Hand Me Another Thread! …By Cheri Douglas

 

Our tapestries appear as chaos from the back.
Our tapestries appear as chaos from the back.

It was one of our routine twitter chats when God seemed to flood my soul with a metaphor I have thought of before. But this time the flood of thoughts came roaring into my mind in fine details. It spoke to so much of my life and the lives of those to whom I have ministered lately, that I had to write it down

Joseph of Nigeria, @Josebeth07, was the chat leader, not to be confused with the Joseph of Egypt that he was teaching about. We looked at the scripture about when Joseph was imprisoned unjustly and the baker was supposed to put in a good word to get him released. The baker didn’t bother, after Joseph had given him the wisdom that helped him get out of prison. Scripture reports, “He had to stay in prison for 2 more years”. Chat leader, Joseph pointed out that we should notice the timeframe.

I began to wonder what he saw in that timeframe, I had never wondered about before. Suddenly I noticed how precise it was, as though it were a requirement spelled out in some grand plan. It didn’t say, “longer” or “for a while” or “a bit longer”. It was a measurable 2 years. And that is exactly what it took.

Suddenly dozens of critical points in my life flashed before me and I could see how precise chaos looks in retrospect, when you can see the unique connections. One event puts you exactly where you need to be, at the time you need to be there to connect with someone or something pivotal that God has placed, through circumstances at exactly the same time. So life becomes a series of coincidences, or as I prefer to think about it, divine appointments.

I began to wonder how these things weave together to make a life and I saw the vision of a huge weaving loom. We gather our thread and come to the loom, only to find that our Father God is there beside us to help weave our tapestry into a life. We begin handing Him the threads we have gathered and the tapestry begins to take shape as we, like little kids, try our best to do it ourselves. Our Father allows us to do our thing and it goes pretty well for a while, with the abilities& talents He has given us.

But one horrible day we see we are out of thread, or a knot pops up and the thread breaks. The pattern begins to change and there are days when we feel thread bare and our box is empty. We have nothing left to give the master weaver to keep the picture going. Others can give us thread from their box, but it doesn’t quite fit in our color scheme, because each tapestry is unique. It is at this time our Father brings out his sparkling box. As he opens it and glowing light fills the darkness as He pulls out his threads of pure gold, silver, and diamond dust. He goes to work weave among the dark and dull colors we’ve added lately. Suddenly we are energized and begin to want to help with His plan. The tapestry begins to be a delightful hobby as our Father brings a song into our hearts and beautiful light into our tapestry.

Even though we love what we are doing weaving our lives with our Master weaver, Up close,it still looks like a lot of chaos more than a work of art. We can see only a mass of hanging strings and knots from our vantage point. Suddenly,  one day, the Master weaver says,”Watch this! Your life has become a reflection of Me and the plan I have had for you. We have made something beautiful together.” He steps in front of the tapestry and for the first time, like a mirror, He reflects the front side of the tapestry back. I saw in my own amazement, it had become a beautiful artistic reflection of Him in me. For the first time I really knew I had purpose and my tapestry showed it, all within the reflections of His love….such awesome Love.

I see the darkest places and remember that’s when I felt He had left me, as I had tried disparately to do the tapestry alone. Oh yes and I remembered another place of darkness when I had been treated unfairly, and was sure the Master was no where to be found. Not quite so dark were the places I wove when life seemed a meaningless mass of threads that I kept pulling out of my box to use aimlessly.

Suddenly I saw it! I saw the beauty of the pure gold threads my Father & master weaver had added. When I was the lowest, had nothing to offer, and was sure he was gone, he took over with his golden threads. Against the dark and dull threads I had woven, his beautiful threads popped in dramatic contrast. The effect of the contrast was to truly bring the tapestry to life…my life. Regardless of what I had had to work with and how I had seemed to mess up sections, God had used everything as backdrop and depth for the beauty he filled in.

Now I see the beautiful picture forming and I see just where God is leading me in this amazing tapestry of my life. I have been given so much talent and instructions to accomplish His plan for my life. But I will never achieve it alone, because for the greatest beauty of all He will be there to fill in for me. He completes all my gaps.

Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope and beauty that is in you. 1Peter3:15

DON’T LOOK BACK: Tips for Depression

Reach a bright horizon by keeping your eye on it.
Reach a bright horizon by keeping your eye on it.

…by Cheri Douglas

Our “Don’t Look Back” study on Twitter seems to have had a big impact on a lot of people. We have been studying brokenness and how God makes beauty from brokenness, if we hand the pieces over in prayer, devotions, and submission.

Think of some examples. Beautiful stained glass windows come from broken pieces. Our lives can shine again if we follow God’s lead in putting the pieces together again. Another beautiful example is Lifetime Quilts made with patches from significant fabrics that mark the times in our lives. The lowlights and the highlights of life come together in beauty with God’s artistic inspirations.

But many times we get distracted and God can’t get through to us. When God can’t get through to our spirits, depression sets in and can get out of control. . Sometimes the distractions may be the here and now circumstances we can’t see our way through, so we become obsessed with distractions. Sometimes the distractions are our fears about the future and we become frozen in the present. But even more often people get distracted by things they continually look back at and then can’t move forward. They get stuck.

God tells us so many times in so many ways,”Don’t look back”. The concept is clear in the Old Testament and the New Testament. The most powerful image in the OT was Lot’s Wife.( Gen 19:26) The carnal and immoral cities of Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed. Lot and his wife were being saved as a way of God honoring Abraham. All they had to do was follow the angel of God’s directions,”Leave and do not look back”. Lot’s wife couldn’t simply obey. She looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Yes she was stuck, never again to move or look forward. Maybe he should have given her more details. I could have been her. I am so curious! I have had to learn to let go and stop overanalyzing what happened!

Working on this theory, I remembered a verse from the New Testament when Jesus said,”“No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” (Luke9:62)He also reminds us to, “Remember Lot’s wife.” (Luke 17:32)That’s because we get stuck too. We can’t function in the present or have enthusiasm for the future when we are compelled to keep looking back and lamenting the past.

When you really stop to think about it, the big picture reason Jesus came to suffer and redeem us was to get us out of the past and save us for a victorious future. The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The old is gone!! There is nothing there.(2Cor5:17)

At the empty tomb Mary Magdelene was asked, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? (Luke24:5) He was gone!! That would be a good thought to remember when we get stuck in the past. Jesus isn’t there! He can’t help us if we stay there.

The more you think of this theme, the more you see it is the whole broad theme of the Bible, the story of life! We must move forward. During our last monthly prayer hour for depression victims and people with suicidal temptations, I was asked for a list of practical suggestions that have helped me to not look back. So I will list them here.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

Before I give you my spiritual list, let me also suggest you make sure you are seeing a doctor if you are plagued with depression. I have had a lot of physical illness that has triggered depression. So I know that is a big problem with chronic illness. Many prescription drugs also have side effects of depression. You need a doctor who will take overall interest in your health whenever you suffer from depression. Some medications can quickly distort how reality looks by causing imbalances in your brain. Those are things you need to know.

The monster is never really as big as he seems!
The monster is never really as big as he seems!

On a spiritual plain…

  1. Ask the Lord daily to lift the dark cloud from your spirit and lead you to see the things that bring energy and enthusiasm today. Take time to rest in Him during this prayer and listen for wisdom to come or pressure to lift. Give thanks for your healing steps.
  2. Memorize …
    1. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
    2. 2Cor 5:17 if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” The old is gone!!
    3. Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
    4. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
  3. Repeat these verses when you feel low. Place them as notes around your house and in your car and office.
  4. Listen to uplifting gospel music to fill your thoughts.
  5. Spend time with uplifting people who will also pray for you.
  6. Disconnect from people who drag you down emotionally or are a bad influence on what you are trying to improve upon in your own life.
  7. Find someone who has overcome depression and will mentor you when you need it.
  8. Keep this phone number incase you get into a crisis and don’t have anyone to talk to – 1800 273 TALK – suicide talk line from National Suicide Prevetion
  9. Create a vision statement for your future and celebrate each small step or accomplishment in that direction.
  10. Find activities you enjoy to become involved with other people on a regular basis. Consider tweeting with our twitter family on the hashtag #GodsLoveChats!
  11. Stay away from depressing movies or books. Watch and read uplifting feel good materials.
  12. Eat well balanced fresh foods regularly.
  13. Find someone to bless each day.
  14. Do some volunteer work to serve someone in need.
  15. HUG someone everyday!