A boy stood on a windy hillside, flying a kite. He continued to release the string of the kite and it went higher and higher until it was completely out of sight. One of his friends walked up and asked how he knew there was still a kite on the other end. He replied. “I know it’s there I feel it tugging on the line.” Like the kite, we can’t see heaven with our eyes, but we can feel it tugging at our souls!
As a person with Bipolar its easier in some ways to think about that place I am journeying to. Through many cycles of mania and depression I find this present life gets old, and the more I hear about heaven, the more excited I get. I imagine a life without meds, and the constant monitoring of my moods. This place is going to be good!
Heaven is described as:
a great reward, Mt 5:11
present suffering not worthy to be compared with future glory, Rom 8:18,
eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 2 Cor 4:17,18,
surpassing riches of His grace towards us, Eph 2:7,
beyond all we could ask for or even think, Eph 3:20.
I sometimes think of my infirmities and pain. I can’t wait to “shed” this mental illness.
To be free from it will be one of best thing I can think of. To take off my depression, like a heavy coat on a warm day. To sit with Jesus in a cool garden with living water, that’s more refreshing than any iced tea. Eternity is my favorite things to think about–
“Where the unveile’d glories of the Deity shall beat full upon us, and we forever sun ourselves in the smiles of God. “
I want to encourage you who are struggling now, with depression, anger, schizophrenia, paranoia, abuse, OCD, addictions, PTSD or Bipolar. There is a day coming for us, when we will forget the agonizing battles that have gone on within us. I boldly tell you with all the strength I can muster–there is coming the day. So take hope and journey one more day, thinking of heaven.
“We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin.”
Romans 6:6, NLT
“There are two things which the Church needs: more death and more life— more death in order to live; more life in order to die.”
The need of this moment is critical. Many believers have never came to this point of ‘knowing.’ Maturity comes when one realizes that crucifixion has dealt with the old man. We died when He died, we were there when He died, we were part of that event. Romans 6 is all about a believers ‘co-crucifixion’ with Jesus Christ. Calvary was far more than a religious event— it was where our sin was terminated. It was more than just a penalty carried— it was where our old nature put to death.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ.It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Sin has no power to sway a dead man. A man who is dead doesn’t respond to a girl in a leopard skin bikini. (It doesn’t matter if she is insanely gorgeous). He no longer can be tempted to sin. Why? Because he is dead. This is not an issue of semantics, it is not poetic interpretation of a metaphor. It rings true in heaven and it is quite real here on earth.
Sin should no longer remain in power of a believer’s life. We believe that our sins have been dealt with on the cross, that Jesus took our sins from us, bearing them as a ‘sacrificial lamb.’ But the same is true to say, “My sinful nature was also crucified with him.”
“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.”
The principle is from farming. A kernel of wheat will bring an abundance. But it must be buried first. The dead seed miraculously sprouts. At the moment of death it suddenly receives a new life. The dead seed grows into a bountiful harvest. This is the New Testament principle of dying to self. A few things:
we are not sinless— we must deal daily with the sinful part of us,
this must be taken by faith, much like anything else from God, Heb. 11
discipline aids our quest for holiness, 1 Tim. 4:8
it accentuates the role of water baptism, it’s a daily reckoning, Rom. 6:4,
temptations can be really strong, but He enables us, 1 Cor. 10:13
this is a God honoring way to live.
Crucifixion should always be taken by faith in God’s Word and it will lead to resurrection. Crucifixion weakness is necessary for resurrection power. Jesus shares his life with us— his power is given to his people. He shares all that He is so we might become like him.
“Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.”
We’ve been given a gracious teacher in the person of the Holy Spirit. He will never condemn our feeble efforts to be holy. Be encouraged: God delights to make the weakest of us strong. He has done all He can to work holiness into our hearts.
So Saul headed toward Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. 4 Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why are you persecuting me?”
I’m thinking that an awful lot of my life has been filled with these inconvenient interruptions. I like a certain order, and schedules and keeping appointments. I’m not a rigid person, but I can become mildly annoyed when my life becomes ruled by these unplanned intrusions.
However, at times an interruption can be quite productive. Often when my plans are set aside, I get the opportunity to see the Holy Spirit step in. He does things that are eternally true and special.
Scriptures are saturated with ‘inconvenient interruption.’ Mary, whose life was jolted by a visit by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:26-31). Paul, on the road to Damascus was overwhelmed suddenly and converted (Acts 9:1-9). The virgin Mary would have a son, and Paul would shake the world with his preaching the Gospel of Jesus.
There are many others who had their calm lives ‘turned upside down’ by our tumultuous God.
One could almost say that the Bible is a book of this ‘blessed interruption.’ I’m thinking right now of Moses, whom God shook and completely altered his life in just a few moments. And of course we read of Abraham, suddenly leaving everything to follow a promise.
I tell you, God has a flair for the dramatic. He often steps into the lives of His people. We might get irritated, frustrated, ‘owly’ and a little bit afraid.
The question is this– can the Spirit disrupt you?
Perhaps this is the next lesson in your discipleship. You will need to be a servant. The most profoundly Christian people I know are those whose lives can be side-tracked. I encourage you, look for God’s purposes behind your next interruption. Let Him arrange your schedule.
Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!”
Mental illnesses in parents represent a risk for children in the family. These children have a higher risk for developing mental illnesses than other children. When both parents are mentally ill, the chance is even greater that the child might become mentally ill.
The risk is particularly strong when a parent has one or more of the following: Bipolar Disorder, an anxiety disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia, alcoholism or other drug abuse, or depression. Risk can be inherited from parents, through the genes.
An inconsistent, unpredictable family environment also contributes to psychiatric illness in children. Mental illness of a parent can put stress on the marriage and affect the parenting abilities of the couple, which in turn can harm the child.
Some protective factors that can decrease the risk to children include:
Knowledge that their parent(s) is ill and that they are not to blame
Help and support from family members
A stable home environment
Therapy for the child and the parent(s)
A sense of being loved by the ill parent
A naturally stable personality in the child
Positive self esteem
Inner strength and good coping skills in the child
A strong relationship with a healthy adult
Friendships, positive peer relationships
Interest in and success at school
Healthy interests outside the home for the child
Help from outside the family to improve the family environment (for example, marital psychotherapy or parenting classes)
Medical, mental health or social service professionals working with mentally ill adults need to inquire about the children and adolescents, especially about their mental health and emotional development. If there are serious concerns or questions about a child, it may be helpful to have an evaluation by a qualified mental health professional.
Individual or family psychiatric treatment can help a child toward healthy development, despite the presence of parental psychiatric illness. The child and adolescent psychiatrist can help the family work with the positive elements in the home and the natural strengths of the child. With treatment, the family can learn ways to lessen the effects of the parent’s mental illness on the child.
Unfortunately, families, professionals, and society often pay most attention to the mentally ill parent, and ignore the children in the family. Providing more attention and support to the children of a psychiatrically ill parent is an important consideration when treating the parent.