Short Story Devotional


I wrote this small story and poems to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ, and primarily for those who live with bipolar disorder or depression, though everyone who reads it will find encouragement.  Everyone has up and down days; it’s just that some of us swing farther up to the sky or down to the depths than others.

It’s important to remember that as we live the abundant life in Christ, God promises that He will never leave our side.  God’s word also reminds us that Christians are to encourage each other.  I pray that this work will somehow touch at least one person and let that one know Jesus is the answer.  Is that you?  He waits to hear your call.

I know personally that He hears my call, and He answers.   As they say, “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.”  I can testify that the healing of Christ is absolute fact.  Somebody might try to dispute whether Jesus is real, but nobody can dispute what I know He’s done in my life.  I know He is real, He is delightful, He is weird, and He is just absolutely amazing!

As you read this I pray that you will have a fresh sense of Jesus standing your side, whispering in your ear that He adores you and stands ready to help you through each moment.

The short story may be read in one reading, or read as a two-week devotional, one day at a time, each sentence of the story being a day’s reading.

This was created in honor and glory to God – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  The Spirit wrote it, I only penned it.  These are guiding words to you from Jesus.  I trust God to use this work to bless and bring healing to every reader, but most of all, to glorify Himself.  Jesus is Lord of All!

Ivy Bishop


Praising God in the Swing

Your bare feet make a soft sound across the tender grass.  The sun shines brightly as leaves sing with the breeze.  Spying the swing, you break into a good run straight for it.  Once there you fall into the seat, stomach down and your back up.  Turning round and around, you twist the chains until they’re tight.  You shift your weight forward and draw your knees up to the swing.  Like a top you spin with your eyes closed, and the momentum twists the chains again.  Slowing down and then spinning the other way, this keeps up until finally the swing stops. You hang there for a bit, looking at the ground.  Then you stand up, turn around, and sit down in the seat.  Stepping back as far as the swing allows, and holding on to the chains, you pull your feet up into the air.  You fly forward, pumping harder and harder with your feet, making the swing go higher.  Back and forth, up and down, the rhythm makes you begin to sing a little quiet song.  Going up you notice your feet and begin to watch them.  When you swing back, your feet are pointing to the grass and as you go high up to the sky, you’re touching heaven with your toes.  


Your bare feet make a soft sound across the tender grass.  

“He is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.”  2 Samuel 23:4

Do you like to walk with bare feet on grass?  I remember playing and running on grass when I was little.  The smell of newly cut grass is sweet and makes me think of summer.  Lying down on cool grass felt really good on a hot day!  Running through the sprinkler (which is what we did sometimes) made it wet on hot days and the grass got soggy, which made it even better because it made a “gloppy” sound when we ran in it.

Clover would sprout up in the grass, and bees would be all over it.  My friends and I would sit down and make necklaces out of the little clover flowers, put them on, and dance around in the grass, thinking of ourselves as beautiful princesses.  God created grass and He called it good.

After the rain, baby blades of grass seem to grow right before your eyes.  They push up through the earth and stretch up toward the sun.  Each little blade grows well in the sun and rain, thickening the carpet, making it even softer to the step.  Each blade of grass is seen by God who created it and who calls it good.

We praise Jesus!  He is the Light of the World, the Morning Star, “like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.”  He called the sun into existence and He commands the clouds.  The rain falls at His direction only where He tells it to drop.  He created the sweet grass of the earth and called it “good.”  He created the bare feet that run across the grass and called them “very good.”

He created you.  You are the sparkle in His eyes and the delight of His heart.  Right now, right here, He loves you just as you are.  Whether you are up or down, manic or depressed, swaying slowly or twirling around, Jesus Christ adores you.  His love knows no bounds, it is endless.  And it does not depend on anything you do.  He doesn’t love you any less when you’re feeling one way or another.

We praise the One that loves the bare feet that softly step across His tender grass!

Christ Jesus, we adore you, we praise you on this day.
Our hands outstretched before you, our hearts are yours, in faith.
We praise you for the way you love, and how you hold our lives.
Amazed are we, that we can be the sparkle in your eyes.

We thank you for creating us, allowing us to pass
upon this earth that is your own, down to each blade of grass.
Your mercy to each living thing is only but a hint
of all your love to every man,  the reason you were sent.

The way you love us through the night and also through the day,
is proof of all your faithfulness and promises you made.
Our lives are but a shadow of the precious things to come
When we’ll reach out and touch your face; our God, our Christ, our home!

For further thought and prayer:

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  Isaiah 52:7


The sun shines brightly as leaves sing with the breeze.

“The wind blows wherever it pleases.  You hear its sound but you can not tell where it comes from or where it is going.  So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  John 3:8

When I get to heaven, I want to be in the part with perpetual breezes.  There’s nothing better than a soft breeze gently blowing on me, especially in the summertime.  On those days when it’s hot and the air is stuffy, just feeling a breeze from a fan (even if it’s not cool air) feels heavenly.

I must admit though, a breeze in the wintertime cuts through to the bones.  In these days of pumping your own gasoline, getting out of the car in the winter and having to stand there while bitterly cold wind blows is not fun.  And now the recommendation is that it’s wise to stand there, hand on the gas trigger, to stay grounded in case of any static spark.  So you’re held there, freezing wind howling around and biting into your body.  Ah, winter wind!

In this verse, Jesus refers to the precious Spirit as wind.  Some symbols of the Spirit of God are breath and wind.  Ezekiel writes that the “breath of wind” came upon the valley of dry bones and they came to life. When the Spirit came upon those in the Upper Room on Pentecost, there was a sound of “violent wind” in the room.

Air is all around us – the air we breathe comes from the hand of God.  The wind is air that we can hear and feel and the Spirit of God shows himself to us in this way.  The Spirit of God is sovereign.   He chooses for Himself when and where He will move, whether this way or that.  We can not know the mind of God, but we can know a bit of His heart.  Jesus loves us enough to die for us, so we can be assured that the Spirit will move in ways that glorify the Father and benefit us.  The Spirit of God loves you!

The Spirit was right there at creation, He was “hovering over the waters” in Genesis 1:2.  So the sun that was called into existence was called before Him.  This very sun shines on the also-created leaves that sing with the Spirit in our story.  Creation sings with God’s Spirit (the earth knows its creator) and the Spirit watches over you.  He never leaves you, and He’s present during your ups, your downs, and even the “sideways” that you feel.

Everyone born of the Spirit is tended perfectly.  God knows how to care for those that are His.  When you are “born again” or “born from above” you can be absolutely sure that, even though you do not understand the mind of God, He is ever present and ever loving you.  He absolutely will never leave you, no matter where your mind and emotions find themselves.  No matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, or how you feel – He is there – permanently.  He promised.  God cannot be a holy God and lie to you.  Lying is not holy, so lying is not what He does.  Our God is truth.  The truth is that His Spirit is always around you.  He “will never leave or forsake you.”  Believe that.

We praise our Spirit-Creator, who sings with the earth, and is always with us!

Sing, O Spirit of God, sing!  Breathe, O Spirit of God, breathe!
Dance, O Spirit of God, dance!  Be, O Spirit of God, be!

How can I say just how wonderful You are?
How can I appreciate the love inside Your heart?
What words can I speak to tell You how I feel
about the fact that You are near, and that You are so real?

O Spirit of the Lord, please breathe
Your wisdom through my mind.
Please help me see that You love me
though I am weak and blind. 

Through all the highs and all the lows
You’ll never leave my side.
Your presence heals my heart and soul,
such peace where we abide!

Sing, O Spirit of God, sing!  Breathe, O Spirit of God, breathe!
Dance, O Spirit of God, dance!  Be, O Spirit of God, be!

For further thought and prayer:

“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17


Spying the swing, you break into a good run straight for it. 

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:31

To a child, running isn’t a “workout.”  Running is fun!  There’s nothing better than running free, whether it’s outside on the ground or inside down a hall.  The words “don’t run, you might fall” are spoken to children everywhere.  I never even thought about falling, I just ran with all my might.  And when I was happy, I skipped!

After running a while, even the most exuberant child will get tired.  The cheetah (who is the fastest animal on the earth) can accelerate from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3 seconds, and can run between 70 and 75 miles per hour for 1,600 feet.  But a cheetah can only go so far and then has to stop.  Afterwards while he lies panting, small animals can come out in front of him.  He can’t do much about it because he’s tired, and they know it.

Those who hope in the Lord will run and not grow weary!  The word “hope” means to believe, desire, or trust.  Those who believe the Lord, those who desire the Lord, those who trust the Lord will not grow tired, discontented, or bored.  The new life Jesus gives us is an abundant one filled with adventure!  There is rarely a dull moment as we walk hand-in-hand with Him along the way.  The peaks and valleys that we experience in our lives become opportunities to see Jesus make good on His promises.  And He does make good!  Then as those around us see the evidence of Him in our lives, because of our hope in Him, they will be drawn to Him.

In the book of John, Jesus said that “when I am lifted up from the earth, (I) will draw all people unto myself.”  Jesus was lifted up on the cross for everybody’s sake.  Lifting up Jesus in your life is keeping your hope in Him.  As you hope in Christ, whether you are feeling down or up, He will shine from you in every way.  The hope that you have in Christ will in itself bring healing.  Everything that concerns His glory is good and as you choose to live in the light of Jesus you will experience all of His wonder.

Little by little it all adds up, and after a while you’ll find that the hope that you’ve placed in Him has become a mountain of trust.  What a mighty God!  The same Jesus that used five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand men (in addition to the women and children) still multiplies within your life.  He doesn’t miss one small bit of trust that you place in Him and this will strengthen you.  As this happens, others will see Christ within you.

We praise our Sustainer, our God who gives us strength!

Nothing is stronger than my God, His might I can’t define.
His strength so great, His power grand,And yet He came to die!
Upon the cross of
Calvary, Himself He cast aside.
And willingly He chose to be the Sacrifice for His bride.

What love He showers on me, how can I ever know?
For even with such might and strength, He bends to me below.
Oh, Jesus, how I thank you!  You proved to me that day,
that I am worth Your very blood in which You freely gave.

I lift to You my hands in praise, and in Your strength I dance.
For Your gift to me is abundant life, in every circumstance.
So take this created life of mine and make it all Your Own.
I run to You with all I have – my mind, my heart, my soul.

For further thought and prayer:

“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”  Philippians 4:13 (NLT)


Once there you fall into the seat, stomach down, and back up.

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”  Psalm 37:23-24

There’s quite a helpless feeling when you’re falling.  You know that you’re going down and alarms go off in your mind.  If possible, in less than a second you’re grabbing anything close by to stop your descent.  You are powerless during a fall.

Years ago, when Hannah was on the way, we were living in New Jersey.  I was far along, ready to deliver in a month or so.  It had snowed and I was going into the church building on Sunday morning with my husband under one arm, and another fellow under another.  I stepped on some ice and if it wasn’t for the both of them I would have gone down.  It scared me silly, and now I don’t go near icy walks if I can help it.

Falling can also be good.  Metaphorically speaking, “falling” in love is the best thing yet!  Falling in bed is marvelous when you’re tired.  Gently falling backwards in a pool to float on your back is relaxing.  For children, falling in a big pool of plastic balls is great fun.  And falling into a swing is wonderful!  On your stomach in a swing, there are things on the ground that you might never otherwise see without really looking.  Bugs crawling around, little plants growing, and little rocks hidden by both.  You might even find a treasure.

In the bipolar world, life is up, down, up, down, and up again.  As you delight in Christ and place your hope in Him alone, His word promises that you “will not fall, for the LORD upholds (you) with His hand.”  This meaning of “fall” is “to become less or lower; to decline.”  God makes your steps firm as you listen to Him and obey His word.  You won’t become less than He created or follow a downward course.  All of God’s ways pull you up if you’ll take great pleasure in pleasing Him.  The downward pull of bi-polar or depression can be rough, but God wants to guide you, step by step, day by day, second by second.  And as you yield to His ways, you will see Him more clearly as He holds you and works wonders in your life.

Consider another falling down, falling on your knees in prayer.  As you see creation that would otherwise be missed while on your stomach in the swing, in the same way you will see more clearly God’s Hand in your life when you’re humble before Him in prayer.  He will show you how He works in small ways.  You’ll see Him answer prayers before you ask and even while you’re asking.  Sometimes you’ll have to wait to see His answer.  The fact is that He wants to show you some amazing things.  Your part is to co-operate with Him by allowing Him to be present in your daily life.  24/7.  Prayer is listening to God and talking to God, in that order.  This type of “falling” is the most important of all.

When you fall, take care that you fall into the Arms of God.

We praise our Almighty God; the One Who will not drop us!

When I fall down into the black of despair,
I will not sink for You’re already there.
Your hands will never let me go.
Your love is deep and reaches low.

You’re present in low depths of my mind.
You draw me out of the dark places I find.
You pick me up; hold me to your Heart.
I cannot speak.  My soul is dark.

You hold me close, and as I listen carefully,
I know You’re near and can even hear You breathe.
You whisper great things that in my heart resound
and through it all, Your love comes pouring down.

Somehow through this, a glimpse of Your great light
begins to shine into the black that is my night.
I feel Your holy fire burn
and sear the blackness that You spurn. 

Before I know it, you have opened there
a lovely window within my dark despair.
And as I listen, I hear a joyful melody
coming from Your holy lips, singing over me!

As I continue to remain with You,
the window becomes a door – it’s true!
The door is large and it opens wide,
And heavenly “Sonlight” shines inside!

And then in time, there’s no longer a door,
no walls or roof, or even a floor!
Within my heart, my soul, and mind,
there’s only Light – and only You I find!

How can it be that You would love me so,
to work in patience, and in my darkness go?
You enter into dark hollows of my mind,
You shout out “Peace!” and my heart’s no longer blind.

You fill the depths in me with light.
For in Your Presence there is no night.
I dance with joy to the bells that peal,
Praise Jehovah-Rapha – the God that heals!   

For further thought and prayer:

“LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.”  Psalm 16:5-7


Turning round and around, you twist the chains until they’re tight.

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress.  He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.  Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind,” Psalm 107:13-15

Ocean liners are amazing.  That such a very heavy boat would float on water is truly a miracle in itself.  Not only does it float, but it also moves forward, backward, and in circles.  At the beach, sometimes one can spy a very large ship way out in the ocean and even from far away it’s impressive.

Have you ever seen an anchor on a huge ship?  The sheer size and weight of the anchor is a sight to behold.  At the end of this mighty anchor is another wonder:  the chain.  It is absolutely enormous.  It has to be enormous in order to hold the grand ship while it’s anchored and also to pull the anchor in when it’s time for the ship to get under way.

Chains come in many kinds and sizes.  From the huge chain on a ship’s anchor to the tender little chain holding a child’s gold locket.  Jewelry chains are fashionable and also come in many different sizes and looks.  There’s the small choker chain, and very large links that make a long necklace.  There are necklaces with multiple strands of chains, and even chains that are almost invisible because they are so delicate.

Figuratively, the image of chains is usually not pretty.  When you are “in chains” you’re restrained or bound by someone or something.  When in chains, you’re at the mercy of whom or what is holding you.  It’s hard to move or function very well because you’re stuck, walled in, and restricted.

Going up and down in emotions feels as though chains are binding every piece of your mind.  It’s like lots of little chains linked to this larger chain which is linked to….who knows where.  It’s a never-ending chain of up and down, up and down, this and that, and then sideways.  All of the chains are hooked together in some weird fashion and it feels like you’re a marionette, where someone is pulling this one, then that one, and then this one again.  It’s the out-of-control feeling that leads a helpless one to cry for mercy.

God is mercy!  He hears His children when they cry out and tends to them.  He wouldn’t be much of a Father to ignore a frantic call for help from one of His own.  But He is the best Father of all.  He is holy and good, and never ignores His children when they call.

When we have Jesus in our hearts, we are free.  Jesus died on the cross so that you could have true freedom.  As He cried out, “It is finished,” He was saying, “Paid in full!”  Your chains fell off as soon as you asked Christ to be Lord of your life.  As you obey and trust Him step by step, you will live a life of freedom and joy.  The amount of freedom and joy that you experience in your life is in direct proportion to the amount of obedience and trust that you put in Christ.

Read it again.  The amount of freedom and joy that you experience in your life is in direct proportion to the amount of obedience and trust that you put in Christ.  So, putting a “little” trust in Jesus and obeying Him once in a while will bring about a small amount of freedom and joy.  But to experience full freedom and joy, you must dive into the pool of the Spirit.  One day at a time, obey Him with all your might (He will help you do this) and little by little, you will experience even more of the joy of The Lord.  The great thing is that the amount of joy you receive will always grow and never end.

Since the chains are gone, why pretend that they are still there?  They are gone.  The enemy would have you believe in a mirage.  No.  The chains are gone.  Jesus gave you full abundant life, so why take only a little bit?  He gave you the entire gift and desires that you take all of it.  As you take it all, you actually bless His heart.

Believing God is hard work and takes diligence.  You are a child of the King and you have everything at your hand and in your heart to believe Him.  You are deeply loved and desired.  God watches over all you do and Jesus sits now, at this very minute, at God’s right hand and is praying for you as your Intercessor.  The Holy Spirit is with you at this very moment as you read, and is ready to speak to you, move you, and help you.  If you could only see Him with different eyes, you’d see Him in the room.  He is right beside you.  As you move from darkness into light, one step at a time, God will be glorified.    

In the bi-polar or depression world, God has given wisdom and there are guidelines that can be followed that will help, and He will show you what must be done.  It’s important to co-operate with Christ each step of the way.  In time, the freedom and joy you receive will be seen by those around you.  Your face will shine with His glory!

We praise our Redeemer; The One Who sets us free!

I couldn’t move, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stand.
Until You came, I couldn’t even lift my hands.
As You broke forth I felt the freedom on my wrists,
and heard the chains fall on the floor as off they slipped.

You heard my cry, You felt my pain, You brought me out.
I’ve been set free, no more in chains; there is no doubt
that you are God, the One who cares the most for me.
My lips shall praise your holy Name eternally.

And I can smile and I can live with no more fear,
because You conquer all my foes and give me cheer.
Now free to move, for thus I am no longer chained,
I lift my hands with love, and softly say Your name.


For further thought and prayer:

“Freely you have received, freely give.”  Matthew 10:8b   


You shift your weight forward and draw your knees up to the swing.

“Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way; say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, He will come with a vengeance; with divine retribution He will come to save you.’”   Isaiah 35:2-4

The knee is the largest joint in the body and supports most of the body’s weight.  This joint is quite complex and is vulnerable to injury.  Ask someone who has a bad knee just how much a healthy one is appreciated.  Steady exercise is good for the knees to keep them strong.  And wearing good shoes, doing pre-exercise stretches, and keeping a balance of intensity during exercise will help in maintaining healthy knees.

To bend the knee or to kneel indicates submission, which is yielding to the power of another.  Is it hard for you to think about yielding the right-of-way of your life to another?  It’s difficult to allow anyone into a life that is focused on “me, me, and me.”  In our Western culture, slavery is tantamount to horror and is outlawed.  So in the mindset of people living here, submission sometimes equals slavery.

When Jesus became Lord of your life, you chose to be a willing participant in submission to Your King.  In submitting to Christ, you find freedom and rest.  What irony!  Bowing your knee to Him is where you will find healing and strength.  He is God of creation, the great I AM, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.  Yielding to Him is a joy and delight because He loves you more than anyone.

In the middle of the chaos of mood swings, the best place to be is with Jesus in prayer.  Christ gave you an amazing gift the day He died.  That gift is total access to God.  Anytime or anywhere, in your spirit you can be right in the throne room of God.  The wonderful thing is that you are not only welcomed there, but you are wanted there.  He desires your presence every day, all day.  You have an open invitation to speak and be with Him.  As you submit to His authority, He will move in your behalf and become your Healer.  One day at a time, you will experience ongoing healing.  But you must ask.

When swinging down, sometimes it’s all you can do to move.  If you will ask God to help you, and then try, you will be amazed.  One step at a time, if your health will allow, move to your knees from where you’re sitting or lying down.  If your health doesn’t permit this, close your eyes and in your mind see yourself kneeling before God.  When you get before Him, pour your heart out and tell Him everything.  He is listening to you, and every word you say goes straight into His heart.  Even if you can’t speak, He hears your heart.

Are you swinging up?  While doing your best to remain in His presence, call out to Him.  God knows you and He knows how to get through to you even within the throes of being manic.  “Kneel down” during the “ups” and allow the Spirit to lay His gentle hand on you to slow down your mind and body.  Submit to Him in the upward swing, giving Him full control of all you are.  Obey His instructions, one at a time, and you will find healing.  Continually following Him makes you grow into the likeness of Christ.  Then you begin to look like Him to others and He is glorified in your life.

In our story, in order to pull your knees up to the swing, your weight is shifted forward.  The effort of shifting the weight allows the knees to be pulled up.  Submitting requires a deliberate effort on your part.  You are not God’s robot.  You’re a living, breathing, thinking creation with a will of your own.  The sweet thing is that as a child of God, you can hand your will over to Him so that He can shape it to be like His.  Co-operate with Him by making the effort to yield to His wisdom.  The One that loves you best is the One that you can trust the most.  That One is Jesus.

We praise our God by humbly kneeling before Him in joyful submission!

Sweet joy poured forth from Trinity
and created earth and sky and sea.
The love within the heart of God
brought forth a man made from the sod.
God’s Arms held out, with love He bid –
God didn’t have to, yet He did!

This man fell down and from God turned,
forgot this love, and God he spurned.
He didn’t care, and moved his gaze
into dark places with thoughts and ways.
God’s Arms held out, with love He bid –
God didn’t have to, yet He did!

So in His love, God sent His Son
to die for man and all he’s done.
Upon the cross of
Christ bled and died to set man free.
God’s Arms held out, with love He bid –
God didn’t have to, yet He did!

With awesome power, Christ conquered death!
He paid man’s bill and offers rest.
Now there’s a road back to God’s throne
built by the love of God Alone.
God’s Arms held out, with love He bid –
God didn’t have to, yet He did!

So now with joy and willing heart,
I bend my knees right from the start.
Submitting all to Christ my King,
I humbly kneel and gladly sing –
“O God my Rock, I yield to You;
I do not have to, yet I do!”

For further thought and prayer:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:6-7


Like a top you spin with your eyes closed, and the momentum twists the chains again.  Slowing down and then spinning the other way, this keeps up until the swing stops. 

“They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.”  Mark 15:17

It’s hard to explain how it feels to be bi-polar, being thrown to and fro while doing your best to thrive.  Sometimes, when you think things are going along well, here comes the next bump.  It may be a small curb-style bump or it may be a huge hill.  Either way, you feel it thoroughly.

Thoughts shoot through the mind like a pinball.  First here, then there, and back to here again.  Feeling on top the world, with everything in hand, the highs can feel amazing.  Your opinion of yourself goes through the roof; you’re invincible and can do anything.  Nothing holds you back and your creative juices flow like crazy.

Working way into the wee hours, you seem to get more creative the later it gets.  Whatever the project, the flow turns into a flood as you work.  Before you know it, it’s daytime and you are very pleased with what you’ve accomplished.  Proud enough to broadcast to one and all everything that you did “last night.”  You think that you are absolutely wonderful.  Moving at 80 miles per hour and not stopping for anyone or anything.  Who wants to sleep?  All of this is too exciting!

And then, in what seems like a flash, but probably isn’t, you wake up one morning to find that your mind moves like molasses, with thoughts sticking in sad and lonely places.  In a weird way, thinking about the bad things that have happened to you feels kind of good.  You soon wrap yourself in the dark cloak of the things that happened to you “once upon a time” and then you sink under the weight of that darkness.

Sleep is good then, lots of long and deep sleep.  If you sleep you won’t have to think about these midnight places where there are dark caverns of hopelessness.  Curling up under the covers of despair and closing your eyes, drifting off to a place of your own making seems a comfort.

Nothing feels good, nothing is fun, and you don’t want to be around anyone.  Life becomes a chore to be done, and there is no joy or light anywhere.  Slipping into the furthest corner, a place where you can get away from everyone, that’s where you run.  It seems as though you’re stuck like glue to the chair or bed.  Moving takes great effort.

When Jesus died on the cross, He went into those dark caverns of hopelessness, delivered one swift kick and they collapsed.  He took the corners of the midnight places and like the dirty rugs they are, He picked them up and flung them across the universe.  When Jesus comes in, He cleans up the place.

Jesus stepped into the pinball thoughts and caught the pinball in His hand.  He stills the flashing lights in your head, puts His arms around your shoulders and grants you peace.  He slows down your mania to a place of calm, where the Spirit moves in you and around you in such a way that you can sense His tranquil presence.  Jesus cleans up the place.

The twisting and turning of mood swings have already been conquered by Jesus.  He has proven Himself victorious over all of them.  He is the ultimate Redeemer and washed all of the darkness, sadness, excessive highs, and out-of-control feelings away.  They didn’t stand a chance in the path of the King of Kings because He put them to death.  He did it all on the cross.

When Jesus is your Lord, you have access to everything He is.  As you fly high and dive low, He is beside you.  Wherever you find yourself, Jesus is also there.  Lift up your head, and if you can’t lift it up, ask Him to help you lift it.  He will help you as He promised.  He is your Healer.  He is your Friend.

We praise our God, the Lord that never leaves our side!

Loud noises and bright lights are there right before me.
And then in a flash they rise up within me.
My senses are heightened, by heart starts to race.
Exaggeration arrives and stares me in the face.

My nights are then full of excited obsession,
no limits on time with creative expression.
The thoughts in my head are bouncing around,
with feelings that I might never calm down.

And then crashing fast when it’s unexpected,
I sky-dive to depths that leave me dejected.
Curling up in the low place that shadows my mind,
I sense darkness around me in this space so confined.

Sad thoughts overwhelm me as I think them through,
and then realize that it’s all déjà vu.
Revisiting places that I’ve already been,
familiar memories that highlight the shadows within.

But look!  A bright light in this darkness I see!
And in moments this bright light is shining on me!
I feel a strong Hand gently lift up my head,
and there’s life growing out of that which felt dead.

Christ lifted me up; placed my feet on firm ground.
My blessed Redeemer!  What joy I have found!
His healing stays with me as I hold His hand,
for I’m filled with His strength as with Jesus I stand!

For further thought and prayer:

“Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me; your right hand will hold me fast.  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.”  Psalm 139:7-12


You hang there for a bit, looking at the ground.

“Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”  Psalm 42:5

The word “why” is understood but hard to define.  The definition is a question.  “For what?  For what reason, cause or purpose?”   In this passage of scripture the psalmist is asking himself why he’s dejected and disturbed.  He’s talking to himself.  What follows is that he answers his own question by reminding himself to “put…hope in God.”

Sandwiched between bipolar mood swings are clear moments.  Moments where you may ask yourself, “What is happening here?”  For a little while you may feel as though you have been thrown off of a carnival ride.  You look around, wonder what exactly has been going on, and find yourself confused.  Things aren’t right somehow and you don’t even know where to start in figuring out what to do next.  “What have I been doing?”  “What have I been saying?”  “What has happened in the last ____ days?”  “Why is this happening to me?”  The word “frustrating” doesn’t even begin to cover how it feels to not understand what has been happening to you, or around you, not to mention why it is happening.

Sometimes you may wonder what “bad thing” you did that made you have this problem.  Do you find yourself asking, “Why did God give this to me?”

In John 9:1-3, the “why” is addressed by Jesus Himself.  “As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

God desires to display His works in you.

Everyone has something wrong with them; no one is perfect.  Every person on earth has sinned, is sinning, and will sin.  Everyone has a problem of some sort, whether material, physical, mental, or otherwise.  When man sinned in Eden, the box was opened and the ugly fell out.  Jesus came, killed the ugly, and like a snake when it is killed, the ugly is still writhing around as it dies.

There is redemption for those who come to Christ and a robe of righteousness is given to them.  But until we are taken to glory to be with Jesus, we still have to contend with the writhing snake.  The battle has been won but there are still skirmishes that must be fought.  Remember that those in Christ, who are sons and daughters of God, are equipped with everything needed to be totally victorious in each fight. You read that right.  Those words are “equipped with everything to be totally victorious.”  God will “meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:19.

You are perfectly equipped if Jesus is your Lord.  Always remember that you carry a mighty weapon.  This is the word of God.  It is very important to know God’s word to slay the enemy during battle.  Bible study is vital to warfare because when you’re studying the Bible you are practicing with your weapon.

Every warrior who goes out to battle must know how to use his weapon.  When David battled Goliath he knew how to use a sling.  His own hands were weapons.  He told Saul that he killed a lion and a bear with his own hands.  David knew about weapons.

Moreover, when Satan tempted Christ Jesus, the very Son of God, the weapon Jesus used against him was scripture.  “For the word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12.

Ask God to show you weapons, scripture that you can use during the up and down times of your life.  He will do that.  He is real, He is on your side, and He loves you like no other could ever love you!  Wait for His answer, and as He gives you the scriptures you are to use in battle, read and learn them.  Memorize them (He will help you do this as well) and have them in your mind and heart, ready to pull out of your mental scabbard in a moment’s notice.

Bipolar symptoms can not stop God.  He knows how to speak to you within the mania and the depression.  He can be trusted to do this and you will hear Him.  Ask Him to help you.  In the heat of battle, the Holy Spirit will tell you what to speak.

Obviously some battles last longer than others; but don’t give up.  Keep on speaking God’s word.  Do it out loud because the enemy is not omniscient, he can’t read your mind.  Speak it as much as you need to do so, and the battle will be won.  God promised.  Don’t leave your weapon at your side – use it!

We praise our Lord, who glorifies Himself through us and arms us for battle!

When I lift my hands to you, O Lord,
within them you place a sharpened sword.
With the Holy Spirit at my side,
I learn to use it and not to hide.

Your words are true, directly sent
from Your own mouth for Your intent.
While into my heart and mind they sound,
they lift me up from feeling cast down.

I open my mouth and speak your word
and evil disperses at what was heard!
The holy shot has hit the mark
Bull’s-eye achieved within the dark.

And after the skirmish, I praise your Name
for bestowing your grace and perfecting my aim.
The “whys” in my heart, I’ve cast them all down
and with joy at Your feet, I lay down my crown.

For further thought and prayer:

“This is what the LORD says to you:  do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army.  For the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  2 Chronicles 20:15b


Then you stand up, turn around, and sit down in the seat.

“To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.”  Revelation 3:21

“Children, sit down!”  Did you ever hear this while growing up?  If the class in school got a bit rowdy, the teacher would raise her voice with this statement and the next thing you knew, everyone was in their seat, quiet and still.  Usually, that is.  It was hard to sit down when you were excited, especially if the announcement was that you were going to go outside for recess, or that something wonderful was going to happen.  When things got joyful, up everyone went, dancing around their desks.

Sitting down is a terrific thing, though, when you’re tired.  After working hard, exercising, or being on your feet for awhile, sitting down feels like heaven!  Holding up your feet and letting them rest is wonderful.  Sitting down allows you to regain your strength so that you may get up again and get back to things.  A rest for your feet and legs allows your muscles to take a break.

Jesus sat down.  Back in the time of Jesus, when a teacher taught, he sat down and the pupils, or those who listened, stood up.  The Bible talks about many instances where Jesus was teaching crowds of people, and He “sat down.”  I’m sure that some of the teachings or sermons weren’t short ones.  Stamina was needed to learn from a teacher.

There’s another, more important time that Jesus sat down.  “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory, and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.  After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”  Hebrews 1:3

So right now, Jesus sits at God’s right hand.  When Jesus said “It is finished,” He meant it.  When the job is done, what do you do?  You sit down.  Jesus is sitting down.

In our story, you were on your stomach in the swing, looking at the ground.  So, being downcast, you have brought your sword out and used it.  Then you rise up from your stomach, stand, turn around, and then sit down in the swing’s seat.  You have fully trusted in the power of the Spirit to defeat the enemy. The skirmish is over and God has again won!  So you sit down in victory and God receives even more glory.  Our Father’s glory is bright and those around you will see Him for the Healer that He is, being drawn to His light.  Your victory in battle is a testimony to what Christ can do with a yielded soul.

Sometimes the Spirit will tell you to claim victory and sit down before the result is clearly seen.  Listen to God’s Spirit and sit down when He directs.  His mind is greater than yours and He knows what He’s doing; you can completely trust Him.

Again, this yielding or submitting to Jesus takes time and effort.  As you learn to follow His directions, you will be able to sit down in the swing again and again.  The small skirmishes will be fought and won as they occur within your life.  Remember, He is true to His word and will equip you with everything you need to be victorious over each battle.

Jesus said in Revelation 3:21 that as you are victorious, you sit with Him on His throne.  You sit alongside of Him, just as He sits alongside of the Father on His throne.  Just think of it, you are victorious in the sight of Almighty God!  He is pleased with you and rejoices with you that you believe Him.  That belief in Him increases your love for Him.  He loves you so very much and as you go from victory to victory your love for Him grows ever stronger.  You can love Him back with all of your heart, soul, and mind.

Remember, this brings joy to the very heart of God Himself.  Isn’t it amazing that little you can bless the heart of huge God?  Awesome!

We praise our Lord, who gives us victory!

This battle is over and all is now quiet.
I wasn’t quite sure and I won’t deny it.
My faith like a mustard seed I exercised;
as I look at this victory I admit I’m surprised.

The next battle is conquered; I understand even more,
stepping forward in Christ, I’m well-armed to the core.
He tells my heart, “Now, on this throne you must sit,”
even though this fought victory I don’t see a bit!

Again I go forth with sword in my hand.
I strike once and again at the Spirit’s command.
Speaking this, claiming that, then using my shield,
again comes sweet victory as I choose to yield.

Another battle I face and I know what to do.
The words from the Spirit are swift and are true!
Again comes the victory, I’m no longer face-down,
for Jesus my King tells me, “Child, now sit down!”

I know the next battle must be fought once more
and victory means surrender to the God I adore.
Now “glory to glory” with Jesus I go,
seated with Him in heaven, defeating my foe.

For further thought and prayer:

“The LORD says to my Lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’  The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion saying, ‘Rule in the midst of your enemies!’  Your troops will be willing on your day of battle.  Arrayed in holy splendor, your young men will come to you like dew from the morning’s womb.”  Psalm 110:1-3


Stepping back as far as the swing allows, and holding onto the chains, you pull your feet up into the air.

“…I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored.  Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.”  Daniel 4:34

Up.  You’ve heard the old saying, “What goes up, must come down.”  Well, I’m here to tell you that in God’s Kingdom you will find opposites to be the case.  Jesus said that the last will be first.  To be great in God’s kingdom, you must be humble and willing to go low.  Love your enemies, do good to those who hurt you.  Forgive others over and over and over.  Kingdom ways are the opposite of what you may think or feel.

To a Christian bi-polar or clinically depressed soul, the opposite is true:  “what goes down, must come up.”  Christ was “lifted up” onto the cross to lift mankind up – to lift you up!  You are His workmanship, and His desire is to pull you up from every pit. The dictionary defines “up” as “to, toward, or in a more elevated position; any point that is considered higher.”

God is definitely way higher than man, and He wants us to trust Him for everything.  Lasting comfort, healing, and joy are only to be found at the throne of God.  Everything else is a band-aid.  Eventually the wear and tear of the world will wear a band-aid off.  Then when you see that it didn’t stay on, you tend to go and find another band-aid that you think will work.  In time, that band-aid comes off, too.  On and on you go, going from one brand to another to see if one of them will adhere to your hurt and make everything better.

Nebuchadnezzar found out the hard way that God is higher.  During a stroll in his palace, he told himself just how wonderful he was, full of power and majesty and that he was so proud of how he built his kingdom.  He made the mistake of putting himself in the place of God.

Immediately he was in trouble.  Scripture says that “he was driven away from people and ate grass like the ox.  His body was drenched with the dew of heaven until his hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a bird.”

What happened next?  Then he raised his eyes toward heaven and God restored his sanity.  Remember that Christ is in the restoration business.  He is the most thorough Carpenter and his work is priceless.  When He restores your brokenness you are better than before.  His work is done bit by bit and over time, as you are obedient, you will see that the new ways He puts you together go way beyond any band-aid that man can make up.  He does surgery on your hurts and as you remain focused on Him, the healing will never wear off.  He truly is the Holy Carpenter of your life.

This is again where your personal relationship with Him comes in.  Step by step, He will tell you how to climb out of the pit.  Each person’s relationship with Him is different and He will instruct you personally about what to do next.  Listen to His still, small voice and obey what you see and/or hear.  He will tell you how to pull your feet up into the air as you sit in the swing.  Do what He says to do.

Just like Nebuchadnezzar, if you look up to heaven, your sanity will be restored.  As you look up, you will then be up, and God will be glorified.

We praise our God, who is Over and Above All Things!

You should see this view!

Looking down, I see the pit that I was in and it is so very small.
Who would know that dark and sad things would be there?
In that very little spot that I thought was so huge, so mountainous;
from here, from God’s point of view, from this place Jesus brought me,
I see the truth of the cavern where I have been curled up and sleeping.

It is so small that I can’t believe my eyes.
When I was there, I thought it stretched from here to the moon,
and with the Eyes of my Savior I see that I have been so very wrong.
By His grace I have fought this fight to see my prison from on high.
The sheer minuscule vision of this sight astonishes my mind.

I – am – truly – shocked!

You should see this view!

There’s light everywhere and I can feel the breeze on my face.
It’s green and lush as far as I can see.  All is bright, all is clear.
I feel the warm sun.  There’s no darkness anywhere, not even a shadow. 
The gray in my mind has been washed away; around me there is color.  

Somewhere in my heart, I hear a whisper, ‘This is what joy looks like.’

The music in the air is sweet and I feel the presence of God’s Spirit.
He is the Breeze that dances around me and that bids me to join Him.
From this view I see beauty like I’ve never seen; I feel God’s peace.
The fight in the skirmish was worth this view, this looking through Jesus’ Eyes. This new view is a gift from God and I bow before Him in adoration.

I – am – truly – breathless!

You should see this view!

For further thought and prayer:

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.  For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.”  Colossians 3:1-3


You fly forward, pumping harder and harder with your feet, making the swing go higher. 

“For He had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch Him.  Whenever the impure spirits saw Him, they fell down before Him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.’”  Mark 3:10-11

Ah, the roller coaster!  When you get on a roller coaster and start climbing that first hill, your heart starts pumping so loud that you can hear it in your ears.  The higher you get, the louder it seems.  Then you get to the top of the hill.  The chains that pull the ride up the hill stop, and for a second it’s quiet.  The weight of the car keeps pulling the ride forward over the very top.  All of a sudden down you go, along with your stomach, forward and fast.  Either you scream, laugh with your hands up in the air, or do your best to hold on with your eyes closed.  For many people, this is going forward with fun!

Sometimes going forward isn’t fun at all.  The battles that you face are sometimes temporarily lost and it’s tempting to just stop and say, “What’s the use?”  “I will never be able to stop doing all of this.  Why keep this up?”

People pushed forward to touch Jesus because they saw or heard about how He could heal.  The demons knew who He was and fell before Him.  Many people were trying to get up front.  Word got around about how He was healing people and you can be sure that everybody and their sister was rushing to where He could be found so that maybe, they would be healed.  You can also be sure that some people came along to see the “show.”  Curious bystanders, like when there’s a police car with flashing lights at the side of the road and cars slow down to see what happened.

It is important as you continue on with Jesus that you do not stop.  Keep going – don’t stop.  Even if a battle wasn’t won, do not stop!  The Spirit of God will help you through all of the rough spots.  Even if you dropped your sword, He will show you how to pick it up again and wield it with His power.

You may hear in your head those words, “You will never be able to do this.”  As soon as you hear anything like those words, go as fast as you can in your heart and mind straight to the Spirit of God.  Ask Him and He will tell you what to do.  He knew what you heard, He is God.  When you hear His instructions, follow them.  Going to Him in itself is a beautiful victory.  You have already taken a step forward.  Then, when you obey, step by step you will ultimately win the skirmish.

In Galatians, it’s clearly stated.  “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”  The trend you should strive for is to go forward.  If you keep going the result will be exactly right.  God said so.

Lazarus was raised from the dead by Jesus, and when that happened, Jesus called him forth.  I don’t know how it went inside the tomb, but Lazarus had to get up from where he was lying.  Even with the burial clothes and being bound, he had to walk forward and out of the grave.  God gave him what he needed to get up and do what was commanded.

Do you feel bound and unable to keep going?  Like Lazarus, God will give you everything you need to go forward in and with Him.

Co-operate with Jesus and keep looking ahead, not in the rear-view mirror.  He empowers you to overcome and to be victorious.  Christ is serious and means business, wanting you to enjoy the abundant life that you’ve been given.  So rest in Him and move forward, precious one!  One day at a time, one step at a time, you can do it, because the very power that raised Jesus from the dead is inside of you right now.

We praise our God, the One who brings us forth!

Sometimes it’s hard to move ahead when the battle is fought and lost.
I think I should forget it all and let it all be tossed.
How easy would it be for me to drop this war, giving in,
to throw away my weapon, to take it on the chin.

It hurts when I do battle, then find things gone awry,
What’s the use? Just let it go and no longer give it a try.
But somewhere deep inside my heart I hear a mighty word.
“Forward!” the cry, resounding inside; my heart again is stirred.

I stop and remember past battles won with Christ who is my strength;
there’s nothing’s too large to fight against, no height, nor depth, nor length.
With feeble hands, again I stoop, picking up the sword that fell;
I realize my grasp is strong, the thoughts of loss dispelled.

While though I tripped as I fought this fight, I must keep fighting on.
No looking behind, but going forth, my sword continually drawn.
And with my Savior encouraging me, I’ll remain upon this course,
and eventually win this battle with joy, and glorify my Source!  

For further thought and prayer:

“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  1 Thessalonians 5:11


Back and forth, up and down, the rhythm makes you begin to sing a little quiet song.

“You are my strength, I sing praise to you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.”  Psalm 59:17

What is your favorite song?  Do you have one or several?  How do you feel when you hear that song?  Music is a sweet gift from God.  It has the ability to lift you up, help you think, and make you weep or laugh.

Music is one of the first things you learn.  One way to quiet a baby’s cry is to sing a lullaby.  This sound of music, something sweet, makes the baby stop and listen to what he or she hears.  There’s a new sound in the room and the baby has to stop and listen.  The music changes the focus from what is wrong with the baby to listening to the melody.  Music soothes and comforts the soul.

God is the God of music and praise!  It is He that created music and He enjoys all of His creation.  Did you know that when you praise God you actually bless His heart?  You are instructed to minister before Him, and that includes ministering to Him.  He delights in your praises.  Not because He is vain.  God has no reason to be vain.  He is God!  Proof that He is not vain can be seen in the cross of Christ.  A vain God would not go to the cross and die for you.

But God delights in your praises because He knows that as you praise Him you draw closer to Him.  Praise shapes your character.  His interest is that your character becomes like Jesus in every way.  Praising God pleases Him and I know it must make Him smile.  Amazing, isn’t it?  You can make the God of the universe smile.

As you are in battle, in the throes of being up or down, remember to praise God.  There is victory in praise.  It is written in 2 Chronicles 20 that the Moabites, Ammonites, and some Meunites came to make war on King Jehoshaphat and the tribe of Judah.  The king went to God and asked Him for help.  The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jahaziel, a Levite who was present, and he spoke God’s words of instruction.  He told the king what to do and reminded him that “the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

Early the next morning, they headed out and the king reminded them to have faith.  Beginning in verse 21 it is written:   “After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying:  “Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever.”  As they began to sing and praise, the LORD set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.”

Did you notice the word “as” in the last sentence?  Victory came as they praised God.  Many times in scripture a battle is entered with praise.  There is victory in praise.  There is also healing and release in praise.  In Acts 16, we read that Paul and Silas were thrown in prison, beaten and flogged.  Then they were placed in an inner cell with their feet in stocks, and:  “About midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken.  At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.”

There is power in praising God!  Whenever you praise God by singing, humming, dancing, playing an instrument or any of the like you are becoming one with Christ.  God “inhabits the praises” of His people (from Psalm 22:3 KJV) and so as you praise, you touch God and He touches you.  God is All in All.  He is Mighty in power and when you come near Him in faith, that power rubs off on you.  You have the power of the Spirit within you right now.  Prayer is power and praise is power.  Connecting with God as His born-again child will arm you with all you need.  God equips those whom He calls, those whom He loves, and those who cry out to Him.  Connect to God by praising Him.

Are you down?  Praise God within the shadows.  It is written in Psalm 63:  “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.”

God hears you as you sing in the shadows.  If Paul and Silas can sing in the Spirit after they were beaten, singing in the darkness is possible.  Praise God in the dark and as you do, you will touch Him, because He will pick you up and sit you in His lap.  You can’t help but to touch the One that has you in His lap.

Are you up?  Praise God within the heights.  Hold on to Him as He puts His gentle hand on you and quiets you, and actually sings over youIt is written in Zephaniah 3:  “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.”

What a beautiful gift from God to be able to sing His praises.  It’s vital to remember that it’s man who listens with the ear.  Some say, “I can’t sing, I sound terrible.”  God is not a man.  God listens to your heart, and who knows, but that the most beautiful voice according to man that comes from an arrogant heart makes God cringe.  God looks at your heart and hears as God Himself.  Whatever you sound like, you can be sure that as you praise Him, God loves it!  Furthermore, as you pay attention and grow in Christ, in time you will sense His pleasure.

We praise our God, the Maker of Music!

What’s the sound that’s in my ears?  My heart within pounds loud and clear.
The battle is on; I bow before Christ,
giving thanks that He is here.

As I sink on my couch or fall on my bed, the dusk begins to fall,
and inside my heart, I hear a strong voice, “Sing to Me, like Paul!”

Oh, what shall I sing?  I don’t have a clue, as to how to begin such a song.
For my soul is downcast, my mind cannot think; it will surely come out all wrong.

So I open my mouth and there on my lips are the words the Spirit gives me,
I’m very surprised, for the beauty of it is nothing that I could foresee.

Sweet praise coming forth as I reach for my Lord and Jesus is reaching to me;
in time I get up, my soul has some Light, and I sense once again, “I am free!”

Than later I sense that I’m spinning too high, and I go to the Spirit for peace.
Drawing me near, He says in my ear, “Sing praises, My child, for release.” 

As I sing very strong, a song sweet and long, the praise starts to quiet my soul.
I sense Him pour out His mercy and love, the kindness that makes my mind whole.

And then in awhile, I am quiet and still, and I know we have won once again,
this skirmish of mine; and in this I find that my praises were not in vain.

What’s the sound in my ears?  Such beautiful notes all filled with love divine!
Could this truly be a song just for me?  God is singing, “My child, you are Mine!”

For further thought and prayer:

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude, that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.  They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.  And they cried out in a loud voice:  “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”   Revelation 7:9-10


Going up, you notice your feet and begin to watch them. 

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.  He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights.”  Psalm 18:32-33

Being on top of something at a great height requires stamina.  Some people don’t mind at all.  There are people who work on very high places, like transformers and high-rise buildings, without noticing much how far up they are from the ground.  They walk around on beams like one would walk down the street, even carrying tools to do a job.  Safety ropes are attached to them (very wise, of course) and they seem sure-footed as they keep their mind on the work at hand.  Heights can be easy.

There are others who hate heights and are terrified by them.  Even getting on a Ferris wheel makes their palms sweat.  The idea of looking down to the ground, so very far away, with people looking like ants is on the other side of fun.  Forget climbing Kilimanjaro, or even Pilot Mountain, “no, thank you” they say.  Heights can be hard.

Mountain deer live on great heights, in extreme places.  Sure-footed and tall, they graze and move with ease.  God created their hooves in such a way that they don’t slip.  Not only can they stand, but they can also run with great assurance.  They will stand very high and proud on the top of a cliff, on a very tiny part of the rock.

You may have seen a mountain with deer grazing on the side, not even noticing the steep grade of where they stand.  Any person would be hard-pressed to stand on such a place without paying attention.  There are jokes about how one side of a mountain deer is shorter than the other because of how well it can stand on mountains that are almost vertical.

Living with Jesus as your Lord, you are always sure-footed and safe in spite of the ups and downs in your life.

This scripture verse says that God arms you with strength and secures your way.  Strength is the “inherent capacity to manifest energy, to endure, and to resist.”  Do you see in that verse that God “arms” you with strength?  He will give you everything you need to live, work, and withstand all things that you face.  He will give you everything!

He is the God of All.  He has all things at His disposal for He created all things.  He moves as He sees fit at His appointed time.  Because of Jesus paying your admission price, God allows you to step into His throne room and He delights in your being there.  He is pleased with you as you draw close to Him.  He wants to be with you every day, all of the time, as He once was in the garden with Adam and Eve.  He absolutely loves you, Jesus is proof of that, and He says that He will give you strength.

Here’s yet another reminder:  God doesn’t lie, ever.  In Christ, you can resist, endure, and demonstrate power as you live and go forward down your path.

God secures your way.  He desires to make you steady in the extreme places that you find yourself.  Whether soaring too high or going low, God will equip you with everything you need as you remain focused on Him.  He, Himself, is your security through every situation and in every place.  He will instruct you in the way you should go and as you’re obedient to Him you’ll find much joy in the abundant life you’ve been given.

Your feet are precious and beautiful to God, your physical feet and spiritual feet.  Believe that God has made your feet strong and sure.  The Spirit will hold you up as you rise and stand in His power.  Any strong wind or gale that blows against you will find you standing on the “Solid Rock” as you continue to look to Jesus.  No matter the tiny place where you stand, you will not fall.

We praise our God, the One who keeps us safe!

Here I stand upon this mount, steady in the Spirit’s power.
So many times I cannot count; He is my
Mighty Tower.

My feet He made both strong and sure, I will not even fall nor sway.
For He surrounds my every side, in this, His power display.

Before me there, I see my foe, and trusting God, I move;
as Christ within me comes to bear, again God’s might is proved.

It’s not my strength, my power, my might, but Jesus within me,
that holds me up and helps me fight and stand in victory.

Oh, Jesus, how I know and trust that in You, I’ll always be free.
I thank You for holding me sure and fast; with Your love I’ve found the key!

For further thought and prayer:

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”  Ephesians 6:13


When you swing back, your feet are pointing to the grass and as you go up high into the sky, you’re touching heaven with your toes. 

“But one thing I do:  Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13b-15

Perhaps your memory is as sharp as a tack, one of those people who win at trivia games. How about grocery lists, can you memorize what you need to pick up at the store?  Maybe you wander the aisles telling yourself that if you see what you need, you’ll remember that you need that item.

So you make up a checklist.  Planning ahead of time what you’ll need and then checking off what is bought or done feels good.  You have accomplished that thing and can now move onto the next thing on the list.  Checklists are great helpers so that you’ll not forget.

Memory can be a hard thing.  When you mess up, it’s hard to forget what happened.  You can be sure that sometime in the future, you will be reminded of it, whether by another person or by the enemy.  You will remember, and maybe even cringe at the thought of your mistake.  It comes to you all of a sudden, out of the blue, and in your mind you relive the circumstances again.  Sometimes the battle we fight is our memories.

A bad memory may wake you up in the middle of the night.  There it is, glaring at you with menacing eyes.  “Remember me?  Do you remember when you _______?”   Again you will grimace at the thought and sink down in spirit.

God’s word says that as we ask for forgiveness, repenting of our sin, God forgets it.  He throws the sin in the ocean where nothing can ever retrieve it.  It’s totally gone.

As you go forward in Christ, He will teach you how to forget!  Isn’t that wonderful?

Everyone makes mistakes and everyone in Christ can learn through the Spirit how to forgive themselves.  And as you learn from Jesus how to forgive yourself, you will learn how to forget your mistake as well.  He wants to teach you how to do it.  You begin by taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ.  Plug into the Spirit and He will take you there.

“Swinging back with feet pointing to the grass” is learning how to forget.  Follow Jesus down this path and allow Him to teach you “forgetfulness” in the Spirit.  The abundant life that God desires for you to live can’t be lived rehashing old mistakes.  Jesus has set you free – totally free.  It is written, and came straight from the lips of Jesus Himself, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  John 8:36.  Always remember that Jesus does not lie to you.

So learning to forget allows you to again go forward.  Proceeding ahead with Jesus, you begin to know more about Him and see Him more clearly.  He works in and through you and others will see His glory within you.  There is so much love to go around, so much love to be experienced by everyone.  God is love.

Press on!  With steady pressure, act upon what you learn from God.  Don’t let up; go straight ahead with Christ.  When you arrive at one goal, celebrate that victory with God and with those you love!  Then there will be another goal to reach, and after that, another and another, and so on.  The joy is in the journey The joy is being with God.  The joy is swinging forward, seeing blue sky, and declaring, “I’m touching heaven with my toes!”

We praise our God, the One who calls us heavenward!

After my fall, He picked me up.  But I could not forget
that I fell far, embarrassed myself, and said things I regret.

So tenderly, Christ spoke to me, He whispered in my heart,
“My child, please listen to My words, let go and make a fresh start.”

I asked Him for forgiveness and then He said to me,
“Oh, yes, dear one, it’s gone away, I threw it in the sea.”

“Now every time you think of this, you then should move your gaze
and in your heart look on My face, and with your lips then praise.”

“As you then focus upon Me, and keep Me in your mind,
then in a while, you’ll realize you’ve forgotten what’s behind.”

“For My glory is so wonderful and My love for you immense,
sweet Living Water will flow in your heart, refreshing and intense.”

“And now, we must push forward, for this is in your past,
let’s take a step, now on we go, My hand you must hold fast.”

I cannot tell you just how it feels to know within my soul,
that Christ in me, can set me free from bad memories of old.

And now I know just what to do with all those dreadful thoughts.
I gaze on God; He takes them all and then unties the knots.

So as He said, I take a step, and walk with Him, advancing.
Before I know it, we’re laughing with joy, and I find that we are dancing!

So hear me out, for I will shout, “My God is Healer for all!”
Just turn to Him for everything; He answers when you call.

For further thought and prayer:

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38-39


Amen and amen.