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It’s Getting Better All The Time! Mentalpage1

 

He Is Risen

He Has Risen So You Can Live
A grave can be defined as any place that becomes the receptacle of what is dead, lost, or past. Our sins or offenses against the Lord can keep us in a grave-like condition. A state in which we are dead to the potential that the Lord Jesus Christ has for our lives and lost to the wonderful future He has envisioned for us. When we have not accepted Jesus Christ or are not walking fully in the love of Jesus Christ, we are living in a grave.
But instead of dirt, we are covered by thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are contrary to God. We are being held down by the fears and hurts of our past. The grave of sin is holding the pain that we have refused to let go and those negative feelings that we did not even know that we still carried. The grave that has been dug for us by sin can keep a lid on our desire to love God and prevent us from obtaining all that God Has for us in Him. Jesus Christ, God manifested in the flesh loves you, and He knows all about you. His thoughts and feelings toward you are always good. It is the enemy or the chief liar who does not want you to know that.
Things happen to us as a result of our failure or someone else’s failure to follow the directions that God has set. When we are operating in thoughts and behaviors that are contrary to the word of God, we are in rebellion. Rebellion or sin brings with it consequences and opens the door for pain, problems, and more sin. God wants us to Love Him and His word because He wants to shield us from those consequences.
For example, when a loving parent sets rules, he or she does so because they love their children and do not want the child to face the consequences. When children break the rules, it bothers the parent, but the love that parent has for their child will compel them to help their child cope with the consequences of their actions. You are not reaping the judgment of God but the natural result of your sin or the sins of someone else. Jesus Christ wants you to trust Him with the consequences in your life.
The consequences of sin can keep us in bondage to pride, arrogance, anger, low self-esteem, pornography, abuse, and hurts from our past. The results of sin can bring us so low that we will have sex at a bus stop for 5.00 dollars, sleep in the gutter, and even sell our children for sex. Sin has such a hold on some of us that we will savagely beat those that we say we love, commit adultery, and abuse our children.
Sin will cause us to hold on to and protect “that something” in us that we have grown so accustomed to that we do not want to give it up, even though it is costing us money, friends, sleep, and opportunities. That “something” can be fear of what we will have to give up, a fear of rejection or pride. That something could be hurt, misplaced anger, or low self-esteem. The enemy has come to kill, steal, and destroy, but Jesus has come so that we might have life and be entirely free from sin and death. Not just natural death, but the death that comes to steal our potential and to make it look as if God is not who He says He is (Apostle Robinson).
Again, that “something” can be any thought, feeling, or behavior that is contrary to the word of God. That “something” could even be a good thing that is only bad because it is not what God is calling you to do now.
The problem is that we tend to protect that “something” by putting up emotional walls or engaging in behaviors that prevent us from dealing with the issue. When we allow those emotions associated with our hurts to influence our lives, it can lead to a variety of unhealthy behaviors and thoughts that can prevent us from trusting the Word of God in the now. Living in the past can cause us to react in the present to something that happened in the past.
You see, whenever we anticipate a challenge in the area of “that thing,” we erect emotional defenses as a way to protect ourselves from the pain. While man-made defenses may seem to protect us from the negative feelings we are trying to avoid, they often come with unexpected consequences.
For instance, to shield ourselves from the hurts of our past, we may find ourselves withdrawing from people, arguing, masking our feelings with alcohol, getting into abusive relationships, and or allowing those feelings to control our lives. Additionally, unhealed past hurts can cause us to be oversensitive in certain areas of our lives, and to misinterpret or to react inappropriately to things and people around us. When we internalize the hurts of the past, we can spend the rest of our lives, allowing past hurts to control our present, and cause us to reject people who want to love us.

Over time those emotional walls can become so thick that it is hard for anyone to get in or for you to get out. Any time anyone attempts to touch the wall that you have erected, you get defensive. Putting up barriers to defend yourself can cause you to spend so much time protecting your pain that you do not realize that you are not living.
Unfortunately, man-made defenses, just like the fig leaves, that Adam and Eve used in the Garden of Eden to hide their sins; only conceal they do not heal us. Man-made defenses or gimmicks give us the illusion of being free, but the feelings we are trying to cover up always have a way of manifesting in other areas of our lives. Jesus Christ did not rise again just so a fear of rejection or the defenses that you have created to deal with your hurts can rule your present or control your future.
When we try to cover up our hurts as opposed to allowing God to heal them, we are not free. God wants to set you free from your walls and the influence of your past. God wants to elevate you out of the grave and above your past.
 
 
 
Romans 10 9-11

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.



Dealing With Feelings of Heaviness

Acknowledge the feeling (feelings are normal)

Balance your thoughts. If your feelings are leading to negative thoughts or thoughts that overwhelm you to the point that you can’t think of anything else then you have a problem. For example, feeling fear is normal but fear should not overwhelm you to the point that you can’t move forward or do the things that you need to do)

Accurate Information (obtain information about what is causing your negative thoughts and feelings)

Strategize – Once you obtain the information begin to develop a plan to deal with what is causing the negative feelings. If you find yourself worrying and thinking about something over and over again, pull out a pen and paper and begin to develop a plan. What would happen if your fears came true? How would you cope? What can you do now to prepare?

Pray and Praise – Then pray and praise. Reflect on the bad things in your life that you have already overcome and begin to thank God. Remember how he brought you out before. Praise and prayer keeps you from worrying so much



Victory

Victory

 

Because of Jesus Christ, you are a winner. But to maintain the victory there are some things that you must do. To include:

 

Don’t Quote the Devil. In going through your tests, it’s important that you don’t quote what the devil has to say. Instead, use The Word of God and allow it to be your meditation. Because when you quote words of unbelief, i.e. “I don’t know how I am going to make it” or “I don’t know how the bill is getting paid” then you are hooked. 

 

Don’t Use Worry. Worry means to be uneasy in the mind or feel anxiety about something. When you begin to worry you have taken your eyes off of Jesus Christ. You are not using your bible and instead, you are leaning to your own understanding. Worry is not in the vocabulary of faith.

 

Don’t Be In a Hurry. The Lord’s timing is always peaceable not anxious. God can speak tonight and reveal it 20 years from now. His Word will never fail and He is not in a rush. God has an appointed time for everything, so wait on Him.

 

Don’t Give Into Your Thoughts. Your insufficiencies/problems can’t tell you anything except what it knows. When you give into thoughts like fear, doubt and worry, you can’t go any further. That is why you have to let The Word of God do the talking. So say what God says until you come out of your situation. 

 

Don’t Give Into Hopelessness. When you allow feelings of hopelessness to make you think that all is lost, then you are a prime candidate for sadness. Remember, as a child of God you are not on a dead end street.

 

Love God. When we love God in the midst of our troubles, He will give us a revelation of the purpose. So seek Him for the answer and continue to love Him.  When Satan, in the flesh (negative thoughts/feelings) tells you something contrary to The Word of God, Christ, in the inner man will give you the answer.  

 



In 2020 I Will Say

1. I am so secure in the grace and love of Jesus Christ that I am free to admit that I have a diagnosis, symptom, problem, or mental illness. I understand that to live a healthy life, I may have to take medications or to make a change, but I know that having to take medications or making a change, does not mean that I lack faith in God. I chose to take responsibility for my situation and not to be afraid to seek help when needed.

2. There is a power higher than I. Through faith, the Word of God, and the Love of Jesus Christ that has been made available to me, I can be whole. I will come to the knowledge that the grace of God is available to me and that He is concerned about everything that concerns me. I will free myself from the prison of my limitations and realize that God has indeed created me for a purpose.

3. I have decided to submit myself to the Lord. Myself meaning my will, my cares, my weaknesses, my strengths, and my insufficiencies. I am not afraid to look at my character and to challenge those behaviors in my life that are not helpful to me, and that needs to be changed.

4. I will apologize to those in my life who I have hurt.

5. While this may not be the plan I envisioned for my life, I will remain determined to rest and trust in His sovereign plan for my life. I will continue to seek after the will of God during my illness and or negative life situation.

6. I will not look at my current situation and think that things are hopeless. I will remember that every Word of God possesses the creative ability of God. God can speak today and turn things around in an instant. St Luke 1: 35 tells us that “with God, nothing shall be impossible.” Unfortunately, whenever I feel as if all is hopeless in my life, I am a prone candidate for defeat, and the enemy has an excellent opportunity to shake my faith in Jesus Christ and my hope in the future.

7. I will remember that I am not on a dead-end street, so I will stop telling myself that I can’t make it. Instead, I will get into the habit of telling myself what God is saying about me and my situation, not what I feel or what I think.

8. Having a severe and persistent mental illness or other long term problem does not mean that I am crazy, stupid, dumb, or weak. God has a purpose for my life, and despite the challenges that confront me and threaten to destroy that purpose, God is faithful to His Word and His thoughts towards me. I am stronger then what I think or feel because God is on my side, and He will never leave me or forsake me.

9. I will choose to hope, to trust Jesus Christ, and to do the things that are necessary to facilitate recovery and life. I will not just sit down and do nothing. I will remember that faith without works is dead.



We Do Care..So Stop The Lie

Topic

Today we are going to explore the topic of African Americans’ mental health and challenge that lie that African American’s as a group don’t care about mental health and don’t get help.

 

 Sigma impacts all people, and all people, no matter their race who have to focus on obtaining the basics in life (food/clothing), are less focused on mental health than those who do not have this issue. Poverty is an important indicator of how receptive a person will be to getting or not getting help. A person’s poverty level affects mental health status. African Americans living below the poverty level, as compared to those over twice the poverty level, are three times more likely to report psychological distress. https://minorityhealth.hhs.gov/omh/browse.aspx?lvl=4&lvlid=24

 

Unfortunately, even in 2000, far too many African Americans in disproportionate numbers are still experiencing financial instability. Financial instability or poverty has the most measurable effect on the rates of mental illness. It’s easy to see how a person may become depressed when they are worried about getting and keeping a job. Basic needs must be meet first before we can feel safe enough to move onto other needs. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy, lower needs must be satisfied before higher-order needs can influence behavior. 

 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review.[2Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has often been represented in a hierarchical pyramid with five levels.

 

The needs outlined by Maslow include

1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.;

2) Safety/security: out of danger;

3) Belongingness and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted; and

4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval, and recognition.

5) Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore;

6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty;

7) Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize one’s potential; and

8) Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential.

 

In other words, if I am looking for a place to stay or getting food, I may not be as focused on meeting with a therapist even though I may need to. So it’s not that African Americans don’t care about mental health, it’s just some of us are focused on survival. 

 

African Americans, because of a long history of economic oppression African Americans are significantly overrepresented in the most vulnerable segments of the population (homeless, foster care, criminal justice, lower-income). But despite all of the negative factors, African Americans still move forward, achieve, and our protective factors have sustained us.

 

Protective factors are characteristics associated with a lower likelihood of adverse outcomes or that reduce a risk factor’s impact. Protective factors may be seen as positive countering events and include things like: Religion/Spirituality, Sense of Racial Pride, Resourcefulness, Family Unity/Kinship Bond, and community involvement. 

 

So despite people who highlight things African Americans don’t do, let us continue to highlight the progress that has been made despite our challenges and embrace those protective facts that have helped us.




 

 

 

 

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