Friday, May 29, 2015

Preventing Depression in Children

Young people seem to be experiencing depression more now than ever before. I found an article explaining eight reasons why this is the case. Most of these reasons are due to our prosperous, industrialized and fast moving society. We think technology and our comfortable lifestyles are good but they have come at a huge price to our health and the health of our children.

The first reason listed is a lack of play. Do you see children playing in your streets and parks anymore? When I was growing up, we were playing outside most of the time, when the weather allowed. We didn't have a lot of toys so we used our imaginations to play. It is SO imperative that your children are outside playing as much as possible using their large muscles to run, jump, climb, etc. besides the benefits of being in the sunshine and fresh air.

C-Sections are also another factor. Way too many c-sections are given today. Yes, there are times when they must be given but if at all possible, don't have a c-section. Natural births are, by far, the healthiest for baby and mother. Recovering from a natural birth is much quicker for the mother and the least amount of drugs you can put into your body, the better since ALL drugs are toxic to the human body.

Sugar. The more we find out about sugar, the more we find that most diseases are from eating sugar. Sugar robs your body of important nutrients, allows cancer to proliferate and beats down your immune system. Do all you can to prevent your children from eating sugar. There are so many alternative healthy foods. I properly prepare all types of nuts and sunflower seeds for snacks. Popcorn popped in coconut oil and fruit are all great snacks for your children. Train your children to snack on nutritious food, instead of junk food which results in junk health.

Antibiotics is another reason for so much depression in children. My boys never had antibiotics growing up. My daughters received a little bit for ear infections until I learned that ear infections clear up just as quickly with antibiotics as they do without, yet those ear infections cured without antibiotics don't come back. I found this to be true. Dr. Marshall believes all infections can be cured without drugs, except a tooth infection which needs to be fixed. I have cured bladder infections, sinus infections, breast infections, and ear infections all without drugs. Drugs should only be used in emergency situations.

Television is robbing our children of mental health also. It prevents them from playing, using their imaginations,  and relating with others. It is damaging to their developing brains and eyes. Some education experts believe that a child should not watch television until they are five or six years old.  Then it should only be for an hour a day. It is addicting. Little children will be happily playing until they get in front of a television. Then they don't move at all!

How many times have I written about the devastation of divorce on children? Many times. God hates divorce and commands we be covenant keepers for many reasons and one of those reasons is for the sake of the children. I have seen the devastation divorce is upon even grown children. The value of a husband and wife staying united as one for all of their days can never be overestimated. Stay married, even if it isn't easy, because in the long run, it will be better for many.

Toxins are another cause of depression. I have written often about the need for eating organic food, cleaning with non-toxic cleaners, and having your windows open as much as possible. We weren't created to live in a toxic environment, yet we all live in one. Do what you can to rid your family's life of toxins and then leave the rest in the Lord's hands.

Stress is the final cause of depression. Children are so stressed out today, especially if they are in the public schools with all of the competition and bullying. I never studied for the SAT. I didn't even have much homework in high school. We were allowed to be children and have a lot of play time. Most of today's children don't have this privilege. Do what you can to give your children a stress-free lifestyle.

Finally, the very most important thing this article left out is to preach the Gospel to your children early and often so they know clearly who they are in Christ and their precious value to the kingdom of God.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, 
so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Following Josh Duggar's Example

This is a sad chapter in  the life of Josh Duggar as the vitriol against the Duggars this past week on Social Media spews at an alarming rate full of a lack of facts and logic. The attacks are against a 14 year old who twelve years later is presumed guilty of things unknown, most likely because of his stance against the gay agenda and his stand for conservative Christianity. Further is the ridiculous second guessing of a father for not going straight to the authorities, yet the results of what he did seem to show nothing but a successful outcome to a tragic and difficult time in the life of his family. What is happening to America? It is no wonder the alarm is now sounded that Christianity is in danger from those who hate our worldview as it is diametrically opposed to their unrelenting desire for anything goes sex and the feminist agenda.

We were told that this was probably just the tip of the iceberg, but there is a strong possibility that the most one can fault the Duggars on is not wanting to reveal the awful sins of a 14 year old to those who have no business knowing of them.  Hmm, just what the law required of the Springdale Police Chief who violated 5-6 teenager's rights to privacy. Many parents may now avoid going to their elders and friends when faced with a child's worst sins, let alone the authorities, having seen how disastrous this has turned out for this repentant kid. Maybe that's why we have privacy laws for under aged kids, Chief O'Kelley? The judge who ordered the records destroyed certainly thinks so.

Josh and the Duggar family are charged as hypocrites, but the charge does not fit them. Are all who have hidden past sins, especially sins committed as minors, supposed to take out an announcement in the newspaper about their sins when they were dealt with and forgiven long ago? We don't care to know your past sins, and we especially do not want to victimize the victims a second time like gossip magazines do all the time. There is no redeeming value to any disclosure about any teenager after the authorities have dealt with it and buried it for a reason.

From everything we know, Josh has long ago turned away from his sins and became a fine upstanding young man who married a godly woman and has his fourth child on the way. Many leaders vetted him; his personality, his work ethic and his love for the Lord. Josh Duggar is considered a pillar of the evangelical community, not because we thought he was perfect in his past, but because he grew up from past sins and made something good out of his life for his Lord Jesus. Is this not exactly what even the world wants from its worst sinners? If only a perfect man can speak truth, then no man can say anything against the most harmful of society's sins of abortion, or a about a society hell bent on rampant sex outside of marriage, or selfishness, materialism and greed. 

We are all sinners in our past so no preacher, leader or politician should stand up and speak out on principle and values? Leaving spirituality aside, why can't  Josh speak out on his personal or political views without having his past drudged up? Ask him. He thinks child molesters are the worst scum, and he used to be one of them, but that ended long ago in his youth. 

For those who wish to throw stones, or worse yet, somehow see this as vindication for their own ongoing personal sins, I invite you to follow in Josh Duggar’s footsteps and example of wrongs made right. Your sins are not so great and so overpowering that you cannot repent, leave them behind, and follow a new path of values that have long been held throughout the centuries by Christians and non-Christians alike. Values that see marriage as between a man and a woman, not because we want to hurt our gay friends, but because that is what is best for our country and society. Let's have a legitimate dialogue about what is best for America without stone throwing on either side of the issues, just as it should be done in a democratic, values-driven country. 

No one likes to be told that what they are doing is wrong, but we are called to follow a risen Lord and Savior who makes it clear that unless we proclaim and obey His Word, we can have no part with Him. God’s Word says that God loves all sinners, even those with huge sexual sins in their past and present, but he hates the sins they commit because they go contrary to His own nature of love and justice, His commands, and His design. Josh was caught in his sins, or he turned himself in. Regardless, when faced with a choice to continue sinning, or walking in righteousness, Josh chose the path less traveled to try and please His Lord and Savior, even if imperfect at times.

If you want to persecute Josh, take a second look and see if you do not have grievous sins in your life before throwing stones. The only difference is many choose to keep sinning and Josh has repented. All of us are sinners and we do not condemn you, but we do proclaim God's truth about sin. If only non-sinners can speak the truth we are left with only Jesus, and God's Word. Look how bad Josh's sins were, yet by all we know he walked away from them and into the glorious light as a son of God. 

The apostle Paul says about those of us in the Christian family: And such were many of you,” followed by a laundry list of many of the worse of the worse sins. He then proclaims our new state of being: “BUT you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” {I Corinthians 6:9-11} This new life is available to Josh and to all who commit any form of sexual sins, and to the victims of such sins. When Jesus saves, He saves every part of us, mind, body and soul and makes us new and alive in Him. Especially victims can throw off their past and joyfully embrace their new future with Jesus. 

As Christians we are not perfect, and we will never be perfect, until we see our Lord face to face. Although we should be held to a higher standard, it should not be an impossible standard. You will find Christian after Christian, many pastors and church leaders, who will cave into temptation and sin, even sexual sins. We should not be judged by one act, or series of sins we committed as a 14 year old when the totality of our new life is now 180 degrees different. Judge us on our whole life, not just a piece of it. And when we fall, judge how we get back up and walk again with our Lord Jesus into His righteous. For on our own, we can’t do it, and neither can you.

Some have the seemingly easy road where they can sin all they want, then point the finger at those of us who are trying to stand on God's morale ground, especially when we fail at times. They are just trapped in bondage to their sins. If Josh Duggar committed sexual sins 12 years ago and stopped, don't think it in any way exonerates any one's current sexual sins. The only one who can justify sins is the Lord Jesus and He demands that in order to receive His justification we must believe in Him ~

“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus {Romans 3:11, 23-24}.

Josh is attacked for things he wishes he could go back and undo, recognizing now not only the fuller extent of the harm that comes from grievous sexual sins, but also having a more mature desire to please the Lord in everything. But he can’t go back, all he can do is go forward into the glorious light and liberty as an adopted son of God, saved by grace.

Josh is saved, and he is one of ours in the Church. We would be happy to have him show up in our church and in our home; to be able to throw our arms around him and tell him that we are praying for him; to be able to offer comfort and encouragement that this time will pass. God has some mighty work He wants Josh to accomplish through all the pain he has caused, and all the pain he now holds within himself because of the vicious attacks on a 14 year old. Is that not His promise, "All things work together for good to those who love God?"

God offers the same invitation to all sinners, haters and victims. The doors of the Church are open to all who want to leave their old sinful past and start anew; a brand new life that is made alive in Christ Jesus. To join a church of fellow sinners who choose to try and walk in a New Life pleasing to God. There is no sin that you have committed that God cannot forgive, nor do we expect that you will never sin again. Through the ups and downs, the persecutions and triumphs, the righteous living and your sins, you will find grace and peace at the foot of the cross. We invite all who love God to join us as part of the family of God, and find the Creator where He can be found, in His Word who became flesh.

There is no distinction in Christ; no race, no color of skin, no gender, no sexual orientation, no political point of view, and no socioeconomic situation. Fornicators are like you and me who all fall short of God's glory. We are all like Josh, embarrassed about our past, and keeping it secret as imperfect people. But this we know, that we need to be washed clean by the blood of the Lamb. It is not by what we do or don’t do, but by what He has done for us that saves us; by His love, which compels us to try our best to share this good news of Christ with others. 

 The truth of God's Word stands on its own no matter what may be my sins, or yours. Please look at us as your fellow sinners, simply saved by God’s grace, and forgive us when we fail to show you that same grace and love we receive from Jesus day by day. There is nothing special about us and nothing earned or merited. But there is something very special about Jesus. We invite you to accept by faith this same gift of grace that extends freely to you, and all of mankind. The same grace Josh found a long time ago which propels him in a new life, not yet perfect, but abundant and free from his old sins. Follow Josh's example and turn from sin to a new life, instead of blaming him for something he has already acknowledged as wrong, and was forgiven.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Are You Building God's Kingdom or Your Own?

Here in America, it's easy to forget our mission. We have so much wealth and entertainment that we've forgotten that our mission is to make disciples. Jesus didn't command us to make converts, but to make disciples. Since many have forgotten this mission, they've taken a lot of wrong turns. They mistakenly think that their short time down here on earth is to be happy, instead of making disciples.

Many women have decided that their goals are way more important than God's goals of being a wife and mother, so they've left their homes to make their "mark on the world." They have full-time careers and leave the few children they may have in the care of strangers all day so they can find "fulfillment." They fail to realize that their high calling from God is to be keepers at home and their ministry is making their homes a place of peace and rest for their husband, children, and all those who need a sanctuary away from the turmoil of this messed up world.

Many have few children since they want to be happy, instead of make disciples. Having a lot of children will prevent them from having many things, doing many things, and going many places. It will take away their happiness because they will be exhausted most of the time and have little "me time." They've forgotten that God calls children a blessing and it is their job to have children and raise them for Him; making disciples of their children so they can go out to be salt and light to a lost and dying world.

Many don't stay married if they're not happy or the road becomes very rocky. Their husband is a jerk and makes their life miserable so why should they stay when it's so easy to get a divorce and have "freedom." They've forgotten that by staying faithful to their vows for better or for worse, they are modeling to a lost world God's faithfulness to us and the relationship of Christ and His church. Christ remains faithful to us, even when we are unfaithful.

When their children are grown up and gone, they spend their time traveling and their time and money is their own to do as they please. They've figured they've "paid their dues" and now it's their time to be happy. God calls them to do otherwise. He commands older women to train young women; be with them, help them, teach them, love them, support them, encourage them. Lodge strangers, relieve the afflicted and diligently follow every good work, as Paul commands in I Timothy 6:10.

Many think their money is for their own pleasure so they spend it all on themselves building their own little kingdoms on earth with newer, nicer, faster and better all the while those around them are heading for hell. They forgot that we are called to use our time, resources and talents to make disciples by loving, helping and giving ourselves away. 

Our lives down here are short. God commands that we make disciples. Are you making disciples? Are you using your time, talents and gifts to make your home a place where Jesus is welcomed? Are you making sure your children are well-trained in the ways of the Lord? Are you loving your husband and being faithful to him even if it is hard so those around you can see the power of God in your life? Are you spending your later years ministering to those younger than you and helping them be the wives and mothers that God has called them to be? Are you using your time, talents and money building God's kingdom or are you using it to build your own?

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; 
reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.
2 Timothy 4:2

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Faithful Home is a Trustworthy Home

Most couples today are not covenant keepers.  In Romans, Paul explains that in the last days, many people will be "without understanding, covenant-breakers...who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" {Romans 1:31, 32}. God has clearly stated, "What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder" {Mark 10:9}. 

Trustworthy people are those who keep their commitments. When they tell someone that they are going to pray for them, they pray for them. If they tell someone they are going to call them, they call them. If they tell someone that they are committed for life to them, they stay committed for life to them. Children who grow up in faithful homes, most likely will grow up to be people you can trust.

Faithful and trustworthy people are not too common today. It's hard to believe anything a politician says who is running for an election. It's hard to trust the news media and what they report. It's even hard to trust some doctors because of the gigantic drug lobby and it's influence. However, it shouldn't be hard to trust believers who call upon the name of the Lord. We should be the faithful in the land and this faithfulness must begin in the home.

If you tell your child that you are going to do something, follow through and do it. Don't make empty promises to them. Pay your taxes without cheating. If you are undercharged at a store, show them and pay the difference. Model faithfulness through your marriage to them, through friendships and even to the church you attend. If a friend shares something personal with you, don't share it with others.  Teach your children to be faithful to sport's teams they are on by being on time to practice and practicing hard or whatever they have committed to do.

Having a faithful and trustworthy home definitely begins with the leaders in the home, the parents. If the fish's head begins to stink, the whole body will eventually stink. It must begin with us. We must be faithful to our vows. We must be faithful to our commitments to others. We must be faithful in teaching our children the ways of the Lord. Our society is on the path to destruction. Don't allow your family to go anywhere near this path. Stay as far away as possible from the filth of this world. The world redefines the words of truth and faithfulness to say, "Be true to your self and faithful to what you think is best." Put your trust in the Lord and spend your time in His Word and live your lives faithfully according to His Word with His Spirit working mightily within you as He gives you the grace to live it out.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, 
and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.
Luke 16:10

More posts in my Home Series.