is good and what is evil? Was it a good or bad thing that I experienced several types of sexual abuse and was it a good or bad thing I was bullied the first few grades of elementary? Satan meant it for evil, but God meant it for good. (Romans 8:28) If it weren’t for those hurts in my past you can be assured I would not be writing these Bus Stops nor would I be working at the boot camp.

Joseph had several horrible things happen to him. First his brothers wanted to kill him. Instead they sold him into slavery. Has this happened to you lately? He was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife and thrown into jail. Eventually he was made second in command over Egypt where he came face to face with his brothers. When they recognized Joseph the first words out of their mouth had to be “uh oh!” But Joseph said graciously to them in Genesis 50:19, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

I don’t know what has happened in your past, but I do know one thing. You can either let Satan torment you with this the rest of your life and destroy you or you can run to a wonderful relationship with God and let Him use these hurts to paint a beautiful picture.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Do You Know Me?

I’m fortunate to say that I have many friends and even if I don’t, let me believe I do. As I was pondering this thought, I feel I could safely say many don’t know me that well, then again you may know be better than I thought. I’m going to make a few multiple choice statements and let’s see if you get them correct.

A) I grew up in Lubbock, Texas
B) I played hooky almost half my senior year
C) I was an honor student
D) I had a dog named Champ

Let’s try another one.

A) I went to Texas Tech for 2 semesters
B) I was in the Army for 4 years
C) I have a pilot’s license
D) I was in the Air Force

A) I have a heart for helping people
B) I do a lot of volunteer work
C) I spend several hours on the phone coaching
D) I love to laugh

If you knew me well and grown up with me, (or my family) you would know the answers. You will not be graded on this. These are some things I’ve done in my past and also a look into my character. Many of you that have known me a few years know my character and some of you that I’ve met recently may not. Naturally those who have known me the longest should know me better. However, that’s not always the case. I know some of your deepest secrets and problems, but I don’t know much about your basic background.

Have you ever thought you really knew someone and then one day out of the blue they seemed totally different? I know what you’re thinking, “I married them!” This is just one example, but there are many others.

Over the last few years I had to really rethink the belief I had about God. I spent a big part of my life running from Him and the other part trying to appease Him. I lived in fear and always worried what was in front of me and regretted what was behind me. Many times I believed that God was out to get me until one day I came to the conclusion if He wanted to get me He would have. He wouldn’t have missed!

I grew up in the church starting in the nursery. I’ve learned all kinds of things about church and churches. I learned a lot about what was right and wrong and I experienced a lot of the wrong things. I feel like I’ve really just started learning who God really is and what He’s all about.

He’s not Santa Claus or a good luck charm we can pull out of our pocket when we’re in distress. The God that I’ve been learning about is Pure and Holy Love. This has been a difficult concept for me to understand. Many of us have been deceived in knowing what love really is. When love has been distorted by our background and we try to address it with human wisdom and understanding we will always fall short in knowing the truth.

A few years ago I was falsely accused of doing something wrong. This incident was totally out of my character. Because of this, the person I was accused to didn’t believe the accusation. I also had my wife next to me when I was talking to this person and she verified the truth. There are so many people out there spreading horrid rumors about God. I know I don’t have to defend God and that’s not my purpose. So, what would you have to do to get to know me or anyone else better? You would have to spend time with us. What I want to accomplish is hoping that you will get to know the real God so you won’t be fooled. The people spreading false rumors may be doing it intentionally or unintentionally. It really doesn’t matter. Do you know the real truth? This is our responsibility! Like me, is it possible what you have been thinking or taught all these years was wrong? So, do you really know God?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good Intentions

Many of us have good intentions to do all kinds of different things in our life, but don’t quite get around to it. We had good intentions to pay that bill, but they didn’t care and charged us the late fee anyway. We had good intentions to get our tires changed, but that didn’t keep us from having that flat or call that friend and get that birthday card in the mail and didn’t realize that would have been the only card they got that day, but we failed even though we had good intentions.

Think back through history. What if they never quite got the Declaration of Independence completely finished or Dr. Martin Luther King had meant to march on Washington, but never got around to it. These are a couple of extreme examples, but what about the many times a day we have good intentions to do something that might of changed someone’s life but failed to do so, a simple phone call, a card or a visit.

We will not be judged on our good intentions, but on the things we followed through. I can’t help but think of the song that says, “The road to good intentions doesn’t lead to anywhere.” You may only get one chance to say what you needed to say, do what you needed to do or help those you needed to help.

Many times we believe we have all the time in the world to say or do what we need to do, but we forget to figure in the variables such as time, death, illness or many others situations. All of these could be you and not the other persons. If something happened to you today would your friends know how much you thought of them? Would you children and spouse know how much you loved them? Would you have gone to those places you keep telling others you are going to go to someday?

I know I have a problem with procrastination and putting things off as long as I can. I know this is my problem and if you can identify with me you can know you’re not alone. This is also something I continue to work on in my life. I don’t want to be a person of good intentions, but to be known as a person that didn’t let things go undone.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Hostage

A man breaks into your home and holds you and your family hostage at gun point. He looks at you and says I’m about to make you a judge. You are going to decide which one of your children lives or dies. (If you don’t have any children, think of someone you love dearly) First you ask…Why are you doing this? What are you trying to accomplish or prove? He gives you no response. Again he demands you to decide and the only mercy he shows is to give you 5 minutes to make up your mind.

You scream at him, “This is crazy! We’ve done nothing to you! I can’t decide which of my children lives or dies because I love them all.” Then he says, “Then I will kill all of them and you have 3 more minutes.”

Then the man tells you that you have been making judgments all your life about people, about life and about God. So this should be easy for you with your experience. How many people have you destroyed in your mind? How many people have you looked down on because they were different than you? How many times have you told your spouse you were right? How many times have you told God something wasn’t fair or that He messed up? You see, you have been a judge for a long time and now I’m asking you to judge your children and decide which one lives or dies. You have 2 minutes.

All of them can’t be good kids. They have had to disappoint and even make you angry when they brought bad grades home from school, caused trouble with the neighbors or maybe they even sassed you. Finally you get to do something about it.

One child stands up seeing the anguish you’re going through and says, “You don’t have to decide, I’ll sacrifice myself if he will go away.” The man says this will be acceptable.

You have probably already seen the analogy, but if you haven’t let me help you. The man is sin and Satan. The accuser of the people and it’s by sin we are judged. Not by what we do, but by what we are. It ripped God’s heart out to see his people suffer because of his love for us. He didn’t want to decide which one lives with Him and which one didn’t. Jesus came forward and said, “I’ll sacrifice myself for them and make sin go away.” Some have declared they are going to figure their own way out of this situation by trying to look good enough to be accepted and others have been grateful for the sacrifice and accepted the gift. Ephesians 2:8-9 If you were to try to clean yourself up enough to be accepted by God is like giving a skunk a bath. No matter how many times you wash it, it’s still going to smell like a skunk.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

5 More Minutes

How many times have we all said, “If I just had 5 more minutes” I could get to work on time, I could finish the project, we could win the game, I could make it to the gas station or I could pass the test. There are so many ways we could apply this statement.

There are so many things we could do that would take less than 5 minutes or may take seconds like…A kind word, to open the door, to listen or acknowledge someone. There’s probably not a worse feeling in this world than to not be noticed. How many times have we looked away to avoid noticing someone? Especially someone that isn’t pleasant to the eyes, in a wheelchair, walking on a cane or walker or maybe someone who is old. It would only take a few seconds.

So now, what could you do with people that come into your circle for 5 minutes? Many of us say we don’t have 5 minutes to spare. I know I waste more than 5 minutes a day so I can’t lean on that excuse and chances are you can’t either. I’m not trying to put anyone on a guilt trip. I just want you to think about it a little.

Yesterday my number 2 son Stephen (the paramedic) came home from work. He had been at the Hospital in McKinney where I had my surgery and he met the doctor who was in charge of resuscitating me. The doctor told him the policy for resuscitating someone was usually 15 minutes, but they had decided to go the extra 5 more minutes. The extra 5 more minutes would have decided my fate of life or death. My son thanked the doctor for saving his dad and for giving him the 5 more minutes. I learned some more interesting news from my niece this morning. My wife and the nurses were outside my room praying for me and the moment they said “Amen” I started breathing again.

None of us knows how much we impact the lives of others just by giving them a few minutes. I don’t know how many times I have said in the past that no one would even notice if I was gone. I know this is a false statement for me as it would be for you. I know my creditors would miss me.

Take a few moments and think what you could do with 5 more minutes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


For some time now I’ve been teaching the need for purpose in our lives. We all search for that one-thing to make life meaningful. We dream of finding and fulfilling a need, stumbling along with best intentions trying various "purposes" on for size hoping someday to find "it" ...the one-thing that makes life worthwhile.

We all have a purpose: Taking care of our children, going to work, helping each other are all purposes. Some have said my purpose was to "keep chairs from floating away," implying that I sat around on my rump for hours on end. I could take issue with that but, I'll save that for another time.

What if you were confined to a bed? A wheelchair? Limited by a walker? Could you still have a purpose? When faced with a debilitating injury and life shifts with tornadic velocity, is your purpose gone? The answer is "No!” Even if you are on complete bed rest you serve a purpose. That purpose may be to let someone else take care of you. Someday you may find yourself unable to do some of the things that today you take for granted. I have several new friends who have lost their independence and even the ability to eat is a struggle. Do they have purpose? The answer is, "Of course!" One of the most encouraging things I heard a lady say, "Even if I were bedfast and couldn’t move my arms and legs, I would change the world through prayer." Changing the world through prayer...sounds like a great purpose to me.

Years later I learned that purpose has a cousin named "Hope". I came to understand that purpose is not enough to get you out of bed in the morning. You can have a purpose and still feel like life isn’t worth living. You can be busy doing exceptional things, reaching the multitudes, and not have a driving force behind your purpose. What I learned that was missing in my life was “HOPE.” I had purpose and I even had a dream, but I didn’t have hope. I had lost it somewhere in the shuffling of my life.

To find your passion and dream may involve some risk as in the mouse trap. The cheese is not the purpose. The purpose is a full belly. The cheese is the hope and the trap is the risk. I know in this time in our world it may be hard to see much hope, but I don’t have to change the world nor do I want to. I’m only called to work in my corner of it or my circle.

There is the famous scripture that says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1. What does this mean to you? It’s not only hoping for something, but believing you will receive it. Faith/Hope is what gives you the excitement to seek your passion. This is what will get you out of bed in the morning.

If your passion and excitement come from your job, then I say, Wonderful! If your passion comes from being the best Husband/Wife/Father/Mother, that’s great. I can get excited when someone is passionate about their job even if it's boring to me and I don’t understand what they’re talking about. It’s so refreshing to see someone excited and positive.

If you’ve lost hope, then it’s probably right where you left it. Go back. Pick it up. And get moving again.

The Tide

When I was released from the hospital the doctor told my wife that I could most likely expect some depression as a common response from the heart surgery. When she told me this information I was somewhat defiant. I had done the depression thing 10 years ago and I wasn’t going to do it again.

Now that I had the foreknowledge of this possible depression I arrogantly started building my fortress and I was ready to fight. I have written a book on depression, therefore I thought I knew everything I needed to know.

Needless to say, my fortress didn’t withstand the oozing of depression under the doors. I was going down and I didn’t understand what was happening. The tools I had used in the past were not working this time.

Last Tuesday evening I went with my wife to her college class. I had 3 hours to do some thinking, and then as I realized I was alone, alone with my thoughts. I reviewed the details of my life and the last few weeks. I could not conjure up one good reason why I was feeling depressed. Many great things were happening in my life and there was no really good reason to be down. The only answer was that these feelings were physiological, not spiritual and not just my emotions. Understanding this alone, after some wrestling with pride I actually took comfort in accepting this new concept.

My wife and I spoke about this new revelation on the way home and she made the suggestion that I gave the depression a new status. It was no longer the monster I had created in my mind. I had now turned this problem into something smaller I could possibly deal with and had a chance of conquering.

That was when I realized my depression is more like “The Tide” going in and out and not the tidal wave I had been expecting to crash down around me at any instant. Imagine for a moment how the tide moves in and out. If you have ever been to the Pacific coast then you can understand the power of the tide. It has nearly as much force pulling back as it first did when it came in. This is where I had to stand firm and not allow the sand to shift beneath my feet causing me to be pulled down without a chance to get my stability for the next wave, or possibly being taken back with the force of the water. The Pacific coast has a lot of riptides and if I would have allowed myself to be pulled in and continued to fight I would have found myself pulled out farther to sea and overcome by the constant movement. The only way to resist a riptide is to stay calm and go with the flow and eventually you’ll return to the beach.

I had to realize the “Truths” of my situation and to stand firm on the truth until the tide receded and things returned to normal. I have to admit the last few days have been much better and I can see the tide returning to sea. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place. Ephesians 6:13-14

Ask yourself these questions and be honest and truthful…

  1. Do I have any friends?
  2. Do I have any talents or abilities?
  3. Am I loved?
  4. What are my good points?
  5. Do I care about others?
  6. Do I have a good heart?

If you answered truthfully yes to any of these questions when the tide comes in, just be patient for the tide to return back to sea. During this time stand firm on the truth. Realizing only real truth comes from God’s Word. I’ve attached the truths God says about you to help when you are feeling the crashing and pulling of the next bout of the tide. The truth is not based on feelings.

When I had acknowledged and accepted my situation I have to agree that this wasn’t my only bout with depression in the last 10 years. I have had several over the years that I had refused to acknowledge as depression. I called it discouragement, under the weather, anxiety and many other names. I didn’t want to admit I still had this problem occasionally. Admitting depression would be like admitting defeat when I thought I had overcome this so called monster.

You may have found yourself in this same situation or with others close to you. This principle of reducing problems in your life isn’t just with depression. We need to see fear, worry and many other struggles by reducing them to there actual size. Don’t give them the power to control who you really are.

When I first learned of my depression at first I looked at it as a blank check. In other words, anytime I felt like I didn’t want to be responsible, or I wanted to do something wrong I would play my depression card. I was a victim I had an excuse to get away with anything. Wrong! As long as I remained a victim I could try to use this to do whatever I wanted. I always paid a price for this. Now, I believe, I’m a survivor and not a victim. I am still responsible for my feelings, actions, beliefs and daily responsibilities.

The great thing about the tide is that it may come in, but from just watching I know it will be returning back. I need to have God as my center and my truths at hand and plant them in my heart so I can stand firm and not be open to being pulled in the down direction.