A Powerful Antidote for the Depressed Writer

Find Your Calling in Christ

Find Your Calling in ChristIndecision opens the door for a spirit of depression. When we are unsure of our purpose, place in life, and destination, we will often flail about like sails on a ship “caught in irons.”

A sailboat “caught in irons” finds itself with the bow pointed “dead” into the wind, stalled, and unable to maneuver. The wind’s energy flows over and around the vessel, but the vessel remains trapped between crests of waves and swells. The ship’s rudder does not respond to the commands from the helm, leaving the vessel and crew at the mercy of the sea and in danger of capsizing.

The Apostle Paul speaks of those, “Tossed back and forth by the waves. Blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.” (Ephesians 4:14)

Paul’s is a message of remaining confident of the words of God and Christ, but his instruction is also beneficial for each of us seeking to understand our purpose, place among the crew, and destination.

Jeremiah 29:11 is a familiar passage that is often misapplied, but many of the promises of God found elsewhere in scripture are summed up in this verse.

“I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord.
When faced with indecision we can take comfort in knowing that God has a plan. And not one plan, but several. Like the skipper of a sailboat, we have command of the rudder and sails. Once we know God’s immediate plan for us, we can plot our course and hold our heading based on the magnetic line of his moral compass. In this way we break free of the “irons” and sail on with confidence.

“I have plans to prosper you,” declares the Lord.
We must be careful not to claim this verse as a promise of immediate and forever prosperity. It is not. But Christ did promise that if we are in him and he is in us, we will enjoy life and enjoy it to the full. Much of what the world calls prosperity is a prison. Excessive wealth leads to endless worries. How to keep it? Who seeks to steal it? When to spend it? A sound, well-built vessel that is properly outfitted and provisioned needs nothing but crew to guide her. This is the type of abundant life those in Christ can have.

A life in Christ is a life of adventure, new horizons, new relationships, joy in giving, joy in receiving, peace during storms, patience in times of trials and gales. When we are in Christ, at all times, regardless of our circumstances, we can prosper if we will heed the heading he gives.

“I will not harm you,” declares the Lord.
God is good. That is his character. And God never changes. Though he will chastise us, it is always to get our attention, to call us to repent, and turn back to him. Other times, when a person’s heart becomes so hardened that they refuse to repent, he will use that individual as an example of what becomes of the rebellious and obstinate.

God desires that, “All people be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4) Never let this thought linger in your mind: “God hates me. That’s why this happened. He caused this sickness, this disaster, this _____.” Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. Christ came to give life, hope, and a future.

“I plan to give you hope and a future,” declares the Lord.
When God confronted Moses at the Burning Bush, he asked, “What is in your hand?” Oftentimes the thing in our hand is part of God’s plan. Not always, but most times. Though the staff (a big stick) was a part of God’s plan for Moses, his days of herding sheep were over. Now Moses would herd people. He would become the leader of a new nation. He would see God perform miracles of healing. He would see God inflict death and punishment on his enemies.

The thing in his hand was but a small part of God’s plan for Moses. Never underestimate what God can do with the skills, experience, and education you have. Also never be afraid to step forward into a new work for which you have no skills, no experience, and no education. In God’s timing under his guidance, he has, can, and will raise up servants who will do great things through him.

Unsure of your purpose, place in life, and destination? Run up the white flag. Surrender yourself to Christ. Climb into his vessel. Let his Holy Spirit fill you. With him in you and you in him you will do great works.

In fact, you will do greater works than he. (John 14:12) And Christ performed miracles, healed all the sick who came to him, raised the dead, spoke life into inanimate objects (bread, wine), walked on water and would later walk through walls. If you wish to do even greater things than these, get into Christ.


A Powerful Antidote for the Depressed Writer

Find Your Confidence in Christ

Find Your Confidence in ChristDoubt opens the door for a spirit of depression. When we doubt ourselves, doubt our abilities, doubt we will receive the outcome we seek, we press down beneath the covers and hope life will somehow work out.

But there is an antidote to doubt and a cure for depression that does not depend upon drugs and self-help, self-encouragement, and self-seeking. That antidote is our confidence in Christ. If any of us lacks confidence in our future, listen to these words of Jesus.

Friend, I have called you to myself. And if I have called you to myself and you allow yourself to be wrapped with my arms, held tight to me, then you can be assured that nothing will ever separate us.

Though you fear the darkness, I am your light. Though you fear death, I am your life. Though you fear supernatural principalities and powers, my power to protect you is greater. Though you fear the future, I am the Lord of today, tomorrow, and your days to come.

There are no powers, no circumstances, nothing in all creation that will  rip you from my grasp. Arise knowing that I am your strength, your hope, your confidence. (Romans 8:38-39)

Lean on me today and I will make your steps sure. (Proverbs 3:5-6). Trust me in this. — Jesus

Will We Be Christ to Others?


The majority of teens (especially non-Christians) says someone who listens without judgment (66% Christian, 72% non-Christian) seems like a person who’s comfortable sharing their faith.

Do we reflect the love of Christ without judgement?

Are we comfortable sharing our faith with others? Not in a “it’s my way or hell” way, but with ears open to hearing the spirit of the other person?

This is telling in light of past Barna findings which showed that a number of Gen Z who had interacted with church or Christianity said church was not a safe space to express doubt.

Gen Z teens desire conversation partners who are open to difficult topics.

Are we comfortable discussing difficult topics in ways that lead others to the love, grace, and mercy of Christ?

Which of the following characteristics would you use to describe someone who is comfortable sharing their faith? Select all that apply.

Non-Christians very much dislike when:

  • Christians quote scripture or texts from the Bible as evidence for Christianity
    (24% not very appealing, 34% not at all appealing)
  • The person wants to pray for the non-Christian as part of the conversation
    (19% not very appealing, 30% not at all appealing)
  • They are asked to give the reasoning behind their own lifestyle choices or beliefs
    (23% not very appealing, 18% not at all appealing).

If a Christian wanted to tell you about their faith, how appealing would the following approach be? % among self-identified non-Christian teens

The next time God leads someone into your life, pray that his Holy Spirit will fill you with such an anointing that you become the ears, eyes, and hands of Christ, affirming them as a person. After all, Jesus considered that person of such great worth that he died for them.

A Prayer for Power Behind Your Purpose

Finding Your Purpose

A Prayer for Power Behind Your PurposeTo You, Lord, who is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or think, according to the power that works in us, I bring to you my daily work. (Ephesians 3:20)

Lord, right here, right now, I declare these words of yours as truth: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. But you came that we may have life, and have it to the full.”
Your purpose is to save us from our sins and free us from sin.
Your purpose is to heal all of all sickness. Not some sickness, but all sickness.
Your purpose is to heal all of all affliction, infirmities, disease, addiction, injury, and deformity.
Your purpose is to heal the brokenhearted and those broken in spirit.
Your purpose is to comfort all who are depressed, stressed, and anxious.
Your purpose is to bring joy to all who are sorrowful.
Your purpose is to bring love where you find hate.
Your purpose is to bring peace where there is conflict.
Your purpose is to bring liberty to those held captive.
Your purpose is to harvest fruit where good seed is sown.
Your purpose is to bless the works of our hands when we work in your will.
Your purpose is to bless us to be a blessing to others.
Therefore, Lord, I claim that your purpose is to bless me. Not that I might keep your blessings for myself, but that I can share your blessings with others. This is my purpose and joy: that I may bless others to share in the abundant life you destined them to enjoy.
I now look expectantly for your purpose to be done today, for your will to be done today, on earth and in my life with the same expediency and efficiency as your will is done in heaven.
May it be so.

Pronouns Matter to Jesus

Culture Shift

Pronouns Matter to JesusSome months back I heard a pastor refer to the Holy Spirit as “she.” Hearing the Holy Spirit addressed in the feminine gender seemed odd, almost irreverent, so to settle my own spirit, I did a little digging.

It turns out the Hebrew word for “spirit” (ruach) is feminine

But in Aramaic this same word for “spirit” (rûacḥ) is masculine.

In Genesis 1:26-28 we read, “God created man in his own image. In the image of God created him. Male and female created them.”

God created Adam in his image.

God created Eve in his image.

Both reflect the image of God and yet both are distinctly different.

So is God male? Female? Both?

Grammatical pronouns do not change the biology of a person, nor does calling the Holy Spirit “she” or “he” change the nature of God. We know that the Holy Spirit reflects God’s character (2 Corinthians 3:18). We also know that God’s character does not change (Malachi 3:6).

Yet when Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit, he refers to God’s spirit as “he” and “his.”

“When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you.” (John 16:12-14)

In calling the Holy Spirit “he” did Jesus diminish the Spirit’s feminine qualities? God forbid.

If grammar does not change the biology of a person and grammar cannot change the nature of a spirit, does it matter which pronoun we use when addressing God and others?

First, let’s look at the issue of authority. If Jesus called the Holy Spirit “he,” and Jesus is the son of God — by his very nature God in the flesh — then by what authority do we disregard the words and example of Jesus?

Second, there is the issue of authenticity. If a slight grammatical change alters the perception of God’s holiness and unchanging nature, then some might conclude that God affirms our desire to rearrange the furnishing of his temple — to remake his temple into our image. And that’s dangerous business.

God’s temple is holy, and we are that temple. If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

Third, there is the issue of agenda. God has an agenda. He desires that all will come to him. Satan has an agenda. His agenda is to sow seeds of confusion, steal the words of God planted in hearts, destroy our faith in Jesus, and leave us dead in our sins.

Consider these words Jesus:

“When he (God’s spirit) comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin, and prove the world to be wrong about righteousness and judgment.

“Wrong about sin because people do not believe in me.

“Wrong about righteousness because I am going to the Father.

“Wrong about judgment because the prince of this world now stands condemned.

“When he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears.” (John 16:8-13)

Like Jesus, believers are called to speak what we hear from the Spirit, what we read in God’s word, and what we can testify to be true based on God’s character.

Perhaps the lesson of the sermon is for us to pay close attention to the fruit of the spirits we hear. If that fruit leads to righteousness, repentance, and lives lived as persons redeemed by the blood of Jesus, count that as a good harvest.

If the fruit is rotten, dead, and sown in corruption, leave it and walk on.

Keys to Humorous Writing

The prayer of a righteous student is powerful and effective

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.There are two primary reasons we laugh: surprise or superiority.

Either we laugh to cover our feelings of embarrassment, or we feel superior to a group or person who’s been tricked and made to look foolish.


Good humor includes these six elements.
• Target
• Hostility
• Realism
• Exaggeration
• Emotion
• Surprise

Let’s begin with the first, target.

Humor is criticism cloaked as entertainment, directed at a specific target, and is always unfair.

Comedy is cruel. In humor we ridicule, tear down, destroy, and we do it for laughs. When you add humor to your writing and speaking you bond with your audience. And when you bond with your audience, you sell books, tickets, trinkets.

This is the power of humor.

It is physiologically impossible to hate someone with whom you’ve laughed. When we laugh we temporarily give ourselves over to the person who makes us laugh. For the writer and speaker, this is power.

First pick your target. Make sure it’s a person or group your audience loathes — or at least feels superior to. Then savagely attack.


My tenth grade English teacher gave me the lowest year-end grade of any student in her class. D-.

“I wanted to give you an F,” she said. “You deserved an F. Actually, you didn’t even deserve the F, but F- isn’t an option.”

“So why not fail me?”

“And have you repeat? Why should I suffer because you don’t know the difference between affect and effect?'”

“There’s a difference?”


But I got my revenge. Due to my D- minus, the next year they put me in the grammatically-challenged English class. Of course, I aced the grade, pulling down an A-. We all have a level of excellence and I’d found mine.

Due to my A-, my senior year they placed me in the smart kids class.

“You! This must be a mistake.” Turns out my tenth grade english teacher had moved up to twelfth grade english. “How’d you get assigned to my class?”

“Hard work, long hours, and prayer. You?”

“Hard work and long hours.”

“Not prayer?”

“Didn’t think it necessary.”

“The prayer of a righteous student is powerful and … you know the rest.”

“Effective, though I doubt you can spell it.”

She was right. I couldn’t. But I would learn its spelling by year end.


Let’s check our formula.

Target: Yes, teachers.

Hostility: Yes, my teacher looooved pointing out my educational limitations.

Realism: Yes, this is a true story. I did bounce from the smart-to-stupid-to-smart-class from my sophomore to senior year.

Exaggeration: No, we’ll cover that next time.

Emotion: Some. We’ll cover this next time.

Surprise: Yes. My placement in her class shocked both of us — and not in a good way.


When possible, add humor to your writing. A few laughs can sometimes save a weak scene.