Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Spiritual Depression

Here's an article that I found on "Overcoming Spiritual Depression".. Without a doubt, alot of us are both emotionally and spiritually depressed at times or all the time.

Introduction: “Are You Depressed?” – Knowing the Signs

More than having “the blues” or temporary sadness, depression is ongoing and
interfering with daily living. Feelings of sadness and emptiness prevail leading one to become tearful, irritable, sometimes even hostile toward others for no apparent reason. There is a tendency to dwell on memories of personal loss or failure or focus on the negative or unpleasant aspects of life to the exclusion of all else.

Depression erodes self-esteem, resulting in feelings of worthlessness and the belief
that he/ she is a huge burden to others. Depression can diminish one’s energy and enthusiasm in life in which daily decision making becomes exceedingly difficult and every challenge is intimidating. Long-lasting depression can lead to wishing that one had never been born, the desire to die, to thoughts of killing oneself.

Depression is not a concept that originated with psychology, but a real problem that is described and addressed in the Word of God.

I. Christians Are Not Immune to Depression.
It is a misconception that once a person becomes a Christian that depression is thereafter an impossibility.
Christians are to “rejoice always” (Phil. 4:4), thus depression is denied.
Many are tempted to “keep up appearances” rather than confide in brethren.

The truth is, men and women of God can get depressed.
Examples: Elijah (1 Kings 19:4), Job (Job 3:1), Jeremiah (Jer. 20:14), David (Ps. 142:1-4).

Be aware that Christians today can get depressed just like in biblical times.

II. Causes of Depression
The causes of depression are thought, by the field of psychology, to be from biological, genetic, and environmental / emotional factors.
1. Biological causes (e.g., hormone levels, chemistry of the brain).
2. Genetic causes (inherited or transmitted).
3. Environmental causes (stressful emotional situations, neglect by parents, death
of a parent, lack of sleep and/ or nutrition, substance abuse, etc.).

The cause of spiritual depression for the Christian is due to the influence of Satan
and our choice to sin or follow his ways (1 Pet 5:8; cf. Heb 3:12-13).
1. Satan would like nothing more than to see our joy in the Lord disappear!
2. The devil tries to get us to be faithless, hopeless, and pessimistic in life.
3. Spiritual depression and sin will cause us to fall way from God (Heb. 3:12-13).

III. The Remedy for Spiritual Depression.

Examine yourself (2 Cor. 13:5).
Just as there are “depression screening tests” that help to assess depression, the
Christian must take a hard look at his spiritual life. Take heed to the warnings of your brethren for spiritual depression (1 Thes. 5:14).
1. Sometimes brethren can see us better than we see ourselves!
2. Brethren admonish, encourage, and help you when you are on the wrong path.

Cast your fears, doubts, and worries “into the sea” and renew your faith in God that can “move mountains” (Mat. 17:19-21; 21:21-22).
1. Any “mountain” (trials, persecutions, temptations, disappointments, betrayal,
financial hardship, etc.) can be overcome by putting faith in God! (1 Pet. 5:7).
2. A life that is stable, well-grounded, and secure is a life that is built upon “the
Rock” (Mat. 7:24-27) (e.g., obedience, prayer, faith in the Lord).

Hopelessness must be replaced with hope in God and His promises (Psalm 43:5).
1. A person who has no hope in life is a person who suffers from depression.
a. There are no hopeless situations, only people who think hopelessly.
2. When our soul is disturbed, we must again hope in God who does not
disappoint us (Rom. 5:3-5; cf. 8:28; 1 Pet. 1:3-5).

Hand over all feelings of revenge or ill-will to the Lord (Mat. 5:38-39; Rom. 12:19)
and practice mercy and forgiveness (Luke 6:35-36; Eph. 4:31-32).
1. A major cause of spiritual depression in brethren is allowing the hurts of
betrayal, disappointments, and the sins of others to stir them up to wrath.
2. Handing over such vengeful feelings to the Lord is essential (Rom. 12:19).
3. A vengeful heart must be replaced with a merciful heart (Luke 6:35-36).
4. Forgiving others when duty demands it, is also vital to preventing depression
(Eph. 4:31-32; cf. Luke 17:3).

Meditate on what is good and spiritual (Phil. 4:8), not bad or worldly (Rom. 12:2).
1. When we conform our thinking to the way of the world, we are likely to fill our
hearts with a lot of negative, wicked, awful thoughts.
2. Christians are commanded to think upon that which is good and spiritual.

Derive confidence, self-esteem and worth from God and your relationship with Him.
1. Feelings of worthlessness that accompany depression often stem our focusing
too much on ourselves and not enough on God and what we have in Him.
2. True confidence in this life comes only from God Himself and His words of
encouragement from the Scriptures (Prov. 3:26; 14:26; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).
3. Children of God are of immense value and worth to God! (1 John 3:1a).

Base your joy not on your circumstances, but on the Lord (Phil. 4:4, 10-13).
1. Poor circumstances often makes us feel as if God is far away from us, but
nothing could be further from the truth!
2. Our circumstances are not to dictate our happiness, but our relationship to God!

Seek out spiritual brethren who will cheer you, comfort and encourage you in the faith.
1. Don’t go to just anyone for encouragement! (Prov. 25:19).
2. God comforts the depressed by using His people to lift them out of depression
to renew their strength in the Lord (2 Cor. 7:5-7). Don’t isolate yourself!

Though God’s People May at Times Get Depressed, Depression Can Be Overcome with the Help of the Lord.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

"Weaker Vessel" - 1 Peter 3:7

(Highly recommended: read all of 1 Peter 3..

I received a comment on the previous post, "Church Misconception" and thought I just take this out of this blog and create a new blog. Here's the Scriptures (different translations):

"Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers." 1 Peter 3:7 (niv)

"Ye husbands, in like manner, dwell with [your wives] according to knowledge, giving honor unto the woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life; to the end that your prayers be not hindered." 1 Peter 3:7 (asv)

"Likewise ye husbands, dwel with them according to knowledge, giuing honour vnto the wife as vnto the weaker vessel, and as being heires together of the grace of life, that your prayers be not hindered." 1 Peter 3:7 (kjv/1611)

First of all, I have no idea what your intentions are. I believe I know who you are but I may not. :) I believe I know the reason for this post so allow me to do the best I can to explain this not in context but as whole. The initials gave me some ideas of who you are. (SMILE)!

But allow me to explain this from God's point of view (or as best as I can from His point of view). We can see the different translations (including the 1611 KJV) clearly states that the woman (women) are "weaker vessels".

It doesn't say that man (men) are "strong" and will always be strong.. I must say that BOTH man and woman are weak souls in need of God's power and love. Man is weak but Peter (inspired by God) said that woman is weaker. Both man and woman are sinners and while sinners they're condemned to die. Both need Jesus Christ to receive forgiveness of sins.

The Scripture does not tell us that man is above woman as if showing that the woman is a "slave" to the man. No! Together, they are "joint-heirs" to the grace of life! A godly husband lives with his wife. He doesn't merely share the house with her but he truly lives with her. See also Ephesians 5:28. The godly husband must understand the essential unity that God has established between the husband and wife. Also, the godly husband must be understanding to his wife's desire and need. You will see the love of a godly husband when he shows how well he knows his wife. He listens to her and cares for her. A godly husband knows how to make his wife feel honored. Now, this is important.. Though she submits to him (read 1 Timothy 3:1-6)..

Now, here's what I believe you're looking for..

As to the weaker vessel: In this context, weaker speaks of the woman's relative physical weakness in comparison to men. Men aren't necessarily stronger spiritually than women, but they are generally stronger physically. As Peter brought in the idea of the woman's feminine nature with the words the wife, he continues in appreciating the feminine nature and how a husband should respond to it. (David Guzik's commentary)

Therefore, the godly husband recognizes whatever the limitation his wife has physically or spiritually, and he does not expect more from her than is appropriate. Here's what is in reality:

The female has what the man wants - beauty and delicacy.
The male has what the female wants - courage and strength.

The one is as good in its place as the other: and by these things God has made an equality between the man and the woman, so that there is properly very little superiority on either side.

Hope this helps..

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Church Misconception

People say that their "church name" is a perfect place!

But the truth is church is a place where imperfect people fall short of the glory of God and in need of Jesus' blood! A church is a place where people are trying to live lives of worship.

Therefore, we may forget the real reason why we're going to church. The real reason is JESUS. People in the church will disappoint you. The atmosphere of the building; classes; worship may not be what you expect. You may think a Christian should give the best example of Jesus but later encountered that they failed to show Jesus. Someone may unintentionally insult you. There may be "big heads" in the church that turns you off.

Yet, it is still a place where people are trying to live lives of worship. They may be struggling with their egos, arrogance, pride, hypocrisy, lust, anger, bitterness and thousands of other sins.

Have you been in a hospital? Is it a place for the healthy? No surgery is taking place. No nurses making their rounds. No doctors studying x-rays. No ambulances running their sirens. No paging doctors to report to ER room #7. No i.v. drips. No vials to be filled. No groans. No death rattles.

If you're looking for a perfect church, you won't find that anywhere. There will be people struggling and hurting and in dire need of Jesus as their Savior!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Who Has The Victory?

Hello, again! Here I am doing another video devotional. I chatted with a great brother in Christ of mine via videophone yesterday and we talked for over an hour. I normally don't talk that long but it was necessary given the severity of the issue surrounding my brother.

He raised some concerns about the deaf church at Fairfax. I could tell you the whole story about what our conversation was about but let me sum this up into one point, hypocrites. Not long ago, I met a visitor whom have attended Fairfax in the past and told me that they wouldn't go to church because there are hypocrites in there. They saw some of the members of the Lord's church at Fairfax doing what they're not supposed to do (outside of the church). Therefore, they decided that if church doesn't help them, how will it help me grow and be mature in Christ? How would it help me grow in faith with God? I'm not going to jump into any conclusions here but these are great questions.

Now, as for this brother in Christ of mine, he decided to stay away from Fairfax for a number of reason: 1. Arrogance of the teacher(s) 2. The brethren thinks highly of themselves 3. Favoritism 4. Hypocrites 5. Unwilling to serve others

Interesting observation, huh? I'm sure you can find these characters in almost every church today. Right? Without a doubt, there's no such thing as a perfect church. Yet, I'm not going to make this an excuse. Every church has issues. Every church consist of hypocrites and sinners.

Here's a scenario that may help us all see from the lens of God:

1. Many of us fail to be ambassadors of Jesus Christ! We represent Jesus' church. If we hear people complain and point fingers at His church, His members and nod in agreement, we fail to defend His church. Remember, it's not my church or your church. It's Jesus' church. Our ignorance, lack of ambassadorship gives Satan the victory. We give Satan a foothold. When you made a decision to follow Jesus Christ (after your confession of faith and baptism for the forgiveness of sins), you became a soldier of Christ. You have entered the battle zone against the dark world. Now, Satan has confronted you then eventually destroyed your faith. How? Many reasons!! To name a few, you may be intimidated by a fellow brother or sister in His church. Or you became distracted with the problems in life.

2. The problem may not be those outside of the person. They may be the problem themselves. For example, you may be looking for a church that best fits your needs and desires. I'm not saying that you don't have a choice. You do. Instead of pointing fingers and spreading gossips like wildfire, you're destroying the work of God! However, their motives is to please self, not to please God. And we're fighting among ourselves, not against the dark world.

Let me close this with a couple of things for you to think about. One, are you any better than other people in your life? Though, others may appear better than you, so what! Even, you ought to have an attitude that you're no better than them! (Read Phil 2:3) Two, if you were intimidated by someone or insulted by a brother or sister or did the church hurt you, can you compare this to how Jesus suffered for the world on the cross? Did He forgive those who don't understand what they've done to Him? Have you forgiven and forgotten the issue(s) or are you still dwelling on the issues that led to your decision to break away from the vine (Jesus)? Third, make sure your own life is in check before you point your fingers to others. You will be judged if you judge others!

We welcome both sinners and saints!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Worship Is

Testimonials from deaf Christians..

Thursday, July 12, 2007

July 12, 2007 V-votional: Remote Control Christians

Inspired by Dennis Cesone's Prayer Blog: Send Me! Based on Isaiah 6..

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Cardenas Baptism Pictures

Here are a couple of pictures of the Cardenas!! :) Heaven and earth are still rejoicing!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

39 and counting....

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock...

365 days (next year, February, has another day added to the calendar) left before I hit big, big 40!!

And, yes, today I turned THIRTY-NINE!!

It's hard to believe the 30's is almost over.. It seems like yesterday when I became 30.. At that age, I was a student at Sunset International Bible Institute, married (and still married) to still a beautiful woman, best friend and soul-mate, Michelle. Alyson wasn't even born. Amanda and Angela was a wee lil girls..

As I draw near to the 40th birthday marker next year, I will be jotting down some accomplishments God has done through me, some memorable moments and more!

Now, I see 39 candles burning atop a chocolate ice cream cake. {Making a wish} {Blowing out the candles}

Happy birthday, servant!

The Pope

I must say this, let the Pope speak for himself.. On the web, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070710/ap_on_re_eu/pope_other_christians, the Pope declared that other Christians are not true churches.

I'm a former Catholic, I believe God will Judge everyone, the living and the dead! In 1 Peter 4:5, "But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." Here's another powerful verse, "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10 (niv)

You cannot receive salvation and forgiveness of sins in the Catholic church, or the Baptist church, or the Episcopal church or the Assembly of God or even the churches of Christ which is the church I attend to worship. It's not the name of the church or a place that saves you. It's not the Catholic faith or a Baptist creed or the name Church of Christ that saves you. These names or doctrines also doesn't make you a "true church". Church means "the called out" as to being called away from the world and its ways into the body of Christ.

How do we identify a true church? Remember, church isn't a building, it's a person. It's a person made up into the body, the church, or Jesus. I asked this again, how do we identify a true christian (church)?

1. We identify a true Christian whom once really converted, will not return to their former way of life. Though, there are temptations to fall into and flatteries of others to do so, neither persuasion will overcome them.

2. The live and behavior of true Christians will seem very strange to the world. One will despise what the others are fond of. "Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (niv) Christians are zealous in the invisible, depend so much on hope, and this is what the world cannot understand.

3. There are two groups of people in the church as a whole: faithful and hypocrites. Hypocrites means actors. People whom proclaim they are believers can fool many by acting as a believer. Often, the world slanders Christians and there's no escape. The actions of the world against Christians costs him and her the most painful trials and self-denial and often ridiculed by the world. They will speak evil of true Christians. But true Christians reap the fruits of their charity, faithfulness and goodness.

As for the Pope, I ain't bowing down before him when he expect the world to do so. I ain't kissing the ring on his finger when he expect the world to do so. I ain't confessing my sins to him or any cardinal or priests when they expect the world to do so. I have God, His Son, Jesus to bow down, to kiss and to confess.

Now, he tells the world that most Christians are not true churches?? My question is, "Who is he to decide on that??"

"Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!" Acts 5:29 (niv)

Friday, July 06, 2007

Blackberry rules!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Deaf Ninja 2: DN vs TF

Another installment of Deaf Ninja (DN).. Awesome!


Interesting video here. They used the ASL sign, "I Love You" during one of their devotional. God bless them kids. Makes me hungry to reach out to deaf kids for Jesus!

Plus, the fun water sport!!

Independence Day

We don't celebrate Christmas because of trees, ornaments and Santa Claus. We celebrate Christmas remembering the gift of God.

We don't celebrate Easter because of easter bunnies, hunting for eggs and dressing in white. We celebrate Easter remembering the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

We remember those who have served in wars on Memorial weekend but it's another good time to remember what the Lord has done for mankind.

Independence Day, July 4th, was yesterday. America declared her independence from the bondage of England in the year of 1776. Indeed, we're blessed to have our independence from other nations but we ought to remember what Jesus did for us during His final days on earth. We were under the bondage of sin and death but Jesus died, was buried and raised to deliver us the independence from the bondage of sin and death.

Last night, I watched the fireworks explode in the air. Such a beautiful and awesome sight. Surely, I see the fireworks explode in Heaven when Jesus rose from the grave crushing death to the ground. When I see the blue colors, it reminded me of Jesus being black and "blue" from the beatings. When I see red colors, it reminded me of Jesus bloodied body and He died for us to ransom us. When I see white colors, it reminded me of purity, being washed by the blood of the Lamb. When I hear and feel the bangs, it reminded me of two things: the banging of the nails being driven into His hands and feet and the explosion as He ascend out of the grave and forever changing the world's destiny!

Now, that's the Ultimate Independence Day!!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Link ASL is featuring Jose Abenchuchan this month with a focus on "Perseverance".


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Not Home Yet

Amen! This world is not our home, we're just passing through. Psalms 23 tells us that we're walking through the valley of the shadow of death so fear NO evil. Why? Because of His rod and staff, they comfort me!

A better place awaits you depending on your faith with God!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Cardenas Baptism

The Cardenas buried in the Lord in baptism yesterday (July 1, 2007)