Thursday, October 30, 2008

Enjoying nature and photography : My therapeutic hobbies


Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks for your prayers and encouragements.

♥ I am so thankful to God that I am able to go for an outing today with 2 church friends. We went to Changi Airport to see some flowers exhibition. We had a good time of fellowship.

♥ Thank God for the joy of enjoying His creations. God's creations always remind me of His majesty and power. He Who creates us will also take care of us.

♥ Thank God for giving me the joy of photography and to be able to capture some of the beauties of God's creations. These are the flowers I took at the exhibition today.

♥ Thank God for His love for us and His instructions to us on how we are to reflect His love in 1 Corinthians 13.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (KJV)

4 Charity suffereth long,
and is kind;
charity envieth not;
charity vaunteth not itself,
is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly,
seeketh not her own,
is not easily provoked,
thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity,
but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things,
believeth all things,
hopeth all things,
endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)

4 Love is patient,
love is kind.
It does not envy,
it does not boast,
it is not proud.
5 It is not rude,
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects,
always trusts,
always hopes,
always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.
















May God continue to bless you with His love in many wonderful ways every day :)

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris.

Thank you for stopping by. Take care and may God continue to bless you through this week!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Finding meaning in loving others and helping them

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by. Trust you have had a good weekend.

I am late this week to post my Mission4Monday but here I am anyway :-)

I am thankful to God for giving me strength to walk with Him and serve Him.

Having bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) means I am more prone to mood-swings than the average person. I am still learning to recognize early symptoms and how to manage my condition better so that I can be more functional.

But whenever symptoms or suspected symptoms surfaced, there can still be fears and discouragement. I have been feeling very very tired the last few days. I tried to rest but I also couldn't help doing certain things. Especially when it comes to serving God and His people :-)

But I know that I must really learn to slow down and pace myself more moderately. I know from painful experiences that if I do not pace myself carefully, I may over-strain and burn-out, and then clinical depression will follow. A burn-out servant is of little use!

I am thankful to God for encouraging me through His Words as I seek Him during devotion every morning and evening. I also pray and talked to our Lord throughout the day. Thank God that He is with us always!

I am thankful to God for enabling my friend, Marja Bergen, to write her experiences and God's goodness to her in her book "A Firm Place to Stand".

I found the following excerpts very encouraging and trust she will not mind me sharing these portions with you.

It is encouraging to remember that each new day brings an opportunity to pick ourselves up, by the grace of God and move ahead. Nothing that has happened yesterday is so bad that we can't leave it behind and press on in our journey.

I am thankful to God that I can continue to serve Him through this blog as I journal God's goodness and mercies to me daily in managing bipolar disorder and the other challenges in my life.

The knowledge that God loves us and is working all things for His glory and our good, brings great comfort to me personally and gives me courage to face each day no matter how good or how bad it may be. Learning to love others like the way God loves me brings me greatest satisfaction and enable me to find meaning in life, just like the way Marja did. May you too find great joy and satisfaction in God as you seek to do His will and rest in His faithfulness, love and mercies.


Excerpts taken from Marja Bergen's "A Firm Place To Stand":
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.Philippians 3:13-14

Each new day brings an opportunity to pick myself up and move ahead. It's a fresh start, a clean slate. The past is history.

Nothing that happened yesterday is so bad I can't leave it behind and, at least for today, look to what is ahead. I don't want to look way out into the distant future. The next few hours are all that matter now. What will I do today? How will I live today?... This is the day the Lord has made....

As I go about my daily activities, I thought endlessly about what was important in life and how I would like to use my time. I decided to give instead of take; I wanted to make instead of use. I reached the conclusion that I wanted the world to be a better place after I died because I had been there...

Once I had found God and my spiritual journey had begun, my outlook in life quickly changed. My new discovery of how God loved me and had a purpose for my life gave me a great joy. It filled me up.

I learned from my Bible readings how God wanted me to love others as He loved me. This was my desire. I wanted to give to others what God has given to me. I felt called to follow Jesus' model.

During my morning prayers, I asked God to fill me with his love and help me share it with others.

Jesus said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive' (Acts 20:35). This was true for me. Giving of myself was healing, and I became happier. Eventually, God's love led me to a life I could never have imagined possible in my early years as a Christian. Jesus gave me opportunities to serve that, at one time, would have been far beyond me.

And, I made another discovery: heirlooms made of cloth and yarn do not compare to caring for those around us. I didn't have to do anything grand. I didn't have to be famous or make a lot of money. Keeping Christ's love in my heart as I spent time with others and worked for their welfare was enough.

I learned to understand that whatever I do for others, I do for God. And when I give to others, I'm no longer in the victim's role.

I found meaning in having compassion and helping others. I often look back at what Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30: 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' I have found the rest Jesus spoke of, and today I carry the burden of Jesus of supporting and encouraging others. This has given my life deep meaning.

I walk with God and let God lead. The unfolding adventure is a beautiful thing, one long mystery tour. I don't know where God will take me next, but I don't need to be afraid. '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. My life is in God's hands."


For more Mission 4 Monday posts, visit Peggy.

Thanks again for stopping by and your encouragements. May God grant you a very blessed week!

Take care.

Related Posts:

About depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) and mental illness or mood disorders:
1. About bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
2. Myths and Facts on Mental Illness
3. Treatment of bipolar disorder
4. Various pamphlets and articles on bipolar disorder for sufferer and carer
5. Recovery steps for depression and bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness

For friends and carers:
1. Helping someone with mood disorder
2. Family and Friends' Guide to Recovery from Depression and Bipolar Disorder
3. How Carers and Friends can help

Other recent related posts:

1. Trust during rough times
2. Finding meaning in a life with bipolar disorder
3. Mental illness (depression, bipolar disorder, etc) is an illness like any other
4. Video on "Depression - A Stubborn Darkness"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

When we all get to Heaven, Softly and Tenderly

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by. Thanks again for all your prayers and encouragements.

I am so thankful that tomorrow is the Lord's day.

The Lord's day is an emblem of that eternal rest that we shall enjoy one day in eternity when the Lord calls us home.

There we shall be able to worship Him everyday, enjoy His love and fellowship without the hindrance of sins and remaining corruptions. There will be no more tears, sicknesses, disappointments, death, etc.

How I long for that day! But I know our Lord wants me here still to serve Him and therefore I must wait patiently until He calls me home :-)

Meanwhile, I pray that He will enable me to serve Him cheerfully and faithfully in whatever He wants me to do.

Hope these 2 hymns "When we all get to Heaven" and "Softly and Tenderly" encourage our hearts as we press on in this pilgrim journey with the joyful anticipation that if we have truly trusted in our Lord Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord, one day we shall get to Heaven and enjoy His love and fellowship forever because of what He has done on the cross for us. Meanwhile, He bids us daily to come unto Him and find rest in Him because He cares for us, He will never leave us nor forsake us and His grace is sufficient for us.



When We All Get To Heaven

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace.
In the mansions bright and bless├Ęd
He’ll prepare for us a place.

Refrain

When we all get to Heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when traveling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.

Refrain

Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.

Refrain

Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.

Refrain





May the Lord grant you a restful weekend and spiritually refreshing Lord's day.

Take care!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thank God for His mercies through another year












Dear Friends,

Thank you for stopping by my Word-Filled Wednesday and Thankful Thursday post.

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements. I thank God for everyone of you.





"Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens; and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds." Psalm 36:5


♥ I am thankful to God for His mercies and faithfulness in seeing me through another year of knowing Him, walking with Him and serving Him. Today is my 42nd birthday :-) Yes, I am this old :-)

♥ I am thankful to God for 2 kind friends who celebrated my birthday in advance for me yesterday. They gave me a treat to a meal as well as bought me a lovely cake. They sang "Blessed Birthday" to me and we enjoyed the fellowship and food. Thank God!

♥ I am thankful to God for creating me and giving me eternal life too so that I can enjoy Him here and for eternity because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us.

♥ I am thankful to God for blessing me with my family who love me, a church who loved Christ and me, and so many friends and blogging friends who love Christ and me. I thank God for each and everyone of you! May God bless you always in your kindness to me.

♥ I am thankful to God for seeing me through the past 1 year of freelance work and provided for my every need. He is Jehovah-Jireh!

♥ I am thankful to God that through working freelance He has enables me to have more time to serve Him through visiting the sick and elderly in my church, helping to update part of my church's website, prepare Mandarin Bulletin for the elderly and some publication work. It has always been my desire to give of myself more to the service of our Lord in my church and I am thankful to God that through His kind providence He has made it possible to me.

♥ I am thankful to God that through working freelance I am able to take better care of my mother and spend more time with her. I felt that I have come to know her better through the past 1 year than I have known her for the 41 years before this!

♥ I am thankful to God that through working freelance I can continue to serve Him through this blog. I know I need to pace myself moderately. So it is with much reluctance that I am taking a break from active blogging due to tiredness and over-whelming tasks on hand. I am thankful to many of you who continues to visit me and encourage me with your prayers and kind words.

My apology that I am not able to return to active blogging yet and therefore will not be able to return as many visits to you as I would like to. But know that I appreciate your visit and will remember you in prayers. I have difficulties spending too much time in front of the pc at this moment. So I will try to stop by your blog every now and then but I may not be able to read much or comment much like I used to do yet. I am praying and looking forward to come back to blogging more regularly as I do missed all of you :-) You are very dear to me.

♥ I am thankful to God for Willow and Lorie for sharing with me these 2 Awards ie. If You Ever Need a Hand, I'm Here Award and Nisha's Friendship Award.

I like to share these sweet awards with all of you who visit me, pray for me and encourage me in so many ways. Thanks for your Friendship and being here when I need you! May God bless you for your kindness to me.















Do take these Award and pass them on to your Friends who are there for you whenever you need them!

May God continue to bless you with His love and mercies today and every day :)

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do
visit Amy.

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris.

Thank you for stopping by. Take care and may God continue to bless you through this week!

Monday, October 20, 2008

You are my Hiding Place

Dear Friends,

Thank you for stopping by! Thanks again for all your prayers and encouragements.

Trust you have had a blessed weekend :-)

I am thankful to God for blessing my Lord's day through His Words and fellowship of His people.

I am thankful to God that He is my Hiding Place!

Whenever I feel continuous fatigue as what I have been feeling on and off during these few weeks, I do have the fear of burnout and falling into clinical depression again.

I am thankful to God that I can cast my cares upon Him knowing that He will continue to sustain me and work His ways for me.

I am thankful to God that by His mercies and providence, I am learning to be more aware and to slow down :-)

In my moments of anxieties and uncertainties, I am thankful to God that I can trust in Him. He is my Hiding Place. He will strengthen me and continue to give me grace to walk with Him and serve Him daily.

Thank you for all your prayers! I am wonderfully upheld by the Lord and I know this is no least owing to your prayers to God for me!

I am remembering you in prayers too.

May this lovely video with these encouraging songs "You are my Hiding Place" and "As the deer" uplift our hearts as we consider afresh God's love and care upon us daily.

No matter what we go through daily, He is our Hiding Place. He will preserve us and work deliverance for us. What time we are afraid, let us trust in Him.

May our hearts long after Him daily and enjoy sweet communion with Him until He calls us home.

You are my Hiding Place

You are my hiding place,
You always fill my heart with songs of deliverance.
Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You.
I will trust in You.
Let the weak say I am strong in the strength of my Lord.





"Thou [art] my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah." Psalm 32:7

"What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee." Psalm 56:3

Thanks for stopping by.

Take care and may God bless you through this week!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

As the Deer

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for all your prayers, encouragements and kind comments.

Thank God I am well though rather tired. I am still learning to pace myself as I cope with various challenges daily. Thank God that He is with me and He gives me joy and strength in Him daily.

I missed all of you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

May the Lord will bless you with a very restful and refreshing weekend and Lord's day.

Hope this song, Like a Deer will encourage your heart.

As the hart panteth after the water brooks, may our souls panteth after our God, our Lord, our Redeemer!

"As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God." Psalm 42:1


As The Deer


As the deer panteth for the water,
So my soul longs after you.
You alone are my hearts desire,
And I long to worship You.

Chorus
You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my hearts desire,
and I long to worship You.

I want you more than gold or silver,
Only You can satisfy.
You alone are the real joy giver
And the apple of my eye.

Chorus
You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my hearts desire,
and I long to worship You.

You're my friend and You're my brother,
Even though you are a King.
I love You more than any other
So much more than anything.

Chorus
You alone are my strength, my shield;
To You alone may my spirit yield.
You alone are my hearts desire,
and I long to worship You.





Thanks again for stopping by.

May the Lord will bless you with a very restful and refreshing weekend and Lord's day.

Take care!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Turn your eyes upon Jesus












Dear Friends,

Thank you for stopping by. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements. I thank God for everyone of you.

I do apologize once again for my inability to visit your blogs yet. I missed all of you and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

I am not able to return to active blogging yet as I am still learning to pace myself and there are much to be done with the things on hand.

During this period of short break from blogging the Lord has continue to deal graciously with me.

This morning the Lord filled my heart with praise and thanksgiving as I recounted afresh His goodness and mercies in giving me rest and salvation while I was yet a sinner and my soul was weary with sins.

After saving me, He continues to give me rest in Him along this pilgrim journey. My walk with the Lord has many ups and downs but I have found the rest that our Lord spoke about and He gives me strength for each new day.

So I could not resist but post my Word-Filled Wednesday and Thankful Thursday to share with you God's goodness and mercies to me, and to us who belong to Him!


















♥ I am thankful to God that He bids us to come to Him and He promised to give us rest.

If you are labouring under the burdens of sin or cares of the world, sickness, troubles, and other burdens, may you come unto our Lord Jesus Christ and find the rest that is in Him. For He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) because He has loved us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)

♥ I am thankful to God for the abundant life that He has given to us when we trust in Him. Though in this life we have many ups and downs, God is in control and He is lovingly working all things for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28)

♥ I am thankful to God that when we turn our eyes upon our Lord Jesus Christ, the things on this earth then seems strangely dim. Thank God that we can have the blessed hope of being in eternity with Him to worship Him, enjoy His love and fellowship. Let us then run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith.

♥ I am thankful to God for blessing me with my family who love me, a church who loved Christ and me, and so many friends and blogging friends who love Christ and me. I thank God for each and everyone of you! May God bless you always in your kindness to me.

Hope this encouraging hymn will bring comfort and encouragement to us as we remember afresh God's love for us in giving us the Lord Jesus Christ to die for our sins and to reconcile us to Him. When we are weary and troubled, let us Turn our eyes unto Jesus.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Refrain

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

Refrain

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Refrain





May God continue to bless you with His love and mercies today and every day :)

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do
visit Amy.

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris.

Thank you for stopping by. My apology again that I am not able to return to active blogging yet and therefore will not be able to return visits to you. But know that I appreciate your visit and will remember you in prayers.

Take care and may God continue to bless you through this week!

Monday, October 13, 2008

How great Thou art!

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements. Thank you for the sweet comments you have left me.

I am thankful to God that He continues to preserve me daily and grants me the joy of trusting in Him and serving Him.

Just a short note to let you know that I am well and pressing on in the Lord's strength and grace daily. I missed all of you and hope to be back blogging soon.

Meanwhile, I like to share with you this encouraging hymn which the Lord has used to encourage me.

May you be encouraged too that we serve a Great God!

As we consider His mercies, grace and lovingkindness, may our hearts be lifted up to Him in praise and thanksgiving daily.

How great Thou art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!




Thanks again for stopping by. Take care and may God grant you a blessed week!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Some Awards to share with you while I take a short break

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by.

My sincere apology for not being able to visit many of you in these recent weeks and especially these few days.

Lately, I have been rather swarmed by some family commitments, works and other unforseen circumstances.

I am also still learning to pace myself moderately so that I don't over-stretch myself and burnout again.

I will try to post every now and then for the benefit of my readers.

But due to time constraints, I am tentatively taking a short break from visiting blogs. So sorry about that!

I will try to resume visiting your blogs as soon as I can as I really missed reading your posts. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

I am thankful to God and to all of you who have kindly joined in my First Give-away. I will be in touch with you as soon as I can and will post the bookmarks to you. My apology for the delay!

Meanwhile, I like to share with everyone of you, the following Awards which some kind friends have given to me in the recent weeks.

I am thankful to God that I can meet so many of you through blogging. I am thankful for all your prayers and encouragements.

I thank you for sowing the seeds of Christ's Love and lifting up my spirit through your blogs and comments.

I pray that you will share these 2 Awards with others who have touched your heart and uplifted your spirit by sowing seeds of love into your life through their blogs or comments!


Faithful Servant Award Sowing Seeds of Love!
Thanks Jill and Willow!
(Thanks Jill for creating this lovely Award and sharing with us!)




You lift my spirit Award
Thanks Serendipity (LS & Happy)!


So please accept these 2 sweet awards and pass them on to all your dear blogging friends who are faithfully sowing seeds of Christ's love and uplifting your spirit through their lives and blog daily! All praise and glory be to God!

Take care. I hope to be back soon!

Thank you for stopping by. Hope you have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another











Dear Friends,

Thank you for stopping by my Word-Filled Wednesday (WFW) and Thankful Thursday (TT) post, and the results of my First-Giveaway!

For Word-Filled Wednesday, I like to share this encouraging verse from 1 John 5:11 with you.


(I took this photo at a flower exhibition in Singapore. This flower is the national flower of Singapore. It is called Vanda Miss Joaquim var. Agnes. It is an orchid hybrid, and was selected as Singapore's National Flower on 15 April 1981.)


1 John 5:7-13, 19

7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

19 We love him, because he first loved us.


♥ I am thankful to God for demonstrating His love for me by sending His only begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for me to redeem me from eternal damnation and to forgive me of my sin, reconcile me to Himself and give me eternal life.

♥ I am thankful to God for encouraging me through His Words daily, guiding me to walk in His ways, comforting me through all the trials and challenges in my life, and filling me with joy in believing in Him and His precious promises.

♥ I am thankful to God for blessing me with my family who love me. As I am the only Christian in my family, I do covet your prayers that God may in His time give me the joy of seeing my mother, sister and 2 brothers coming to know Him savingly.

♥ I am thankful to God for giving me a church who loves Christ and loves me. They have been a great support and encouragement to me as I strive to live for our Lord and serve Him. In all my afflictions and difficult struggles with clinical depression and bipolar disorder, they have demonstrated extraordinary love, kindness and support. Due to my health condition, I am doing some freelance work of selling my Homemade Bookmarks, Cards and Gifts and some freelance administrative work. The Lord in His faithfulness has been providing for me through the kind love gifts of some brethren in my church who gave cheerfully and anonymously as unto the Lord. Through these kind love gifts plus the income from my freelance works, all my needs have been met over the last 1 year. All praise and glory be to God!

♥ I am thankful to God that I can serve Him through this blog. It has been a great blessing for me to share my life and God's goodness to me, as well as some useful resources and articles with you. I have been greatly blessed by your kind comments especially in letting me know how the posts here have been helpful to you. Thank God and thank you!

♥ I am thankful to God for the prayers and encouragements of so many of you! It is my joy and privilege to meet all of you through blogging! I am greatly blessed and encouraged by many of you. Thank you for your friendships! I like to share the following blog award with all of you!

♥ I am thankful to God and to Willow and Jill of Forever n Ever n Always for sharing this sweet award with me and blogging friends. Jill created this award to share with us. She loves the Lord and is a great encourager to many of us who knows her by her encouraging posts and comments. Do visit Jill if you do not know her yet!

I am glad to share this sweet award with you, my dear Readers and Blogging Friends. Do take this Award, post it on your blog and share it with your friends!

This is what Jill said on her post and I say Amen to it! It expresses my thankfulness to God and appreciation of all of you and the way God has used you to bless my life!
"... I gave out the award I designed to share with each of you who reads my blog and shares my passion for Christ! I am deeply thankful for the many friends I have met along this journey since entering blogland. Many of you have touched my heart and life in ways that have changed me eternally! I thank you for being a faithful servant and being obedient to the upward calling every time you share a piece of His heart living out in you! I pray that you will share this award with others who have touched your heart by sowing seeds of love into your life! They will know we are His by how we love one another! Let us sow seeds of love throughout the blogging world and touch the hearts of those who come to read what we all share! To HIM be all the glory forever and ever! AMEN!"




Please accept this sweet award and pass it on to all your dear friends who are faithfully sowing seeds of Christ's love through their lives and blog daily! All praise and glory be to God!

♥ I am thankful to God and to all of you who have kindly join in my First Give-away last Wednesday. I am greatly encouraged by your heartfelt participation, your many kind words of encouragements and the good suggestions that you have made!

I am so overwhelmed by all your comments! I must confess that I am having a hard time deciding whom to give the bookmarks to!

I have initially planned to give 5 or more of you the set of 6 bookmarks each.

But as I read all your 40+ encouraging comments, I feel compel to give the bookmarks to as many of you as possible as your comments are very encouraging and precious to me on how I may continue to serve our Lord through this blog!

So God willing, I am going to give some bookmarks to each and everyone of you who have participated in my First Give-away last Wednesday.

Yes! In other words, I am hoping to mail you between 6 to 2 bookmarks depending on your comments.

But it will also mean I will take a while to make and post these bookmarks to you.

Will you mind?

If you do not mind waiting and would really like to have the bookmarks, please email me the following at morethanconquerors2008@gmail.com:

1) Your Full name
2) Your Home Address
3) Your Blog so that I can identify who you are :)

And don't forget to leave a comment here too to let me know that you have emailed me.

I will be in touch with you as soon as I can after that. I will let you know individually through email how many bookmarks you will be getting.

To make this gift a more meaningful one to you, I will be giving you the liberty to choose your favorite bookmarks from my Homemade Bookmarks, Cards and Gifts website.

So do email me if you do not mind waiting and really wish to own these bookmarks!

♥ I am thankful to God for the friendship that we can enjoy in Him because of what He had done for us and in us. In appreciation of your love in Christ and friendship, I want to share this very very encouraging video on the reunion of Christian the Lion and his 2 owners, and the wonderful lasting friendships between them. May God bless us in our friendships with our loved ones and brethren in the family of God, and our long distance friendship through blogging. Thank God that though we are separated by many mountains and seas, we can meet together before His throne of grace daily and walk together through our sharing on our blogs. Thanks again for all your visits and encouragements! All praise and glory be to God!




Love knows no limits and true friendship lasts a lifetime.
Get back in touch with someone today.
You'll be glad you did.

(Personally I am not a fan of Whitney Houston, but I do enjoy the portion of this song to go with the video in which it express the love between Christian and his owner)

To read the true accounts on Christian the Lion, visit :

'Hugging' lion owner reveals secret

The story behind 'Christian the lion' hugging video unfolds

Thanks again for your visits, prayers and encouragements.

Remember to take the Award with you and pass it on to your friends and email me if you want the bookmarks.


I am thrilled to get my own Guest Book!

Please sign my Guest Book if you can! It's on top, just before this post.

Thanks to all of you who have signed my Guest Book!


May God continue to bless you with His love and mercies today and every day :)

For more Word-Filled Wednesday participants, do
visit Amy.

For more participants of Thankful Thursday, do visit Iris.

Thank you for stopping by. Hope you have a blessed day!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Recovery steps for depression and bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness

Dear Friends,

Thanks for stopping by this Mission 4 Monday post.

I am thankful to God that I can continue to serve Him through this blog.

One of the missions of my blog is to share with others God's goodness and mercies to me in managing clinical depression and bipolar disorder, as well as to share resources that will benefit a person with a mood disorder and information for their family and loved ones.

Depression and bipolar disorder are mood disorders, real physical illnesses that affect a person’s moods, thoughts, body, energy and emotions.

Treatment for these illnesses can also have ups and downs. As much as we may want it to, wellness often does not happen overnight. It is normal to wish we could feel better faster or to worry that we will never feel better.

It is important to know that we can feel better, and that ultimately we are in charge of our recovery. There are many things we can do to help ourselves. God is with us and He has provided helps that we can make use of by His grace and strength. We need to pray that God gives us grace and wisdom to make use of all the means available and suitable to our particular condition. We each need to discover what works best for us as we are very unique and different from one another. There is no one single solution but God will help us as we look to Him.

Relief of symptoms is only the first step in treating depression or bipolar disorder. Wellness, or recovery, is a return to a life that we care about. Recovery happens when our illness stops getting in the way of our life. We may still experience the symptoms once in a while, but we can learn to manage our conditions so that we can be as functional as possible and our symptoms no longer hinder or crippled us.

To work towards wellness or achieve wellness may take time and effort, and much prayers to God for grace and wisdom to make use of available resources and help, for Him to make these means effective to us. A support network of our family and loved ones, and working closely with our health professionals such as our medical doctor and therapist or counsellor are extremely crucial too.

I am thankful to God that He has provided me with a very caring and kind psychiatrist who is determine to equip me with the necessary knowledge and skill to manage my condition so that I can be more functional and be a useful person in the community. With medical helps and learning to keep a mood chart to monitor fluctuations on my mood, and various other coping strategies, I am beginning to learn how to recognize early symptoms of relapses or worsening symptoms, and what I can do to get better.

Earlier in my diagnosis of bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness last year (2007), I have benefited from some sessions of counseling or talk therapy with a Christian lady counselor who helps me to understand my confusing past, what is mood disorders and how it can affect my thoughts and feelings, and how God is sustaining me and working all things for His glory and my good. Through her help, by the mercy and providence of God, I have embarked on a new journey of understanding God, myself and others better and how best I can love God and others, and serve Him and His people.

It is my joy and privilege, to share this journey, with you dear Readers. It is my sincere prayers that the resources and sharing on this blog will continue to glorify God as you sense His presence with me, strengthening me and uplifting me. May these posts also brings hope and comfort to you knowing that you are not alone and that God has provided resources and means for you and I to manage our condition. Through this affliction, we will know more and more of His sufficiency and mercy. Nothing in this world will last forever, not even our health but only our relationship with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He will never leave us nor forsake us, and He is lovingly working all things for His glory and our good (Romans 8:28). We are more than conquerors through Him Who loved us (Romans 8:37)!

The following encouraging article on "Recovery steps for depression and bipolar disorder or manic-depressive illness" is taken from the website of Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

Relief of symptoms is only the first step in treating depression or bipolar disorder. Wellness, or recovery, is a return to a life that you care about. Recovery happens when your illness stops getting in the way of your life.

What is Recovery?

SAMSHA (the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Mental Health Services) (http://www.samhsa.gov/) defines recovery as:

Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.

Next Steps in Recovery

Depression and bipolar disorder are mood disorders, real physical illnesses that affect a person’s moods, thoughts, body, energy and emotions. Both illnesses, especially bipolar disorder, tend to follow a cyclical course, meaning they have ups and downs.

Treatment for these illnesses can also have ups and downs. As much as we may want it to, wellness often does not happen overnight. It is normal to wish you could feel better faster or to worry that you will never feel better. However, know that you can feel better, and that ultimately you are in charge of your recovery. There are many things you can do to help yourself.

Relief of symptoms is only the first step in treating depression or bipolar disorder. Wellness, or recovery, is a return to a life that you care about. Recovery happens when your illness stops getting in the way of your life. You decide what recovery means to you.

You have the right to recover according to your needs and goals. Talk to your health care provider (HCP) about what you need from treatment to reach your recovery. Your HCP can provide the treatment(s) and/or medication(s) that work best for you. Along the way, you have a right to ask questions about the treatments you are getting and choose the treatments you want.

It can also be helpful to work with a therapist, family member, friend and peer supporters to help define your recovery. Your definition of a meaning life may change at different times in life. At times, depression and bipolar disorder might make it seem difficult to set a goal for yourself.

Sometimes it might feel almost impossible to think about the things that you hope for or care about. But goal setting is an important part of wellness, no matter where you are on your path to recovery. Work on what you can when you can.

Setting Goals

Identifying life goals is the heart of the recovery process. When we see a future for ourselves, we begin to become motivated to do all we can to reach that future. Goals can be big or small, depending on where you are in your recovery journey.

Ask yourself:

  • What motivates me?
  • What interests me?
  • What would I do more if I could?
  • What do I want?
  • What do I care about, or what did I care about before my illness?
  • Where do I want my life to go?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What are my dreams and hopes?

It can help to start small and work up to larger goals. You might want to begin by setting one small goal for yourself at the beginning of each day. As you move forward with your recovery, look at the different areas of your life and think about your short and long term goals.

Short term goals might include:

  • Be out of bed by xx:00 am.
  • Finish one household chore.
  • Call a DBSA support group.

Long term goals might include:

  • Get training or experience for a job.
  • Change a living situation, e.g., find an apartment
  • Build a relationship with a friend or family member.

Remember break your goals down into small steps at first. Looking at a goal such as 'move to a new city' can be difficult to visualize and plan all at once. Ask yourself what you need to do first. What can you do now that will help you eventually reach this goal? Not only will this help move you closer to your goal, but it will also help give you a positive feeling of accomplishment.

What are some things I can do that might help me feel better?

Know the difference between your symptoms and your true self. Your HCPs can help you separate your true identity from your symptoms by helping you see how your illness affects your behavior. Be open about behaviors you want to change and set goals for making those changes.

Educate your family and involve them in treatment when possible. They can help you spot symptoms, track behaviors and gain perspective. They can also give encouraging feedback and help you make a plan to cope with any future crises.

Work on healthy lifestyle choices. Recovery is also about a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular sleep, healthy eating, and the avoidance of alcohol, drugs, and risky behavior.

Find the treatment that works for you. Talk to your HCP about your medications' effects on you, especially the side effects that bother you. Remember to chart these effects so that you can discuss them fully with your HCP. You might need to take a lower dosage, a higher dosage, or a different medication. You might need to switch your medication time from morning to evening or take medication on a full stomach. There are many options for you and your HCP to try. Side effects can be reduced or eliminated. It is very important to talk to your HCP first before you make any changes to your medication or schedule.

Talk with your HCP first if you feel like changing your dosage or stopping your medication. Explain what you want to change and why you think it will help you.

Treatments for Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Treatments that work can help you:

  • Reach your goals.
  • Build on the strengths you have and the things you can do.
  • Plan your health care based on your needs.
  • Live your life without the interference of symptoms.

Treatments can include some or all of these elements: therapy, medications, peer support, and overall lifestyle changes.

Medications for Depression and Bipolar Disorder

Your HCP might prescribe one or more medications to treat your symptoms. These may include:

■ Mood stabilizers: These medications help balance your highs and lows. Some mood stabilizer medications are called anticonvulsants, because they are also used to treat epilepsy.

■ Antidepressants: These medications help lift the symptoms of depression. There are several different classes (types) of antidepressants.

■ Antipsychotics: These medications are primarily used to treat symptoms of mania. Even if you are not hallucinating or having delusions, these medications can help slow racing thoughts to a manageable speed.

Talk Therapy

There are many types of talk therapy that can help you address issues in your life and learn new ways to cope with your illness. Goal setting is an important part of talk therapy. Talk therapy can also help you to:

  • Understand your illness
  • Overcome fears or insecurities
  • Cope with stress
  • Make sense of past traumatic experiences
  • Separate your true personality from the mood swings caused by your illness
  • Identify triggers that may worsen your symptoms
  • Improve relationships with family and friends
  • Establish a stable, dependable routine
  • Develop a plan for coping with crises
  • Understand why things bother you and what you can do about them
  • End destructive habits such as drinking, using drugs, overspending or risky sex
  • Address symptoms like changes in eating or sleeping habits, anger, anxiety, irritability or unpleasant feelings

Peer Support

Support from people who understand is another important part of recovery. There are many ways to get this support. DBSA offers a variety of ways to interact with your peers, such as support groups, discussion forums, and an interactive chat room.

Lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle is always important. Even if symptoms of depression or bipolar disorder make things like physical activity, healthy eating or regular sleep difficult, you can improve your moods by improving your health. Take advantage of the good days you have. On these days, do something healthy for yourself. It might be as simple as taking a short walk, eating a fresh vegetable or fruit, or writing in a journal. A talk about lifestyle changes should be a part of your goal setting with your HCPs.

You have the power to change. You are the most important part of your wellness plan. Your treatment plan will be unique to you. It will follow some basic principles and paths, but you and your HCPs can adapt it to fit you. A healthy lifestyle and support from people who have been there can help you work with your HCP and find a way to real and lasting wellness.

Family and Friends' Guide to Recovery From Depression and Bipolar Disorder

When a friend or family member has an episode of depression or bipolar disorder (manic depression), you might be unsure about what you can do to help. You might wonder how you should treat the person. You may be hesitant to talk about the person’s illness, or feel guilty, angry, or confused. All of these things are normal.

There are ways you can help friends or family members throughout their recovery while empowering them to make their own choices.

The Five Stages of Recovery

It can be helpful to view recovery as a process with five stages. People go through these stages at different speeds. Recovery from an illness like depression or bipolar disorder, like the illness itself, has ups and downs. Friends and family who are supportive and dependable can make a big difference in a person’s ability to cope within each of these stages.

1. Handling the Impact of the Illness
Being overwhelmed and confused by the illness.

An episode of mania or depression, especially one that causes major problems with relationships, money, employment or other areas of life, can be devastating for everyone involved. A person who needs to be hospitalized may leave the hospital feeling confused, ashamed, overwhelmed, and unsure about what to do next.

What friends and family can do:

  • Offer emotional support and understanding.
  • Help with health care and other responsibilities.
  • Offer to help them talk with or find health care providers.
  • Keep brief notes of symptoms, treatment, progress, side effects and setbacks in a journal or personal calendar.
  • Be patient and accepting.

Your loved one’s illness is not your fault or theirs. It is a real illness that can be successfully treated. Resist the urge to try to fix everything all at once. Be supportive, but know that your loved one is ultimately responsible for his or her own treatment and lifestyle choices.

2. Feeling Like Life is Limited
Believing life will never be the same.

At this stage, people take a hard look at the ways their illness has affected their lives. They may not believe their lives can ever change or improve. It is important that friends, families, and health care providers instill hope and rebuild a positive self-image.

What friends and family can do:

  • Believe in the person’s ability to get well.
  • Tell them they have the ability to get well with time and patience. Instill hope by focusing on their strengths.
  • Work to separate the symptoms of the illness from the person’s true personality. Help the person rebuild a positive self-image.
  • Recognize when your loved one is having symptoms and realize that communication may be more difficult during these times. Know that symptoms such as social withdrawal come from the illness and are probably not a reaction to you.
  • Do your best not to rush, pressure, hover or nag.

A mood disorder affects a person’s attitude and beliefs. Hopelessness, lack of interest, anger, anxiety, and impatience can all be symptoms of the illness. Treatment helps people recognize and work to correct these types of distorted thoughts and feelings. Your support and acceptance are essential during this stage.

3. Realizing and Believing Change is Possible
Questioning the disabling power of the illness and believing life can be different.

Hope is a powerful motivator in recovery. Plans, goals, and belief in a better future can motivate people to work on day-to-day wellness. At this stage people begin to believe that life can be better and change is possible.

What friends and family can do:

  • Empower your loved on to participate in wellness by taking small steps toward a healthier lifestyle. This may include:
    • Sticking with the same sleep and wake times
    • Consistently getting good nutrition
    • Doing some sort of physical activity or exercise
    • Avoiding alcohol and substances
    • Finding a DBSA support group
    • Keeping health care appointments and staying with treatment
  • Offer reassurance that the future can and will be different and better. Remind them they have the power to change.
  • Help them identify things they want to change and things they want to accomplish.

Symptoms of depression and bipolar disorder may cause a hopeless, “what’s the point?” attitude. This is also a symptom of the illness. With treatment, people can and will improve. To help loved ones move forward in recovery, help them identify negative things they are dissatisfied with and want to change, or positive things they would like to do. Help them work toward achieving these things.

4. Commitment to Change
Exploring possibilities and challenging the disabling power of the illness.

Depression and bipolar disorder are powerful illnesses, but they do not have to keep people from living fulfilling lives. At this stage, people experience a change in attitude. They become more aware of the possibilities in their lives and the choices that are open to them. They work to avoid feeling held back or defined by their illness. They actively work on the strategies they have identified to keep themselves well. It is helpful to focus on their strengths and the skills, resources and support they need.

What friends and family can do:

  • Help people identify:
    • Things they enjoy or feel passionate about
    • Ways they can bring those things into their lives
    • Things they are dissatisfied with and want to change
    • Ways they can change those things
    • Skills, strengths and ideas that can help them reach their goals.
    • Resources that can help build additional skills
  • Help them figure out what keeps them well.
  • Encourage and support their efforts.

The key is to take small steps. Many small steps will add up to big positive changes. Find small ways for them to get involved in things they care about. These can be activities they enjoy, or things they want to change, in their own lives or in the world.

5. Actions for Change
Moving beyond the disabling power of the illness.

At this stage, people turn words into actions by taking steps toward their goals. For some people, this may mean seeking full-time, part-time or volunteer work, for others it may mean changing a living situation or working in mental health advocacy.

What friends and family can do:

  • Help your friends or family members to use the strengths and skills they have.
  • Keep their expectations reachable and realistic without holding them back.
  • Help them find additional resources and supports to help them reach their goals step-by-step.
  • Continue to support them as they set new goals and focus on life beyond their illness.
  • Help them identify and overcome negative or defeatist thinking.
  • Encourage them to take it easy on themselves and enjoy the journey.

People with depression or bipolar disorder have the power to create the lives they want for themselves. When they look beyond their illness, the possibilities are limitless.

What you can say that helps:

  • You are not alone in this. I’m here for you.
  • I understand you have a real illness and that’s what causes these thoughts and feelings.
  • You many not believe it now, but the way you’re feeling will change.
  • I may not be able to understand exactly how you feel but I care about you and want to help.
  • When you want to give up, tell yourself you will hold of for just one more day, hour, minute - whatever you can manage.
  • You are important to me. Your life is important to me.
  • Tell me what I can do now to help you.
  • I am here for you. We will get through this together.

Avoid saying:

  • It’s all in your head.
  • We all go through times like this.
  • You’ll be fine. Stop worrying.
  • Look on the bright side.
  • You have so much to live for why do you want to die?
  • I can’t do anything about your situation.
  • Just snap out of it.
  • Stop acting crazy.
  • What’s wrong with you?
  • Shouldn’t you be better by now?

What to find out:

Contact information (including emergency numbers) for your loved one’s doctor, therapist, and psychiatrist, your local hospital, and trusted friends and family members who can help in a crisis

Whether you have permission to discuss your love one’s treatment with his or her doctors, and if not, what you need to do to get that permission.

The treatments and medications your loved one is receiving, any special dosage instructions and any needed changes in diet or activity.

The most likely warning signs of a worsening manic or depressive episode (words and behaviors) and what you can do to help.

What kind of day-to-day help you can offer, such as doing housework or grocery shopping.

When talking with your love one’s health care providers, be patient, polite and assertive. Ask for clarification of things you do not understand. Write things down that you need to remember.

Helping and getting help

As a friend or family member you can provide the best support when you’re taking care of yourself. It helps to talk to people who know how it feels to be in your situation. Talk with understanding friends or relatives, look for therapy of your own, or find a DBSA support group.

DBSA support groups are run by people, families and friends affected by depression or bipolar disorder. They are safe, confidential, free meetings where people can learn more about depression, bipolar disorder, and how to live with the illnesses.

One father of a daughter with bipolar disorder says, “DBSA support groups help take a lot of stress out of your life. As a family member, you have to be as prepared as possible, and accept that things will still happen that you aren’t totally prepared for. DO all the research you can. Build a long list of dependable resources and support people, so when a situation arises, you know where to turn and how to take the next step. This really helped my family when we needed it.”

A mother of a son with depression says, “When you are in the middle of a situation, it’s hard to see what’s happening, but when you sit in a support group meeting across from someone who is going through the same things, it gives you perspective.”

page created: May 10, 2006
page updated: December 29, 2006


May God continue to enable us who suffer from mood disorders to equip ourselves with means to get better and be more functional.

May God also enable our loved ones and family to understand our condition and how best they can pray, encourage and help us to get better.

May God's presence with you and the assurance of your love gives you hope and courage to press on knowing that He is able to make a way for us where there seemed to be no way.

For more Mission 4 Monday posts, visit Peggy.

Thanks again for stopping by! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements!

Take care and God bless :)

About depression, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness) and mental illness or mood disorders:
1. About bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness)
2. Myths and Facts on Mental Illness
3. Treatment of bipolar disorder
4. Various pamphlets and articles on bipolar disorder for sufferer and carer

For friends and carers:
1. Helping someone with mood disorder
2. Family and Friends' Guide to Recovery from Depression and Bipolar Disorder
3. How Carers and Friends can help

Other recent related posts:

1. Trust during rough times
2. Finding meaning in a life with bipolar disorder
3. Mental illness (depression, bipolar disorder, etc) is an illness like any other
4. Video on "Depression - A Stubborn Darkness"