Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"Spiritual Depression: It's Causes and Cure" A Review

In "Spiritual Depression" the author, D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, claims that Christians shouldn't be depressed or dejected. Yet so many are. They have every reason in the world to rejoice, but not all do. Therefore he compiled this book (originally given as sermons) as a biblical resource for Christians to see where they've gone wrong, and what corrections they must make.

Lloyd-Jones addresses nearly every cause for which Christians are commonly depressed, vain regrets, remembrance of a sin, trials, worries, etc. For all of these he gives very practical Biblically sound advice for restoration. Also, while I have heard some people object to the term "Depression" because of it's psychological connotations, Lloyd-Jones vehemently distances himself from camp of modern psychology.

Some of his most striking advice was, "Rule your spirit." Preach to yourself like the Psalmist did. PS. 42:11 "Why are you cast down oh my Soul and why are you disquieted within my? Hope in God! For I shall yet praise him, the health of my countenance and my God. Also, he address in depth the way in which God works to conquer our anxiety. (Philippians 4:10-12.)

In short this meager review can not do justice to the book. Not only is it a book that tackles spiritual depression in ones own life, but it gives enough biblical resources for counseling/helping others out of depression. In the end it highlights the tremendous blessings for Christians that flow from intimacy with God.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Highlights of '09

Now for the Highlights of this year... In January Seth, Michael, and I went to the DeGroots for New Years. We had an awesome time with Dan, Colin, and Josh. (Which we are planning on doing again this year.) Then that same month Rebecca on up, - Mom, went to the SACIFF. In the Spring, after an icy snow Seth, Michael, Joseph and I went it a steep ditch with the green Metro. We were all ok, but my head smashed the windshield. That same time period I became an Uncle. I think it was in May that I started working for Joel. That same Month Seth, Aaron Wang, Ben, and I made a super short film, "TRANSGRESSOR." I think it was in June that Two of my good friends, Benjamin and Daniel Allen and I spent a great Day hanging out in Omaha. In July, I became the director for the PHF entry "Esther" in whom played, Seth, William, Samuel Clingman, Elizabeth, Josiah, Rebecca, Josiah Krutz, Micah Swab, Lucy, Juliana, and I. (We later received the Audience Choice Award.) In August our Family went to Colorado for vacation, but on the way home, the fuel pump went out. So Pastor Kayser headed four hours out to get us, and another four to bring us home! The very following week, Mike Elliott, Joseph Cave, Caleb Duff, and I had a intense week long hike, in the same state, where we hiked 50 some miles in 4 1/2 days. In October at the PHF, I was able to have an awesome weekend with Ben, Matt, Samuel, Toby, Andrew Axsom, etc, plus alot of visitors from other states. Also despite a humbling mess-up I was awarded the Audience Choice Award for the speech catagory. Also in October I had the fantastic opportunity to help Jon on his new house. That was a TON of fun. Since then, the most significant things I've done, include finishing Robert Reymond's Systematic Theology, and spending time with Ben and Matt. Wow, has God poured out blessings and friends into my life!

A Review of the Accomplished Goals Last Year

Last Year in December I posted 10 Goals for 2009, now that '09 is practically over, I wanted to contemplate God's provision for me to accomplish or alter almost all these goals.

I. Live day to day in Christ's power
This is a slippery goal to begin with! And I suspect it will remain a goal of mine for the rest of my life. But as I consider the past year, I do believe that the Lord has sanctified me in that area.

II.Memorize significant portions of scripture
Sadly this is one of the goals which I failed greatest in. While I did memorize portions of Isaiah, Proverbs, and others, I wouldn't consider them to have been "Significant" portions.

III.Read through the Bible at least one entire time.
This was one of the goals which I think was RIGHTLY altered very early on. As I talked to friends and attempted to read 3-4 chapters a day, I realized that it would be more be beneficial to read it, apply it, and meditate on it then to speed read it through. So while I began the year in Jeremiah, I plan to end it in Exodus. (As an interesting note, there where a few books I read it one sitting and found much more comprehensible without the Chapter breaks. {For instance, Romans.})

IV.Strengthen my fellowship with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Contemplating this statement in and of itself, it is not as if a man can to God and strengthen his fellowship with Him on his own accord, yet scripture does command "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" James 4:8a.

V.Sanctify in how I make conversation with others (including expanding who I talk, the purpose of the conversation, how I react, etc.)
Since this is one of my most clear cut goals, I think it is a easier one to dissect. as I consider the past year, especially the last several months, I see definite improvement. God has strengthened me so that I attempt to enter into conversation, not for myself but for the encouragement of others.

VI.Learn Humility
Wow, that is one blanket, undefined goal. In a small way I do think I have sanctified in humility. ei. when I do stupid things or say embarrassing things, and then weeks late realize what I did, I try to thank God for humbling me, trusting that all things, including my embarrassments work for the glory of God and the good of his people. But still I think this will be a goal that continues for my life. (On of the ways God humbled me was at the PHF, when I forgot my speech in the middle of it for about a minute!

VII.Learn Self Control
Another blanket goal... One to last a lifetime. Yet I believe God has graciously enabled me to not be offended as easily as I used to be, and keep me from getting as angry as I used to. Still, self control reaches into all kinds of areas and I am far from accommplished.

VIII.Finish Algebra 2

IX.Get my drivers license
YES! (After two failed driving tests!)

X.Start some type of business/get a job
The Lord fabulously provided me with a significant amount of work this entire year. I worked extensively for Joel landscaping, and with Dad on odd jobs.

As you can see, not only has God blessed me tremendously but there plenty more work for the next year!