Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thankful Thursday : It Matters to Me about You











Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping! Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. I thank God upon every remembrance of you!

Today I thank God for His love and care through all the changing scenes in life.

♥ Thank God that no matter what we go through in this life, He is with us (Matthew 28:20).

♥ Thank God that even the difficulties, trials or afflictions that pained us, are actually working together for our good in God's mercies and providence. (Romans 8:28)

♥ Thank God that He is doing a deeper work in our souls to make us what He wants us to be. God is conforming us more and more to the image of Christ. The process is difficult and painful at times but necessary. This is the only way we can bear fruit for Christ (John 15).

♥ Thank God for helping me to live for Him daily admist the various challenges. Thank God for helping me to learn to see things from different angles and to value what God is doing through them. It helps gives me courage to face every tomorrow with God's strength and trusting in His grace that is sufficient for us (2 Corinthians 12:9).

♥ Thank God for His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

♥ I thank God that nothing shall ever separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35-39). Thank God for the assurance that no persecution, sickness, natural disaster, poverty, etc etc and even the lost of life itself, will ever separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

♥ Thank God for this encouraging poem that reminded me of God's love and care. Hope it will encourage you too. No matter what you are going through, He loves and cares for you.

IT MATTERS TO ME ABOUT YOU

My child, I know thy sorrows,
Thine every grief I share;
I know how thou art tested,
And, what is more - I care.

Think not I am indifferent
To what affecteth thee;
Thy weal and woe are matters
Of deep concern to Me.

But, child, I have a purpose
In all that I allow;
I ask thee then to trust Me,
Though all seems dark just now.

How often thou hast asked Me
To purge away thy dross!
But this refining process
Involves for thee - a cross.

There is no other pathway
If thou would'st really be
Conformed unto the image
Of Him Who died for thee.

Thou can'st not be like Jesus
Till self is crucified;
And as a daily process
The cross must be applied.

Just as the skillful gard'ner
Applies the pruning knife,
E'en so, I too would sever
The worthless from thy life.

I have but one sole object -
That thou should'st fruitful be!
And is it not thy longing
That I much fruit should see?

Then shrink not from the training
I needs must give to thee;
I know just how to make thee
What I would have thee be.

Remember that I love thee!
Think not I am unkind,
When trials come to prove thee,
And joy seems left behind.

'Tis but a little longer
Until I come again;
What now seems so mysterious
Will all be then made plain.

Take courage then; and fear not!
Press forward to the prize,
A crown of life awaits thee,
Glory before thee lies!

- Alice C. Lefroy

Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings,
and not one of them is forgotten before God?
But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
Fear not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows.
(Luke 12:6,7)

♥ Thank God for a blessed relationship with Him through our Lord Jesus Christ.

♥ Thank God for what Christ has done on the cross for me so that I can blog for His glory.

♥ Thank God for family, church, friends and fellow bloggers. Thank God for all of you.

How about you? How has the Lord blessed you through the past week?

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a blessed and thankful day!

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris at Sting My Heart. It will be a very blessed and spiritually uplifting experience for you!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday : We are of more value than many sparrows























Matthew 10
29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.
30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.
31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.

This passage of Scriptures brings a lot of comfort to me whenever I read it.

Thank God that He loves us dearly and watch over us daily. He know all about us and what we are going through. Even the hairs on our head are numbered!

God takes feed the sparrow and clothe the lilies. He is with us always and bid us fear not as we are of more value than many sparrows.

May this wonderful knowledge strengthen our hearts each day, as we strive to live for our Lord and serve Him, through all the changing scenes in life.

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods. It will be a very blessed and encouraging experience for you.

Thank you for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Hope you have a blessed day!

(This photo is taken by my friend and brother-in-Christ, CW Fong. Thank God for his kindness to share this photo with us)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Firm Place to Stand by Marja Bergen : New book on finding meaning in a life with bipolar disorder

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements. Thank God for strengthening me and I am feeling better. I am continuing to wait upon God for restoration while making use of my medications, exercise, etc etc and finding encouragements and strength in God and His Words daily.

Now I am excited for my dear friend, Marja Bergen, because she has just launched a new book! It is entitled "A Firm Place to Stand" on how God has enabled her to find meaning in her life with bipolar disorder.

Marja is from British Columbia, Canada. She is a person with bipolar disorder and a faith in Jesus Christ. Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a mood disorder with extreme mood swings ie. mania and clinical depression.

Marja is interested in writing about mental health issues, especially encouraging a more understanding view by the church. In an effort to help her church give support to people with mood disorders, Marja has started a support group called "Living Room". Now she is encouraging groups to start up elsewhere. Marja has been a great blessing, encouragement and help to those who attend Living Room and those of us who read about her experiences there.

Marja is in her early sixties and feel like her life is only starting...and she is excited about it! It is amazing to read of how God has worked wonderfully in Marja's life and continue to do so daily! Praise God!

Do visit Marja's blog at Roller Coaster to read her encouraging postings of her life with bipolar disorder and how the Lord is using her to be a blessing and encouragement to so many people in her church and in the blogging world, including me :-)

Personally, I thank God for causing my path to cross with Marja's in such a wonderful way through blogging. I really value and cherish Marja's friendship. She has been a great encouragement to me by her faith in God and her resilient through so many years of suffering and coping with bipolar. She is always hopeful in God and courageous in facing the many challenges in her life. She is always ready to love others with Christ's love and very generous in encouraging others. She motivates me to fight the good fight of faith and triumph over bipolar. This is one of the greatest blessings I have found through blogging! Thank God for you too and the many other friends God has led me to know through blogging! Praise Him!

Marja Bergen is also the author of "Riding the Roller Coaster : Living with Mood Disorders".

Find out more on how you can purchase these 2 books from Marja's new website. Some notes taken from hers and other websites on these 2 books:

1) A Firm Place to Stand by Marja Bergen : Finding meaning in a life with Bipolar Disorder

"A Firm Place to Stand is a must-read for Christians who struggle with mental health challenges and the faith communities who minister to them.

For too long, society has misunderstood and feared individuals who live with mood disorders. This book dispels the lingering stigma attached to mental health conditions and encourages people to lovingly welcome the sufferers into congregations by understanding them better and supporting them in practical ways.

Most importantly, for the sufferers themselves, A Firm Place to Stand shows that it is possible to have a mental disorder yet be close to God and derive strong support from a growing relationship with Christ.

In her sincere and candid style, Marja Bergen reflects on her forty-two years with bipolar disorder, showing how faith in God can help a person with a serious illness turn weakness into strength. She describes how God transformed her from an insecure, withdrawn person into a leader, an activist, and the founder of Living Room, the growing Christian support group for people with mood disorders."

2) Riding the Roller Coaster by Marja Bergen : Living with Mood Disorders


Mood disorders, such as depression and manic depression, affect up to 10% of the population. Marja Bergen is one of those people. Over the 30 years that she has had manic depression, she has gradually adopted a lifestyle that makes it possible not only to cope, but to live a full and productive life. In Riding the Roller Coaster, she shares very practical tips on such things as escaping the blues before they grab you, what to do when you don't feel like doing anything, and keeping life stable.


Reviews in the Media


Mood Disorders Association of BC

Robert Winram, Executive Director
This excellent first person account is filled with encouragement for those managing mood disorders. It delivers understanding, insight and very tangible strategies on how to overcome the difficulties of depression and manic depression. Marja Bergen gives us a very human perspective drawn from her experiences. Her path to recovery is exciting and positive.

News Leader
Despite increased understanding by the scientific community, there is still a big gap in the understanding of these illnesses by the general public. Long-time Burnaby resident, Marja Bergen, has tried to help bridge this gap. Having suffered with manic depression (or bipolar disorder) for the past 34 years, Bergen knows what it is to experience the elation of mania and the despair of depression in the book, she draws from her experience using personal vignettes from her life as well as offering strategies for dealing with the problems that arise.

Bergen offers encouragement to the reader with essays such as: Dealing with the Stigma, Keeping a Balance, If You Can Trust Yourself...and Building Confidence.

Burnaby NOW
Annie Boulanger
The publication of her book is very timely as there are indications that mood disorders are a growing problem in the workplace.

Personal vignettes and real-life examples abound in Bergen's book, including frank descriptions of her own history, from her first treatments in Riverview, to problems adjusting medications in later years.

The book is easy to read, and while Bergen's style is warm and encouraging, it is also clearly written from her own experience.

The book is not only helpful to sufferers of mood disorder related illnesses, but also to their families to understand what it is that their family member is undergoing.

Wayne A. Holst
This book come highly recommended as integrated resources for pastoral counselors as well as other caregivers in parishes who are committed to working with the spiritual aspects of depression within the larger framework of holistic health.

BC IAPSRS News
Bruce Saunders
Bite-sized essays. Brimming with wisdom, forgiveness, acceptance and practical advice. One can easily pick it up and read just a page.

I especially appreciated the “we” tense used throughout and her just plain good sense of things that often get overlooked in our battle with the pathology.

Marja Bergen has crafted an invaluable tool from her life experience with a challenging condition. A great deal of anguish for sufferers and their families, as well as time and money for the mental health system, would be saved if this book were standard issue for all people diagnosed with manic-depression.

I’d like to see all those engaged in psychosocial rehab reading this book to understand mood disorders better and to recommend it to their clients

Rural Roots
Peter Griffiths
The book is relatively small and easy to read.

It is excellent material, and presented simply and clearly. From her reading, research, and most importantly, her experience of living, Bergen has put together short writings on different aspects of depression and manic, and in a very readable format.

This book needs to be read by sufferers of depression and mania, as well as by their family and friends as well. I also wish that psychiatrists who treat people who suffer from depression or manic would hand out a copy of this book along with their prescriptions. If they did, they would be surprised to find out how more effective the medications would become.


Do visit Marja's blog and the other websites. You will be greatly blessed!

Thanks again for stopping by. Hope you have a blessed weekends.

Take care!

Books

1. A Firm Place to Stand by Marja Bergen

2. A practical workbook for the depressed Christian by Dr John Lockley

3. An unquiet mind by Dr Kay Redfield Jamison

4. Broken Mind by
Steve and Robyn Bloem

5. I'm Not Supposed to Feel Like This by Chris Williams, Paul Richards and Ingrid Whitton


Excerpts from Books

1. Trust during rough times (Excerpt from "A Firm Place to Stand" by Marja Bergen)

2. Finding meaning in a life with bipolar disorder (Excerpt from Marja Bergen's article on canadianchristianity.com)

3. An illness like any other (Excerpt from "Roller Coaster" by Marja Bergen)


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thankful Thursday - We are God's precious children (Letter to My Child)











Thank God that I am finally able to join Thankful Thursday again! I do miss all of you at Thankful Thursday. Thanks for stopping by!

♥ I have been very ill over the last few months and I am thankful to God for preserving and strengthening me daily as I continue to look to Him and wait upon Him.

♥ I am thankful to God for His Words and His presence which comforts me daily.

Isn't it wonderful to remember that God (our Heavenly Father, our beloved Lord Jesus Christ and comforting Holy Spirit) is with us always and He loves us dearly?

I saw this very encouraging "Letter to My Child" on Amy's website. I am thankful to our Heavenly Father for His love for us and what He has done for us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hope this letter will encourage you too as you remember with thankfulness the love and goodness of God.

Dear Child,


You may not know me, but I know everything about you (Psalm 139:1). I know when you sit down and when you rise up (Psalm 139:2). I am familiar with all your ways (Psalm 139:3). Even the very hairs on your head are numbered (Matthew 10:29-31). For you were made in my image (Genesis 1:27). In me you live and move and have your being (Acts 17:28). For you are my offspring (Acts 17:28). I knew you even before you were conceived (Jeremiah 1:4-5) and I chose you when I planned creation (Ephesians 1:11-12). You were not a mistake, for all your days are written in my book (Psalm 139:15-16). I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live (Acts 17:26). You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I knit you together in your mother's womb (Psalm 139:13) and brought you forth on the day you were born (Psalm 71:6). I have been misrepresented by those who don't know me (John 8:41-44). I am not distant and angry, but am the complete expression of love (1 John 4:16) and it is my desire to lavish my love on you (1 John 3:1) simply because you are my child and I am your Father (1 John 3:1). I offer you more than your earthly father ever could (Matthew 7:11) for I am the perfect Father (Matthew 5:48). Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand (James 1:17). I am your provider and I meet all your needs (Matthew 6:31-33). My plan for your future has always been filled with hope (Jeremiah 29:11) because I love you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3). My thoughts toward you are countless as the sand on the seashore (Psalm 139:17-18) and I rejoice over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). I will never stop doing good to you (Jeremiah 32:40) because you are my treasured possession (Exodus 19:5). I desire to establish you with all my heart and all my soul (Jeremiah 32:41) and I want to show you great and marvelous things (Jeremiah 33:3). If you seek me with all your heart, you will find me (Deuteronomy 4:29). Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). It is I who gave you those desires (Philippians 2:13). I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine (Ephesians 3:20). For I am your greatest encourager (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17). I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles (2 Corinthians 1"3-4). When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you (Psalm 34:18). As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to my heart (Isaiah 40:11). One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes (Revelation 21:3-4) and I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth (Revelation 21:3-4). I am your Father, and I love you even as I love my son, Jesus (John 17:23). For in Jesus, my love for you is revealed (John 17:26). He is the exact representation of my being (Hebrews 1:3). He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you (Romans 8:31) and to tell you that I am not counting your sins (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). His death was the ultimate expression of my love for you (1 John 4:10). I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love (Romans 8:31-32). If you receive the gift of my son Jesus, you receive me (1 John 2:23) and nothing will ever separate you from my love again (Romans 8:38-39). Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen (Luke 15:7). I have always been Father, and will always be Father (Ephesians 3:14-15). My question is will you be my child (John 1:12-13)? I am waiting for you (Luke 15:11-32).

Love, Your Father,
Almighty God

♥ I am thankful to my family, church and friends for their prayers, encouragements and kindness. I thank God for blessing me with them.

♥ I am thankful to all of you, my dear blogging friends and visitors, for your friendships, prayers and encouragements. It's a joy and blessing to know all of you.

♥ I am thankful to God for Iris in hosting Thankful Thursday. Thanks Iris and thanks to all of you at Thankful Thursday for sharing with me your thankful heart and encourages me in my walk with the Lord through your sharing. Some of you have been visiting me although I didn't manage to participate in Thankful Thursday for many weeks and it so encourages me in my difficult times. Thank God for sending you in my time of need. Many thanks again and may God bless your kindness to me!

How about you? How has the Lord blessed you through the past week?

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a blessed and thankful day!

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris at Sting My Heart. It will be a very blessed and spiritually uplifting experience for you!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday : The LORD is my strength and song










The LORD is my strength and song. (Psalm 118:14)

Thank God that we can look to our Lord Jesus Christ each day and find our strength and joy in Him Who loved us and gave His life for us.

May this be our comfort and encouragement always!

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do
visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods. It will be a very blessed and encouraging experience for you.

Thank you for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Hope you have a blessed day!

(I took this photo at a Flower Exhibition at Sentosa Island, Singapore)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Just think, you're here not by chance but by God's choosing

I received this very encouraging message from DaySpring which sells Books, Cards, Gifts, etc:

DaySpring's Best Loved Message by Roy Lessin

Just think, you're here not by chance but by God's choosing

Just think,
you're here not by chance,
but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you the person you are.
He compares you to no one else.
You are one of a kind.
You lack nothing
that His grace can't give you.
He has allowed you to be here
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation.

-Roy Lessin

The Story behind the message:

For almost twenty years, the words above have touched thousands of lives. Now DaySpring Writer and Cofounder Roy Lessin shares for the first time how God placed this message on his heart:

I received an assignment to create a birthday card. I had written many birthday messages over the years and wondered what I could share that would be new and different. My thoughts quickly went to Acts 13:36, "For David, after he had served God's will and purpose and counsel in his generation, fell asleep."

I decided to write a birthday card based on this Scripture because I had recently been thinking about the teaching of evolution and the impact it was having on people's lives. "There are many people who find life meaningless," I thought. "they need to know that life is not by chance and that God has a purpose that they can fulfill in their generation."

I lifted my pen and began writing, "Just think, you're not here by chance, but by God's choosing..." A few hours later I put the final touches on the card.


What an encouragement!

When our life is difficult, especially when struggling with clinical depression or other difficulties, we may question whether there is a meaning to our life.

But no matter what we are going through now or how insignificant we feel our life is, may we be encouraged to know that our life is not by chance but by God's choosing.

We are precious in God's sight.

Life is not meaningless. God loves us and He has purposes for us here.

Thank God for His love for us!

"The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." Jeremiah 31:3

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end." Jeremiah 29:11

"I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." Psalm 139:14

Thanks for stopping by and for all your concerns and prayers. Thank God for His goodness and mercies daily as I continue to wait upon Him for restoration.

May you have a blessed week!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday : What shall it profit a man?









Mark 8

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Mar 8:37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
God has been bringing these verses to my mind recently. These are solemn reminders to me to take up my cross daily and follow Christ. I am reminded to set my priority right daily. It will not profit me if I shall gain the whole world but lost my soul. But if I have Christ and live for Him daily, even if I have little in this world, I can have the assurance of eternal fellowship and joy in the Lord.

May this be your comfort and encouragement too!

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do
visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods. It will be a very blessed and encouraging experience for you.

Thank you for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Hope you have a blessed day!

(I took this photo at Changi Beach, Singapore)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

In the daily challenges of life with various ups and downs, it is sometimes very easy to get discouraged.

In my battle with bipolar disorder and especially in coping with clinical depression, sometimes I do feel discouraged.

But I am daily reminded of God's love, goodness and mercies. Though in this life we have various difficulties, God is with us and He will work all things for His glory and our good as we put our trust in our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a great comfort to me.

As I strive to live for the Lord daily, I am reminded that my life is not just for enjoyment of things in this life but rather to do the will of God. During clinical depression, I lost all ability to enjoy everything. But I am reminded that this is a medical condition that can be treated.

While I await God's restoration through medication, exercise, and other means, I realized that God will give me strength to live meaningfully for Him as I seek to do His will.

I read this very encouraging devotional recently which reminded me afresh of what really matters in this life.
"What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"-- Mark 8:36.
SIMON PETER had been urging our Lord to spare Himself the suffering to which He had referred, but He answered that this could not be for Himself, or for any other who would follow in His footsteps. Proceeding from His own deep experience, He went on to show that in the same measure every one must deny his own choice and will and pleasure, in order that he may reach the highest life for himself and others.

It is not necessary for any man to make a cross; it is our part simply to take up that which God has laid down for us. The cross is no exceptional piece of asceticism, but it is the constant refusal to gratify our self-life; the perpetual dying to pride and self-indulgence, in order to follow Christ in His redemptive mission for the salvation of men. And it is in proportion as men live like this that they realize the deepest and truest and highest meaning of life. When we live only to save ourselves, to build warm nests, to avoid every discomfort and annoyance, to make money entirely for our own use and enjoyment, to invent schemes for our own pleasure, we become the most discontented and miserable of mankind. How many there are who have given themselves up to a life of selfishness and pleasure-seeking, only to find their capacity for joy has shrivelled, and their lives plunged into gloom and despair. They have lost their souls!

If a fire is raging, and a millionaire saves his palace from destruction, but in so doing loses his own life, does it pay? And are there not many who are building for themselves palaces of wealth and pleasure, but are losing the power of enjoyment because they are destroying all the finest sensibilities of their nature. Our Lord asks, what does it profit to gain the whole world, and forfeit one's own soul?

But not to adopt the policy of the world is certain to bring upon us dislike and hatred, before which many have been daunted; and yet to refuse Christ's policy of life, and to be ashamed of acknowledging that we are His followers, will mean ultimately our rejection. For how can our Lord use us in any great schemes of the future, if we have failed Him in the limited sphere of our human life?

PRAYER
O God, we have been disappointed because the cisterns that we have hewn out for ourselves have not given the water needed to quench our thirst. Fountain of Living Water, of Thee may we drink! Bread of Life, of Thee may we eat! Light of Life, shine upon our hearts, that we may walk in Thy light. AMEN.

(Taken from Meyer's Devotional, 9 July)

Thank God for His presence and His Words which encourage and strengthen me daily. I pray that God may enable me to live for Him each day as He strengthens me.

Thanks for stopping by, dear friends! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements.

Your friendship, prayers, encouragements and concerns have been used by God to be a great encouragement to me!

The thought of God and you encourages my heart daily. May God bless each of you in His special ways.

Hope you have a blessed weekends! Take care.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday : Be still, and know that I am God.









Be still, and know that I am God... Psalm 46:10

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear...Psalm 46:1

No matter what we go through in this life, may we always find peace and comfort in the Lord because He is our God! May this be our comfort today and everyday!

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do
visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods. It will be a very blessed and encouraging experience for you.

Thank you for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Hope you have a blessed day!

(I took this photo at East Coast Beach, Singapore)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Word-Filled Wednesday : We are more than conquerors through Him that loved us









Thank God for His precious promises:

"... we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:37

May this be our comfort today and everyday!

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do
visit Amy at The 160 Acre Woods. It will be a very blessed and encouraging experience for you.

Thank you for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements. Hope you have a blessed day!

(My friend, Sau, took this lovely photo in Saipan)