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Overcoming depression - are you up to it?

by Bread Of Life on 17 Jun 2017 permalink
Feeling trapped in a situation you cannot control? Lacking a reason to press on with life and live to the max? It's your call. Obstacles are only there to test your metal.

Depression creeps on you like a bad smell. You may have noticed some erratic sleep behaviour, some apathy, loss of appetite, loss of sex drive, unkempt appearance, many physical ailments. On the emotional side you may experience loss of affection, sadness, an involuntary tendency to cry, hostility, irritability, anxiety, fear, worry, hopelessness.

The triggers that can bring a depression are disappointment, lack of self-esteem, unfair comparisons, being trapped in an intolerable situation, sickness, an improper reaction to a traumatic experience, lack of worthwhile goals.

Here is a list of 20 questions to see if you suffer from the condition known as "depression":

Are you tired much of the time?
Are you unable to find activities that really interest you?
Do you have difficulty making decisions?
Do you withdraw from sex?
Do you dislike the way you look?
Do you blame yourself when something goes wrong?
Do you doubt your circumstances will improve in the future?
Do you think about killing yourself?
Do you have difficulty sleeping?
Do you cry for no apparent reason?
Do you find it difficult to sleep at night?
Does your work bore you stiff?
Do you worry about circumstances beyond your control?
Do you worry about the decline in your physical appearance?
Do you get no satisfaction from everyday activities?
Do you dislike going out after work or on weekends?
Do you get irritable with family and friends?
Are you sensitive to criticism?
Are you really unhappy?
Do you dislike being around other people?

If you answered yes to more than a third of these questions and this is going on for more than two weeks you need to climb out of that hole you're in.

If you current condition is not the result of grieving the loss of a loved one, divorce, loss of a career, loss of your life investment, a move to a foreign city, etc... then you need a medical examination to uncover a physical condition.

Depression can also be a very convenient cover-up for the lack of guts to face up to a new challenge in your life. You need to have a good self-talk in the mirror and get over it. Depression could also be God induced. Your Creator is calling you to account as there is a God-shaped hole in your heart that nothing else cal fill up. Sometimes He would allow you to go way down to experience how hopeless you are on your own so you can truly appreciate the redemptive work for you of Jesus Christ at Calvary.


Hopelessness - Have You Resigned Yourself There Is No Way Out of Your Situation?

by Bread Of Life on 10 Jun 2017 permalink
Hope is a most precious virtue. By finding a purpose for living some have survived incarceration, torture, disastrous accidents at sea, in mining shafts, etc...

Hopelessness is probably the reason so many turn to drugs or alcohol. It is also the reason people commit suicide. You have heard the word: "He is a no-hoper!"

There is no reason to go through life moaning and groaning. Whatever your circumstances might be, you can always find someone else worse off than you are who is still pulling through. Therefore, without demeaning your situation, the problem is not with your environment but with your outlook. It's not what happened to you that matters, it's the way you are handling it.

Hope has two sisters called Faith and Love. Together they not only will pull you out of your hole but also will keep you on track on the straight and narrow path.

Faith is having the insight that you are not an accident but that you are precious in God's sight and that He has a plan for your life. You know that you know that you know there is a way out of this. You just don't know what it is yet. That's the challenge of the adventure you are embarking on.

Love is the currency in so short supply. In order to love others you first have to be able to love yourself. You have to convince yourself that you are gifted with certain abilities and knowledge. It will allow you to do things that no other person can do - you are unique, there is only one like you.

Opposition is part of life. But people have learned to sail a boat against the prevailing wind. You just have to tack that's all. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

Listen to what comes out of your mouth. Stop repeating the same defeat stances and start proclaiming your breakthrough. Then realise that you have been given one mouth but two ears. Use them in that proportion. Listen to what other people have done. Study different ways of tackling your problem.

Once your self-esteem is rebuilt you can also love others. You have to be the first member of your fan club before others can join in. One indirect way to solve your problem is to solve someone else's problem beforehand. Is there anything in your power to make someone else's life easier? What about sharing your meal? What about listening to someone ramble on about their problem? They just need a listening ear, a chance to get it off their chest... could you just stand by that person for that purpose?

Life is an adventure, an obstacle course, a discovery, a challenge, a pilgrim's progress. What do you want to be remembered for?


Christians Against Global Warming

by Bread Of Life on 03 Jun 2017 permalink
Global warming is a term that didn't exist in our newspapers 20 years ago and obviously it won't be found in the scriptures. Remarkably the bible makes specific references to a convergence of events which unmistakably match what we call today global warming or consequences thereof. Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Epidemics, Famines, Eclipses. To this list you can add another one not related to the natural events: Financial Crisis.

The bible specifically refrains from telling us the exact time and date where those events will culminate. Instead it gives us a stark warning to always keep our house in order and to be ready.

So we have a choice to make. We can delude ourselves and think that things will keep on going merrily as before. Or we can take note and consider where we want to spend eternity.

Even Christians are not immune and must keep on their toes. If Christ the Messiah returns this week then our problems are over as we are being raptured with Him. But if He doesn't come in our lifetime we have a problem or rather a challenge. We have to keep on living a life worthy of our calling. How you live as a Christian points people to Christ more than a lot of preaching.

And so the Christians are going to be on show. When everything around us is falling apart those who have a solid relationship with Christ will shine forth with a composure and a demeanor that will be the envy of those who will be caught up in panic and fear.

"Please don't bring me this gloom and doom - I've got a nice superannuation stashed away and I want to enjoy my retirement." Very well then - but why are you so attached to this world that is obviously falling apart? I'm not talking just about global warming now - I'm talking about moral and social decay also.

Global warming is a cute phrase to hide our ineptitude at fixing something which is well beyond our abilities. Although politicians are keen to raise taxes on this pretext - "Without money, you can't fix anything right?" Tagging a label on something which we know nothing about shows that we are in charge. It is better than talking about the bogey man or things that go bumping in the dark. We are adults after all.

By the way although it is commendable to protect the environment God has spelled out what He is going to do about it. He is going to trash it and start all over again with the people of His choosing. After all He is the Creator isn't He?


The old man rant

by Bread Of Life on 27 May 2017 permalink
As we get older we can become bitter at the missed opportunities and worse - trying to force our offsprings to succeed where we failed.

The best way to ruin a parent/child relationship is to expect them to take over where our career expectations were unmet. For a start you have to acknowledge that if siblings are so different from each other they may also be quite different from you too. Sure they may have the shape of your nose or the colour of your hair but God is not in the assembly line business. He makes each of His creatures different and unique. He has planned a future for each one of us before the beginning of time.

The other gnawing issue is the one of authority and experience. As a society as a whole, young people do not show reverence to their elders anymore. Oops, let me take that back - unless a young man is getting engaged to your daughter... but you know what I mean. As an elder, you do not get the right of way in a corridor or out of the lift. Likewise young women are surprised if you open the door for them - they are not used to it. When you see a man opening the door of a car for a woman it means either of two things: he just bought a new car or he has a new girlfriend.

So if good manners go out the window so does our authority and experience. Have you heard the phrase: "but Dad, we don't do that anymore..." what they mean is that while you read the broadsheet newspaper they listen to the podcast on the way to work. Or more to the point - technology has rendered our knowledge irrelevant. Sure wisdom will have a brilliant comeback in a crazy world trying forever new ways of doing more with less - something is going to give somewhere. But refrain from uttering the victory phrase "I told you so!"

So if you wake up as a mature old man whose authority doesn't call for much respect and whose experience has been classified as irrelevant what have you got left to live for? LOVE. Love covers a multitude of sins, it is not easily angered, it is not self-seeking, it always cares, always trusts... Do you know the torment that folks go through simply because they never heard someone say: "I'm proud of you, son!" So make it a habit today to observe and give appreciation where it is due.


Is internet dating for you?

by Bread Of Life on 20 May 2017 permalink
Is it worth your time conducting a conversation with a stranger only to find out the other party is not interested in meeting you face to face or worse they are projecting a false persona on purpose?

The internet is your oyster as the saying goes - but what sort of pearls are you likely to find out there? No doubt there must be some success stories for the manager of dating sites to brag about - but is it the exception rather than the norm?

If you are autistic then internet dating is probably your patch. For the rest of us who rely on non-verbal clues in our communication this is quite a bind. The voice intonation, the body language, the way people dress, the table manners and so many other details make face to face contact a rich experience.

Being led astray for too long by a stranger who is holding you at mouse length is not a joyful experience. One has to ask the question: Why would you resort to such an artificial social interaction if you live in a city? What has the person got to hide? Are you being groomed by a monster? Is the person hiding a major disability? Is it a massive fear of rejection? Are there loads of emotional baggage? Are we dealing with a victim of rape or incest?

What happened to the matchmakers of old? That is more to the point. Since the systematic attack on the family divorcees are shunned from social interaction. People do not entertain strangers in their homes anymore. People do not organise parties in order to get unrelated folks to cross paths. We do not care about someone else's welfare anymore. Let alone their emotional and social needs. Look at the crowds on the platform at the railway station. Do they talk to each other? Do they acknowledge each other as human beings or do they behave like animals with a herd mentality?

No wonder the casualties of broken homes are being treated like outcasts. The cycle of abuse repeats itself. More rejection causes people to behave in such a way as to be rejected again. They either confirm their prejudice that nobody cares about them by being rude or they are just posers as to blend with the wallpaper. Someone has to break this vicious cycle somewhere! If you are on your own practise the art of breaking a conversation with strangers - compliment them of something you see about them. If you belong to a group watch out for those hovering on the periphery - invite them in, make them feel accepted. The more you practise spotting out a newbie the more chances you will be spotted as the attraction of the party.


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