Make It Simpler Please

Some of you have told me I need to make it simpler to sign onto my new blog – The Melody of the Holy Spirit. Like provide a link and clear instructions. Here it is.

Click on this link. Then look on the right side of the page. Your email address will probably be shown in a box. If not, put it in and hit the subscribe button. You will then receive an email asking you to confirm the request. Hit the confirm button and you’re in business. Thanks.  

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320. Out with the Old, in with the New

Paul was speaking about salvation in 2 Corinthians 5:17 when he wrote, “The old has gone the new has come.” I hope he won’t mind if I apply his message to the subject of blogs. Or, rather, I hope the Holy Spirit doesn’t mind, since He’s the one who inspired Paul to write what he wrote in the first place.

melody blog photoThe Holy Spirit has encouraged me to write a new blog dedicated to Him, entitled The Melody of the Holy Spirit.  You can visit the new site at, and I encourage you to do so. And if you’re so inclined, I invite you to follow the new blog by subscribing to it on the right side of the page. It’s quite simple, given the wonders of technology. Your email address may even be in the box.

I thank all you, my followers, and the thousands of visits to this blog site during the three years of its existence. The present site will remain intact for at least a year, but I won’t be adding new blogs, unless something dramatic shows up on my doorstep.

Patrick Day
A man who triumphed over depression by the grace of God





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310. Depression is Complex

Many people have a tendency to simplify things and put them in neat little boxes, and the more complex something is the more likely they are do so. Take depression for example. Isn’t it an emotional condition for folks who have been traumatized by some event, or can’t face up to life as it really is, or who think negative thoughts all the time? Take your pick or advance another simple explanation.

But depression is complex. There is a physiological part of it, as well as psychological and spiritual components. The brain part of the equation can be a deficiency of neurotransmitters that are not respecters of being brought up well or having a positive outlook on life. The biggest cause of depression, I believe, is stress. It can cause a brain chemical imbalance in the first place and exacerbate what heredity brings to the plate. Then there are thyroid conditions, poor nutrition, chronic diseases, brain damage, and a host of other contributors.

The psychological factors that can trigger depression are more numerous than the physiological ones: the death of a child, financial ruin, job loss, divorce, negative thinking, and other pervasive and hopeless situations that make a person ripe for depression.

The spiritual causes of depression are not so easily identified or understood by the general population. Spiritual lies implanted in young children can bring about depression later as adults. A few of these: I’m not good enough, I’m a loser, my parents never loved me, God doesn’t love me, I’m worthless, and countless others.

These three causes of depression often mix together in myriad and complex ways to sink a person into deep, deep depression. The treatment for the complexity of depression, as I have said so many times. is a psychiatrist for the body, a psychotherapist for the mind and emotions, and a spiritual counselor for the soul.

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318. Living with Treatment Resistant Depression

Depression is predicted to be the second most common illness in the United States by 2010. Clinical depression – not situational depression – affects some 15 million adults a year. That’s a lot of people suffering with chronic symptoms, many of whom wish they had a terminal disease instead.

Ten to thirty percent of those diagnosed with clinical depression fall into the category of treatment resistant depression. For these poor souls, taking an antidepressant or going to psychological counseling (psychotherapy) may not help much if at all, and symptoms may improve only to keep coming back.

I’m not about to list all the options for treatment resistant depression but to suggest one way of living with it. Accept your condition as if you had diabetes, Crohn’s disease, or paralysis from the waist down, experiencing ups and downs perhaps for the rest of your life. Once you give up on finding a cure, you can experience peace amidst your great sorrow.

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317. The Death of Robin Williams


The Following article was posted yesterday on Focus on the Family about Robin William’s suicide. On a personal note,  a good friend who was a serious Christ-follower committed suicide four years back, and I believe with all my heart that he is in heaven. He didn’t kill himself. The spirit of depression did.

The death of comedian Robin Williams has reignited something of a nationwide conversation about suicide and mental health. After all, most know someone whose life has been touched or severely impacted by depression. My own wife, Jean, lost a brother to suicide and Jean herself has shared that she struggled with bouts of depression earlier in our marriage.

Here at Focus on the Family our counselors talk with severely depressed people every day. In fact, suicide-related calls have skyrocketed in the past few years.

It’s a somber subject, not the type of topic to try to understand or process with well-worn clichés or pop psychology.

Just the other day, in the aftermath of Williams’ death, popular Christian writer Ann Voskamp described it this way:

Depression is like a room engulfed in flames and you can’t breathe for the sooty smoke smothering you limp – and suicide is deciding there is no way but to jump straight out of the burning building … You don’t try to kill yourself because death is appealing – but because life is agonizing. We don’t want to die. But we can’t stand to be devoured.

But Ann is writing about the non-Christian, right? Doesn’t Christianity and the hope and love it produces somehow inoculate the believer from the ravages of depression and mental illness?

If only.

I know some Christians have made just such a claim, that it’s merely “mind over matter” or a matter of thinking more positively in the face of adversity. As the logic goes, if we simply don’t conform or cave to the patterns of this world we’ll be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

The apostle Paul’s words still ring true, but I think to try and suggest that faith in Jesus immunizes us from all the bad things of this world is a gross misapplication of Scripture. To those who are inclined to quote Romans 12, I would remind them of Paul’s reference to having “a thorn in the flesh” (Cor. 12:7). There are many times we’re faced with afflictions far beyond our desire and control.

This is because we’re not one-dimensional people, but rather creations comprised of body, mind and spirit. And ever since the fall, we’re vulnerable to attacks in all three of those areas of life. A Christian is no less susceptible to mental illness than to diabetes. Yes, God can help us overcome the plagues of this life, and that is the Good News of what we believe as Christians.  It is really this simple, there is hope in Christ.

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316. The Lost Year

The year 2007 started with major, major depression and ended with a shoulder replacement. The summer of that year, when I tried to withdraw from klonopin, was the worst three months of my life.

But in that lost year, I did not curse God and die. Instead, I moved closer to Him, for that was my only hope. At the time, it was the worst year of my natural life, but it was perhaps the best year of my spiritual life.

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315. An Invisible Illness Can Be Hard to Understand

There are no handicap parking stickers for people with depression, no leg braces or casts, no crutches or wheelchairs. It’s an invisible illness. The symptoms can be observed but some suggestions to overcome depression can be as patronizing as telling a person with diabetes to suck it in and get over it.

“Just smile and be happy,” is a comment that indicates the person saying it has no idea what depression is all about. Another of my favorites is, “You got yourself into it; you can get yourself out of it.” A friend of mine who has been depressed since the age of sixteen has told me he favors a one-visit solution to treating depression. “You walk into a counselor’s office and tell him you are depressed. He slaps you in the face as hard as he can and tells you to ‘just snap out of it.’ It works every time,” my friend says, while laughing malevolently.

Depression is not an addiction or temporary condition. I’m talking about Continue reading

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