Pause for Poetry – Child of My Love, Lean Hard

Child of My Love, Lean Hard

Jeremiah Eames Rankin

Francis Murphy’s Gospel Temperance Hymnal‎ page 57

Child of My love, lean hard,

And let Me feel the pressure of your care;

I know your burden, child. I shaped it;

Balanced it in Mine Own hand; made no proportion

In its weight to your unaided strength,

For even as I laid it on, I said,

“I will be near, and while she leans on Me,

This burden will be Mine, not hers;

So will I keep My child within the circling arms

Of My Own love.” Here lay it down, not fear

To impose it on a shoulder that upholds

The government of worlds. Yet closer come:

You are not near enough. I would embrace your care;

So I might feel My child reclining on My breast.

You love Me, I know. So then do not doubt;

But loving Me, lean hard.

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You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Crockpot Chicken Posole Recipe

This oh so good quick and easy Gluten-free Crockpot Chicken Posole Recipe can be doubled and frozen for later.

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 14.5 oz can enchilada sauce
  • 1 15.5 can canned corn
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes with chiles
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

Pour all ingredients into crockpot and mix.

Cook on high for 6 hours.

Serve with avocado and tortilla chips.

Enjoy!

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Get On Our Knees and Pray

In Billy Graham’s devotional book, Hope for Each Day, he mentions a time at the early beginnings of the formation of the United States of America when our founding fathers prayed during a meeting of the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The purpose was the ratification of the constitution.

The delegates to the Congress became angry with each other, and because they could not resolve their conflicts or agree on anything at all, the delegates gathered their belongings and headed for the door.

Reminds me of the attitude children have when they can’t get there way. If I don’t get my way, then I’ll take my ball and go home.

Fortunately for our country, one man had enough sense to offer the correct solution.

Benjamin Franklin spoke to the delegates. It is reported these were his words.

Wait a minute, gentlemen. This country was conceived in faith in God. Many of us here believe in prayer. Let us get upon our knees and pray to Almighty God and see whether God shall give to us the answer to our dilemma.

The delegates to the Constitutional Convention put aside their differences, and for the good of our country surrendered their egos to God, got on their knees and prayed. The Constitution of the United States of America was the result of their prayers.

We have no lesser challenge today.

God still sits on his throne. He still listens to the prayers of his children. He still reigns supreme and is the Lord who answers prayer.

As Christ-followers we have the unbelievable privilege to approach the throne of God with our petitions and thanksgivings, yet I fear too many of us take that privilege too lightly.

As a collective of believers, we can come boldly before the throne of God and offer our requests on behalf of our country.

Let’s not be like those who decided nothing could be done, so we’re going to walk away. Instead, let’s humble ourselves, seek God’s face, acknowledge he is the One in control, not us, turn from our wicked ways, yield our selfish pride and will to God’s sovereignty, present our requests, leave them at God’s feet, and watch how he works among our midst.

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Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NLT)

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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National Suicide Prevention Month

With shorter days and longer nights during this time of year, many suffer with Seasonal Adjustment Disorder. I know I find it easier to keep on the sunny side of life when there is indeed sunshine outside my window.

When you toss in the fact life turned topsy-turvy once COVID-19 took center stage, it is no wonder there is more stress, anxiety, worry, and concern in folks’ lives these days. Not to mention all the other news headline grabbing events.

I wonder if September was chosen as National Suicide Prevention Month because more people experienced S.A.D. in the Northern Hemisphere at this time of year.

Since 1974, the United States has dedicated the month of September as National Suicide Prevention Month to bring awareness to this mental health issue. Doing so not only shows those who suffer with this disease it’s okay to admit you’re not okay, but that there is nothing weak in asking for help.

Setting aside a month also provides an opportunity for each of us to realize how important it is to talk about the subject.

Once again, as I prepared posts for September I debated whether to revisit the subject of suicide. And as I did last year, I pretty much decided not to. I first wrote about suicide in a post in 2014, and again in 2017.

The fact I keep feeling nudged to post about the subject of suicide is an indicator to me this subject needs to be brought to people’s attention and discussed. And if by reading this, one person is helped, it is definitely worth it. Especially in these days of so many unknowns when depression rates are at a higher level. This is a longer post than my usual, but I hope you will take the time to read it.

The following is a re-post of last year’s post from September 17, 2019.

Sadly, after minister Jarrid Wilson, the founder of Anthem of Hope committed suicide September 10, 2019 on National Suicide Prevention Day, I decided to write this post. Anthem of Hope’s website states they are an organization devoted to help equip the church with the resources needed to help better assist those struggling with depression, anxiety, self-harm, addiction and suicide, whose core values are: God Loves You, Life Matters, and You Have a Purpose.

I’ve had first-hand experience with friends who committed suicide and friends who tried, but fortunately, did not succeed. I am by no means an expert. So I’ll leave that to the experts.

My hope in writing this post is to raise awareness of this staggering problem which affects so many around each of us.

The following statistics are for 2019.

SAVE Suicide Awareness Violence Education reports:

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US for all ages. (CDC)
  • Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. (CDC)
  • There is one death by suicide in the US every 12 minutes. (CDC)
  • Suicide takes the lives of over 44,965 Americans every year. (CDC)
  • Depression affects 20-25% of Americans ages 18+ in a given year. (CDC)
  • Only half of all Americans experiencing an episode of major depression receive treatment. (NAMI)
  • An estimated quarter million people each year become suicide survivors (AAS).
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 25 suicide attempts. (CDC)
  • There is one suicide for every estimated 4 suicide attempts in the elderly. (CDC)

Anthem of Hope’s blog reports:

  • Over one million people die by suicide worldwide each year.
  • On average, one person dies by suicide every 40 seconds somewhere in the world.
  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for ages 10-24.
  • More teenagers and young adults die from suicide than from cancer, heart disease, AIDS, birth defects, stroke, pneumonia, influenza, and chronic lung disease, combined.
  • Four out of Five teens who attempt suicide have given clear warning signs.
  • Each day in our nation, there are an average of over 5,240 attempts by young people grades 7th-12th.

Here are some statistics from several LifeWay Research studies that may help better understand the issue of mental health among people in our churches. (From Anthem of Hope’s blog.)

Christian Mental Health Statistics:

  • 23 percent of pastors acknowledge they have personally struggled with a mental illness.
  • 49 percent of pastors say they rarely or never speak to their congregation about mental illness.
  • 27 percent of churches have a plan to assist families affected by mental illness.
  • 65 percent of churchgoing family members of those with mental illness want their church to talk openly about mental illness.
  • 59 percent of those actually suffering from mental illness say the same.
  • 76 percent of churchgoers say suicide is a problem that needs to be addressed in their community.
  • 32 percent of churchgoers say a close acquaintance or family member has died by suicide.
  • 80 percent of pastors say their church is equipped to assist someone who is threatening to take his or her own life.
  • 4 percent of churchgoers who lost a loved one to suicide say church leaders were aware of their loved one’s struggles.

If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or visit National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Or Anthem of Hope.

Awareness is the beginning. We can all be a part of throwing out a lifeline and help prevent suicide.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. Psalms 40:2 (NLT)

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Stress Of Life

The stress of life can be good or bad. It isn’t the stress itself that is either harmful or beneficial. It is what we do with that stress that matters.

There is a Greek Proverb that says, “You will break the bow if you keep it always bent.”

During the archery class I took my sophomore year of college, we strung and unstrung our bows before and after each session on the archery range. To some that may seem like a waste of time, especially since classes followed ours that would use the same bows, but this routine had its purpose.

If the bows were left strung, they might break under the constant stress it took to bend the bow and keep the string taut. While this amount of stress could be detrimental if left unstrung between users, this same stress served the necessary purpose of allowing the string on the bow to be tight enough to shoot a straight arrow.

The stress of life behaves in the same way. Too much, and we might break either emotionally or physically. Too little, and we may not be able to work at top efficiency.

One of my psychology professors explained stress as being similar to the strings on a violin. Too much stress, the strings will break. Not enough stress, the strings won’t perform as they should.

When we encounter certain potentially dangerous situations, like a child dashing out in front of our car, the stress produces an adrenaline rush that causes us to avoid the child. That’s good stress.

More times than not, though, we carry stressful things around with us, allowing them to keep us worried, anxious, and unproductive. For me, I tighten the muscles through my shoulders and jaw when overly stressed. When I sense that happening, I have to tell myself to relax and unstring the bow.

If we constantly put ourselves in situations we know will create unhealthy levels of stress, perhaps we need to re-evaluate those areas and look for ways to unstring the bow.

One habit I’m trying to rid myself of is allowing stressful scenarios to keep running around and around in my brain; worrying about things I cannot control. Instead, I need to recognize them for what they are and do what I can do; turn them over to God.

How do you manage your stressful situations?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Give all your cares to the Lord and He will give you strength. He will never let those who are right with Him be shaken. Psalm 55:22 (NLV)

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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