Tag Archives: Hope

Download Depression Talk

26 Feb

According to the NHS at around 15% of people will suffer from severe depression at some point in their lives. Last Wednesday Dr. Andrew Collins spoke at a public meeting in Dromore RPC and his very helpful talk is now available to download. Listening to it will be of great help if you suffer from Depression or know someone who does as the speaker addresses the following questions:

What is Depression?

How does Depression develop?

What causes Depression?

How can Depression be treated?

Can I help someone who is Depressed?

Where can we find an answer to feelings of despair and purposelessness?

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Final Festive Thoughts

28 Dec

These are excerpts from my two favourite Christmas blog posts please click on the links and read the full versions. The first is from Challies and the second from Desiring God.

“I suppose it comes down to this: we do not need to attribute to the day any extra meaning or any extra significance in order for it to be a valuable day or in order to wring from it its greatest worth. The greatest significance of December 25 is that it is a good gift from a good God given for our delight and his glory.” Challies

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“After weeks of anticipation, the Christmas celebrations have flashed by us and are suddenly gone. And we’re left standing, watching the Christmas taillights and music fade into the night.

But it’s possible that this moment of melancholy may be the best teaching moment of the whole season. Because as long as the beautiful gifts remain unopened around the tree and the events are still ahead of us, they can appear to be the hope we are waiting for. But when the tree is empty and events are past, we realize we are longing for a lasting hope.” Jon Bloom

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Hopelessness and Webcam Suicide

6 Dec

A mood of optimism and hope has resonated from America following the election of Obama however one recent news story offers a stark reminder that he is not the saviour Americans need.

Abraham Biggs

Abraham K. Biggs (pictured right) was a teenager from Florida who deliberately took an overdose of sleeping pills and committed suicide while broadcasting a video of his actions live. Apparently around 1,500 people watched the online stream from Justin.tv whilst others egged on the 19 year-old on a different internet forum. According to Fox News “Forum members reportedly continued to insult him, believing his actions were staged. Members eventually managed to contact the local police who broke down the door, found Biggs’ body and turned off the camera.”

This young man was only one year older than me. An entire lifetime lay stretched out before him yet the user known as “Feels Like Ecstasy” on the Justin.tv website decided he could not face the future. The Times entitled this news story “Horror as teenager commits suicide live online” yet I wonder what the basis is for Technology correspondent Mike Harvey’s horror at these events. It is obviously the natural human reaction to such tragic events but how can the atheistic press justify their response. If Abraham was only a material being all that has happened is a rearranging of molecules. If the world’s response is based only on the pain of those who knew him is it not legitimate to suggest that the encouragement of forum members was morally good on the basis that the deep mental anguish of this individual is over?

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The atheistic philosophy is inconsistent with reality and therefore the natural moral response which they offer fails to match their beliefs. The death of this teenager is desperately sad because we are more than a collection of cells. The Bible tells us that man is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) and therefore human life is of great value. To encourage another to end their life and to watch online with morbid curiosity is despicable. Furthermore if life is a gift from God we do not have the right to choose when to end it.

The good news of the gospel offers true hope to the hopeless. It gives purpose and a hope of eternal life with Christ to all (Jeremiah 29:11). We are born trapped in sin yet we can have real freedom through faith in the life and death of Jesus. Abraham Biggs had lost hope and his suicide highlights that what the young people of America and of the world need isn’t a change in policies or leadership. The president-elect has written a book entitled “The Audacity of Hope” such a hope is audacious as it is a hope without a firm basis. Jesus Christ doesn’t change policies, he changes lives. The hope found in Christ is audacious because it is based on the spectacular grace of God. In Jesus we have a certain hope.