Say The Word

On one particular account of the miracles Jesus performed a man tells Jesus, “You don’t have to literally, physically come to my house, just say the words & my servant will be healed.”

But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. (Matthew 8:8 ESV)

I think that too often we underestimate the power of God, forget how powerful he really is. He is all powerful.
When praying for others we would love to literally be by their side, holding their hand, laying our hands on them & embrace them with a hug but that’s not always possible. It is times like those where our faith is challenged & we need to fully rely on God. Times when we can’t be there that we trust & know God is and God is far greater than us.

Here is another account of one of Jesus’ miracles:

 When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd surrounding them, and some teachers of religious law were arguing with them. 

When the crowd saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with awe, and they ran to greet him. 

“What is all this arguing about?” Jesus asked. One of the men in the crowd spoke up and said, “Teacher, I brought my son so you could heal him. He is possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. And whenever this spirit seizes him, it throws him violently to the ground. Then he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast out the evil spirit, but they couldn’t do it.”

Jesus said to them,  “You faithless people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 

So they brought the boy. But when the evil spirit saw Jesus, it threw the child into a violent convulsion, and he fell to the ground, writhing and foaming at the mouth. 

“How long has this been happening?” Jesus asked the boy’s father. He replied, “Since he was a little boy. The spirit often throws him into the fire or into water, trying to kill him. Have mercy on us and help us, if you can.” 

“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. 

“Anything is possible if a person believes.”

 The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” 

When Jesus saw that the crowd of onlookers was growing, he rebuked the evil spirit. “Listen, you spirit that makes this boy unable to hear and speak,” he said. “I command you to come out of this child and never enter him again!” 

Then the spirit screamed and threw the boy into another violent convulsion and left him. The boy appeared to be dead. A murmur ran through the crowd as people said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him to his feet, and he stood up.

Mark 9:14‭-‬27 NLT

http://bible.com/116/mrk.9.14-27.NLT

Pondering my faith & lack of faith. God is no crutch, He is a stretcher. I can’t even limp into eternity without Him. 

Note:God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Glory to God in the church! Glory to God in the Messiah, in Jesus! Glory down all the generations! Glory through all millennia! Oh, yes!

Ephesians 3:20‭-‬21 MSG

http://bible.com/97/eph.3.20-21.MSG

Hope Only Seen After We Believe

People say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” According to God’s word we only truly see the unseen after we believe. As a believer we say,

I’ll see it when I believe it.

Song by Dogs of Peace “When I Believe It”

 https://youtu.be/sNB0hUXIvoY

What we hope for as believers can not be seen with our eyes. To help understand this a little more you may want to check out: The @YouVersion Plan “Hope”.  It is split up into 3 short readings.

God has so much more for us that we will never see in this life time. Just as we see results & effects of the wind but we can’t see the wind.
From the above mentioned reading plan I took this:

If you work hard at something, you will be more successful, correct?

 If you slack off, your results will diminish. 

Diligence is a key. 

Be all in, whatever you’re doing. It’s the same if you want to be hopeful. You faithfully choose hope, not fear. It makes you full of assurance and you’re a lot more fun to be around too!

What about when hope is hard to come by, hard to find or we just can’t seem to grasp hope in one of our darkest hours?

That is when I find the need to go to the source of all Hope, The Living Hope.

God had gotten me this far & He doesn’t lift us up to let us down.

I used this song before in another post but it is worth using again. The Imperials “He Didn’t Lift Us Up To Let Us Down: 


Hebrews 6:11



Live Life Free

I listened to “Live Free” by Mike Schirle a guest speaker at Discovery Church in Orlando with my daughter Kyri.

The main thing I am holding on to & I want the reader to get from this post is this…

You may even find it helpful to take li’l post it notes & write these verses on them. Place them where you will see them often or have easy access to them. I put them in my phone under memos so I can review & memorize them. Review them often to strengthen your foundation in Christ. Here they are:

Who I am in Christ

  • – I am God’s Child (John 1:12)               
  •  – I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
  • – I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
  • – I am united with the Lord, and one in spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17)
  • – I have been bought with a price. I belong to Him. (1 Cor. 6:19,20)
  • – I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:27)
  • – I have been adopted as God’s child (Eph. 1:1)
  • – I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
  • – I am redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14)
  • – I am complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)

Song Rest Easy by Audio Adrenaline 

https://youtu.be/6xetfkQr1vo 

          🔌📝📝📝EXTRAS📝📝📝📝🔌
    That concludes this blog post but if you wanna dig deeper here is the whole message 👉Click to Listen👈 

    NOTES:

    Live FreeSummer Series
    Mike Schirle
    Part of Message-Based Question
    July 19, 2018
    “You can’t cast out the flesh and you can’t disciple a demon” —Jack Hayford

    “What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” —Romans 6:1-2 NIV

    1. Know your Position: I am in Christ–Christ is in me
    Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.” —Romans 6:3-5

    Who I am in Christ
    – I am God’s Child (John 1:12)
    – I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
    – I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
    – I am united with the Lord, and one in spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17)
    – I have been bought with a price. I belong to Him. (1 Cor. 6:19,20)
    – I am a member of Christ’s body (1 Cor. 12:27)
    – I have been adopted as God’s child (Eph. 1:1)
    – I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
    – I am redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14)
    – I am complete in Christ (Col. 2:10)

    I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” —Philippians 3:10

    2. Know your Posture: I am Dead to Sin
    “For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, Or be rendered powerless that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.

    Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.” —Romans 6:6-8

    It’s the difference between: Striving to live holy and being holy?

    “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” —Ephesians 1:4

    “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation” —Colossians 1:22

    “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” —1 Peter 1:15-16

    3. Know your Power: I am alive to God!
    “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” —Romans 6:9-11

    Jesus not only paid the penalty, but through his resurrection – HE BROKE THE POWER OF SIN…

    Equally Human Classification

    As i listened to the book of Ecclesiastes i grabbed a few things to feast on. 

    i hope that this sits well with your appetite too. If it doesn’t for some reason than take it up with God. It is from His Word. 

    i just know that He speaks to my heart on this subject of humanity & our equality.

    Here are a few selected verses but i encourage the reader to always look at the surrounding text & context too.

    Ecc. 8:12 “But even though a person sins a hundred times and still lives a long time, I know that those who fear God will be better off.” Ecclesiastes 8:12 NLT

    Link: http://bible.com/116/ecc.8.12.NLT 

    Note: “Better off”, not like a Superior race or sect of people but rather, for anyone who is God fearing, respectful to The Creator of all things (humble) there is life beyond our years here on earth. This verse refers to the unbelievers & true believers (one who accepts the creator, His plan. A true believer should be one who are accepting all people, places & things He created.)

    In other words someone who is disrespectful, sinful and doesn’t believe in God, they may live a long life here on earth but those who live trusting in Him will see the next life, the after-life He promises. 

    I think some professing believers love the “us vs. them” mob mentally. Some would prefer to boast & pray to God thanking Him that they are not like the sinner and that very boasting makes them just as guilty & sinful. Jesus gave that example.

    Perhaps because of this truth some who think they live pleasing to God put down those who have not come to believe yet. That very judgment call on their behalf is not pleasing to God.

     Judging who is sinful & who isn’t is God’s place not ours. 

    We don’t need to point it out, His Word will do that. He will do the convicting from the inside out. 

    Our pointing the finger & playing jury or judge won’t turn them to Him. It will drive them away. On the other hand we see Christ shouting accusations at those who claimed to be righteous, convicting those who claimed to believe & walk in God’s ways but only offer condemnation to anyone who disagrees with them. 

    Christ accepted those who didn’t believe & live pleasing to God while correcting & chastising those who claimed to be Godly but lived ungodly.

      This video is a perfect example here & is packed with God’s Word for those claiming to be God fearing: 

     

    Here is God’s Word again: Ecclesiastes 7:13‭-‬14 NLT

    Accept the way God does things, for who can straighten what he has made crooked? Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God. Remember that nothing is certain in this life. Ecclesiastes 7:13‭-‬14 NLT

    Jesus says: “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.  For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:1‭-‬2‭, ‬12 NLT

    And earlier in Matthew we hear Jesus saying, “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy.  

    But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!  In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. 

    For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.  

    If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.  If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that.  But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:43‭-‬48 NLT

    Note in Ecclesiastes 7:15‭-‬18 he writes, “I have seen everything in this meaningless life, including the death of good young people and the long life of wicked people. So don’t be too good or too wise! Why destroy yourself? On the other hand, don’t be too wicked either. Don’t be a fool! Why die before your time? Pay attention to these instructions, for anyone who fears God will avoid both extremes. Ecclesiastes 7:15‭-‬18 NLT

    …for there is a time and a way for everything, even when a person is in trouble. Indeed, how can people avoid what they don’t know is going to happen? None of us can hold back our spirit from departing. None of us has the power to prevent the day of our death. There is no escaping that obligation, that dark battle. And in the face of death, wickedness will certainly not rescue the wicked. Ecclesiastes 8:6‭-‬8 NLT

    Many, i’d say most, Bible verses are for those who believe & accept the Bible as His Word. It may convict & convince an unbeliever to come to faith in Him & then (only then) to a personal decision to live a lifestyle that matches but i believe we need to let God do that. Let His Word do it. 

    His Word is sent out just fine on it’s own. He doesn’t need us to cram it down anyone’s throat He needs us to live it out.

    In conclusion: Isaiah 55 makes it clear as God’s Word says: “Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free! 

    Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength? 

    Why pay for food that does you no good?

     Listen to me (God), and you will eat what is good. You will enjoy the finest food.

     “Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. 

    I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David. 

    See how I used him to display my power among the peoples. I made him a leader among the nations. You also will command nations you do not know, and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey, because I, the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.” 

    Seek the Lord while you can find him. Call on him now while he is near. Let the wicked change their ways and banish the very thought of doing wrong. 

    Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.

     Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously. 

    “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord . 

    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. 

    “The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.

    (Personal note: as i read this & apply it personally i realize God gives His Word just as He gives rain & sun. Jesus says it will rain & the sun will shine on the righteous & unrighteous, the just & unjust, He causes that. He allows that. He’ll make sure we all get what we need. Rain & sun, does that refer to bad metephorical storms when we battle elements of this life & metephorical good times when things are bright & clear? Yeah, i think so but it also refers to good & bad circumstances that we’ll all go through & it’s all part of God’s plan & purpose. Plants don’t grown from sunshine alone. They need rain too. Who are we to yell at people caught in the rain & not offer comfort, love & a shelter for peace out of the storm?)

    Going on with the end of Is. 55…

     You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands! Where once there were thorns, cypress trees will grow. Where nettles grew, myrtles will sprout up. These events will bring great honor to the Lord ’s name; they will be an everlasting sign of his power and love.”

    Isaiah 55:1‭-‬13 NLT 

    Amen.

    Inaudibly free

    Music:


    LYRICS:
    Brushfire fairytales
    Itsy bitsy diamond wells
    Big fat hurricanes
    Yellow bellied given names
    Well shortcuts can slow you down
    And in the end we’re bound
    To rebound off of we
    Well dust off your thinking caps
    Solar powered plastic plants
    Pretty pictures of things we ate
    We are only what we hate
    But in the long run we have found

    Silent films are full of sound
    Inaudibly free

    Slow down everyone
    You’re moving too fast
    Frames can’t catch you when
    You’re moving like that
    Inaudible melodies
    Serve narrational strategies
    Unobtrusive tones
    Help to notice nothing but the zone
    Of visual relevancy
    Frame-lines tell me what to see
    Chopping like an axe
    Or maybe Eisenstein should just relax
    Slow down everyone
    You’re moving too fast
    Frames can’t catch you when
    You’re moving like that
    Well Plato’s cave is full of freaks
    Demanding refunds for the things they’ve seen

    I wish they could believe
    In all the things that never made the screen



    And just slow down everyone
    You’re moving too fast
    Frames can’t catch you when
    You’re moving like that
    Slow down everyone
    You’re moving too fast
    Frames can’t catch you when
    You’re moving like that
    Moving too
    Songwriters: Jack Hody Johnson
    Inaudiable Melodies lyrics © Reach Music Publishing

    Live, walk, love like Jesus.

    Goodbye means God Be With You

    Rather than saying goodbye I like to say,  “Bye FOR NOW.”

    I know someone who would always say to other believers, 

    “SEE YOU HERE, THERE OR IN THE AIR.”

    When I die it won’t be the end for me. Not because of any great thing I have done but because Jesus Christ, my Lord, makes (prepared) a place for me & my friend, He prepared one for you as well.

    When Jesus said these things in Jonh 14:

    He said that before He went to the cross. That is how he prepared that place, by His death He made the sacrifice for our sin, paid the dept for the wages of sin are death.

    Some day, in Him, we will have our eternal home. In the mean time we invest our lives in Him & seek 1st His Kingdom & the treasures there rather than toil for wealth here on earth which we see & know is passing away.

    Go with God my friends and God be with you.

    Enough said, Beetle

    Earth suits & Instructions

    The above image was so perfect for what I want to say in this post & goes well with many other posts I’ve blogged. 

    I picture my body of flesh as just a suit. 

    As a believer of Christ & follower of Him I know I no longer belong to this world. I am in it but not completely part of it; and yet here I am & will remain until God takes me out of it physically. 

    It is completely up to Him on how that may happen. Recently I’ve lost friends & even a family member to heath issues and so many others I knew have died due to various accidents but I hold onto the hope that this life is not the end.

    I believe in an afterlife and that because Christ died He has made a way for me to dwell in His Heavenly Kingdom after we leave this planet we call home. Death is unavoidable & until Christ raises the believer, here we remain. 

    God’s Word reminds me, 

    “We are not of this world. We are like aliens here.”

    I hold on & believe that if we are truly part of God’s heavenly Kingdom now we’ll join Him in a place He provides for us after we die. In John 14, Jesus talks about that. 

    As we let Christ be our Lord & Master, our King, we fall under His Lordship & answer to His calling, guidance, direction & commands.

    In the Old Testament God told them:

    I wrote a few posts about this physical life we know now being temporary & our bodies being just an earth suit. Some day we’ll shed these suits.

    While still in this body i will praise Him, lift Him up & long to be with Him in spirit.

    For other posts regarding our present state & going beyond these temporal things go to any or all of the following posts:

    Each of those posts above are fairly short & to the point. It is my hope they will encourage others who are trying to live in an earth suit simular to mine. It is my prayer that believers will continue to live with a heart that knows we will some day be with the Lord on high.
    In Christ, Beetle

    Audio & Manuscript for Deidre Reigel’s pod cast (feat. me)

    Audio & slides:

    Here are the notes I sent in preparation for the  Interview

    Proposed questions from Deidre Reigel for the “Deidre Reigel Hope and Healing Radio Show ” & projected answers.

    This was a rough draft & was open to any changes & suggestions.

    Prelude: Tom played drums with The Performance Company then continued playing with a variety of bands of various styles. Inaddition to music he also had a career with The Salvation Army and then was a nurse’s aide.  In 2012 he suffered partial paralysis to his left side due to an auto accident. He’s had some surgeries but is now confined to a wheelchair. As he was recovering from one of his surgeried he got news in 2016 that his son committed suicide. Inspite of these and other oppositions Tom looks for opportunities to not only find meaning and purpose in life but what he can offer to encourage & inspire others to find meaning & purpose in life. 

    QUESTION: Your blog, is filled with stories & articles you hope will encourage others. How does writing effect & help you?

    Answer:Writing, just as reading what someone has written, can be an escape.

    There are some circumstances in life that we can not control but when you are writing you have the opportunity to be in control.

    For example, if you’re writing fiction you can put yourself there rather than where you are and your mind can go to the time period, the place (environment) and be surrounded by characters that you’re writing about.

    If you’re writing non-fiction you’re able to write what you know and tell people your perspective of things.

    If you write about other people it takes the focus off of you and you can think about them as you write.

    If you write about yourself it gives you a chance to be honest and perhaps even discover things that you didn’t know about yourself or never really thought about in detail before.

    My blog gives me the platform to express myself and share that with other people. Although my handicap makes it hard I’m able to use my phone and I type everything, on my phone!  I use it just as if I was sitting at a desk with a compter keyboard. I love how I am able to write anywhere anytime.

    I consider writing a type of art and it is something you can invest in regardless of how much money you have. There are many forms of art & writing is just one that has helped me process my life & the world around me. I’m not sure exactly how but it sure works!

    QUESTION:  Other than writing, what are some things you do that are artistic?

    Answer: Now that I have to spend most of my time in at Geri Chair (a recliner that takes pressure off my legs, lower back & hips) I have a hard time drawing in that position but, where there is a will there is a way, so  I use a clipboard and a small manageable piece of paper to sketch, doodle & draw but I found that being in that position the most fun way to express myself artistically, other than writing, is decorate rocks!

    ART ON ROCKS!  It may sound strange & different but it is great!

    I take smooth stones or rocks, ussual between 2 to 3 inches, and I found that I can even just use permanent markers on them and  I can use paint pens on them.

     I have to limit my time sitting in a wheelchair cause that position irritates nerves in my spine, however I remember seeing people who were quadriplegic, let alone paraplegic and they would put a paintbrush in their mouth and move forward to a canvas and paint. Well,  I’m not quadriplegic I still have use of my arms and even though my legs hurt and I have to get in almost a prone position to manage my pain I still am able to hold that rock and express myself artistically on it.

    The great thing is that it’s not like a big huge canvas so I can share them with people much easier. I can give them as gifts or I can even hide them in a inconspicuous place so it brings a smile to who ever comes across it.

    I found out a few years ago there is a project or campaign called , Kindness Rocks” and the idea is to do just what I’m doing.

    There are a lot of these “Rock Groups” on Facebook. Now when I say, “Rock groups”, I mean an organized social media sire where people post the rocks they are creativly expressing themselves on and others posting the rock they found.

    Some of them even put a little label on the back that reads, “If found post on Facebook” and the name of the group.

    One of my favorite groups is “St Augustine Rocks”, which is where I call home now.

    So that’s a way I can express myself artistically and because it’s on a small rock, not in a book or on line I’m able to share it in the real world not just cyber space. It’s great when you can actually see the effect of it, see the smile & surprise on someones face.

    QUESTION: You played drums for the performance company for your last two years of high school and on into your college and career age years but now because of your polyneuropathy and the trouble using your legs, do you still play the drums?

    Answer: Everybody who knows me and those who have known me for a long time, that’s the first question they always ask me.

    I’m glad to say, “YES, yes I do.” The great thing is, in this day and age we have electric drums and I have what’s called SPD-30 Rowland Octapad. It’s 8 rubber pads on a desk type like contraption that offerd so many different drumsets & percussion sound effects.

    I have the ability to record with it so I will put it in front of me, like a desk, I will sit in my wheelchair or I prefer the geri chair so I can play a little bit and. then I can lean back, take the pressure off my hips and legs but it’s great because I can still use my arms and I can play all the parts. The parts I use to play with my feet I am now able to play with my hands.

    When handicapped or disabled in one way or another you just have to live life & “do life” a little differently but the important thing is you still do it & find what allows you to do it insite of whatever opposition you face. When your desire to do anything is strong enough you find a way to fullfill that desire. It may not look like what others do, it may not be done the way others do it but you’re still accomplishing something and that really makes you feel good all over in general.

    When we are able to express what is in our hearts we grow and progress qnd can accomplish much.

    QUESTION: What do you hope to accomplish with your art, including your writing?

    Answer: Well first of all it keeps me out of trouble… as my wife & I like to say,

    “Art is cheaper than therapy.”

    Ya know, I have found out that in many ways art is better than therapy or sometimes more productive.

    I never knock a good therapist but a journal, for me, is the best doctor & the best therapist that I have. Doctors & therapist can onlu do so much, the rest is up to the individual. 

    What I hope to accomplish is to simply express myself and don’t just keep what I learn & work through to myself but simply share it in music, writing & other forms of creative expression. Art can be priceless. It is valued in the eye of the beholder but if that eye holds on to it & never shares it how can it benifit someone else?

    I believe “art” is simply desire & expression. You have a desire & then you express that desire. Not everyone will get it, understand it or appreciate it but then again some will truly be touched & moved by it. 

    It’s scary to put my art out there because I fear rejection or unfair criticism but when I stopped worrying about what others think I came to find that there are people who like it.

    When I see someone enjoys what I share, what I’ve done artistically in a drawing or painted on a simple rock or clay or a story that I’ve written or a drum part I’ve rhythmically created, that’s very rewarding in so many ways but even while I’m doing it it’s rewarding and healthy for me mentally, physically & spiritually.

    I share it not because I feel it is some great piece of art that will change the world or because I want recognition for what I have done but because I believe if it helped me, perhaps it will help someone else.

    It’s the same with this interview, which I am so glad you asked me to share.

    Once we get over being over critical in our own heads we can start to openly share with others and that has a real healing effect on our mind set & mental health.

    QUESTION: You struggled with mental health issued and I was sad to hear that your son committed suicide due to his mental health, what are your thoughts on mental health and how do you manage your own mental health?

    Answer: I’m actually glad that you asked that question because it’s important for people to understand mental illnesses. Just like we understand other health issues like if you had a brain aneurysm or if you had cancer that was eating away at your brain and all of a sudden you know you weren’t the same or a loved one has some type of an illness like a stroke that’s effected them and  their speech, we understand that because we see it and it’s common but with mental health it’s happening on the inside and we can’t see it anymore than we can see cancer cells or a diabetic’s sugar levels. In regard to mental health when serotonin or other chemicals in the brain get off-balance they can actually cause people to want to do things that they normally wouldn’t do or that the average person wouldn’t think of doing. In some ways the effects bipolorism have on the brain it like a superhero power because some who are manic depressive will express themselves differently and maybe do some things other people just didn’t do or wouldn’t do. I’ve notices some people enjoy watching or listening to what comes from that creative, sometimes over creative, state of mind.

    I think of some of the comedians that I’ve been compared to like Jerry Lewis or Jim Carrey or Robin Williams (well known people we’ve all seen) and people say to me you know I love that you’re upbeat, funny, silly, creative drive.

     What they’re seeing in me is often mania (part of manic depression) and I think perhaps in a lot of artist what we’re seeing is mania or sometimes depression being expressed through their art and we are entertained by them because what’s inside them is coming out. When no one is around is often when the harsh side or ugly charateristics of any mental health issues come out.

    With my son, he was in great shape physically (went to the gym all the time). He was in very good shape spiritually (read, studied & lived out the word of God. He share his faith with a lot of people). He even made YouTube videos & published a blog posts where he did like little messages from the word of God to encouraging people. 

    So, although he was healthy & strong physically & spiritually, mentally he struggled. 

    It was like a civil war going on in his mind and he tried to manage it the best he could but he got so sick of taking the medications they were telling him to take & feeling like nothing could help him balance out these overwhelming feelings & aweful desires. 

    He got so sick that the chemicals in his brain drownded out the normal/balanced healthy rationale thoughts. 

    He was only 22. I remember when I was 22 and wasn’t even aware of what bipolorism was. I had some crazy thoughts but it wasn’t until close to my 30’s when I faced a bit more external stress & met head to head with suicidal thoughts of my own. It was in 1997 I was diagnosed. 

     Knowing what’s going on with our bodies, minds & souls is the first big step. I’ve always said, “The difference between really being crazy & not being completely crazy is that you are aware that you’re crazy.”

    No one likes being labled crazy or disabled in any way form or fashion but when you recognize how you may be different from the average person that is the first real mile stone in letting your “disability” & opposition present a new opportunity.

    The mandarin word for hope is actually two words when translated into english and that is “opposition & opportunity”. Without opposition why would we even need hope that things were better? The Bible says in Romans 8:24‭-‬25 NIV “For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. (Romans 8:24‭-‬25 NIV)

    http://bible.com/111/rom.8.24-25.NIV

    If you realize you’re not thinking clearly and there’s this fog in your head it helps if you have enough sanity to know that it’s going to be okay, it’s not okay right now but you honestly admit your weakness that something is wrong with you it will help get you back on the road to where things are manageable again. 

    Sometimes it takes family, a friend or a counselor to point this out but only we can take the steps in the right direction toward thinking clearly again. Sometimes the deterioration of our health is unavoidable, it’s part of who we are as humans, but there is help out there for us before we become so ill it leads to an eatly death.

    I also want to be sure to say that our physical, mental & spiritual health is not always directly connected to each other. You could be in the best spiritual shape & time of spiritual awareness as possible and yet physically or mentally deteriorating because we are all mortal, we are human. In 2 Corinthians 4:16 NIV the Bible says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

    http://bible.com/111/2co.4.16.NIV

    For me personally in 1997 my suicide attempt was unsuccessful & I got help. 

    Now to stay as health as possible so my own mental health doesn’t take my life prematurely I continually keep myself in check, 

    • I journal a lot,
    • taking the medication they told me to keep taking & not stop taking just because I feel better & good. The medicines keep the right chemical balance. 
    • I also make sure I’m getting enough sleep, that is very important to me because when I am manic I feel like I don’t need sleep & can’t sleep. 
    • In addition to this, I am consistently trying to keep things in balance around me, which isn’t always possible because there are certain things, people, situations & circumstances that are unavoidable but sometimes I have to avoid certain people or places or things because it will make me manic. To stay balanced sometimes I have to keep things around us in balance. Spend more time in healthy environments than in unhealthy environments.
    •  I have to do things to help me unwinde & relax. Those recreational activities (even rest & relaxation) help re-create us. So we in turn can create thing, accomplish things & get that feeling of serving a purpose. 
    • Good encouraging relationships are so important too. I still have 4 daughters (Kyri, Olivia, Madi and Abbey), my wife Rhonda, 2 sisters & my parents are still alive & still very supportive. They, along with extended family & friends who are like what a healthy family should be, offers me a healthy environment.

    QUESTION: Speaking of a healthy environments & relaxing activities, I understand your wife RHONDA makes healthy bath products that enhance relaxation & skin care.   (rhondabsbathremedies.blog link below) Tell us a little bit about that & how those products help.

    Answer: Yes! Rhonda B.’s Bath Remedies.  The products that she makes aren’t just so that you smell good, although I need it for that too, they can really have a great positive effect on your physical and mental health. 

     The products have natural herbs and essential oils in them and no chemicals added so that when you use them there is a healthy possitive effect.

    For instance the bath bomb, it feels good on your skin and has a great effect physically but it’s also very relaxing. 

    The shower Fizz can open up sinuses & take away headaches by simply breathing in. 

    The lavender soap can stimulate you mentally and help you relax. Bath teas, bath bombs, face scrubs. A lot of people, including me, love the all natural lavender soap she makes. It has a  great effect on my skin which affects me physically but also makes me feel good mentally. I’m big on taking  baths!  Although we have a really small tub right now I get in there and breathe in vanilla and lavender. My body absorbs the essential oils and the fragrance relaxes my mind. Using them allows for a restorative process.

    That’s why she named the business “RHONDA B’S BATH REMEDIES”

    Conclude with links:

    Rhonda’s home made bath & shower products:   www.rhondabsbathremedies.blog

    My blog:  Www.tombeetlebailey.wordpress.com

    And one of my son Alexx’s final request before dieing was, “Don’t let my writing die with me.” So for Alexx’s writings go to:

    https://lexbailey.wordpress.com/

    Pictures:

    Me & Rhonda (my wife)

    The last picture taken of me & my son ALEXX

    Rhonda B.’s Bath Remedies

    My Decorated Rock Art

    Please consider subscribing to the “Deidre Reigel Hope and Healing Radio Show” for more interesting & inspiring pod casts. Go to: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWAvT946ITr0aYSH-Uk13pw

    Mad Man or Messiah?

    There was again a division among the Jews because of these words (Jesus spoke in John 10). Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
    John 10:19‭-‬21 ESV

    http://bible.com/59/jhn.10.19-21.ESV

    Read this account about Jesus & what He says then you decide is he a mad man or is He the Messiah.

     John 10:

      “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.”  This figure of speech Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, 

    I am the door of the sheep.  

    All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 

     I am the good shepherd. 

    The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 

     I am the good shepherd.

     I know my own and my own know me,  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” 

     There was again a division among the Jews because of these words. Many of them said, “He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?” Others said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

     At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,  but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  

    I and the Father are one.”  

    The Jews picked up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?”  The Jews answered him, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God.” Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I said, you are gods’?  If he called them gods to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be broken—  do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?  If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;  but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and 

    I am in the Father.”  

    Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands. He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained. And many came to him. And they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there. (John 10:1‭-‬42 ESV)

    When a blind man was healed and questioned about Jesus (John 9)  He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.”(John 9:25 ESV); so also I am able to tell people, “you can refute the Bible & Biblical teaching, philosophy & religion all you want but nothing can change the personal fact that Christ Jesus has come into My heart & made a difference in my life & I will cling to Him as my Messiah, my Savior, my solid rock of salvation.