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20 QUESTIONS FROM AA TO SEE IF YOU ARE AN ALCOHOLIC, GOOD LUCK FRIENDS !!!!

Sep 21, 2013 - 2 comments
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20 QUESTIONS

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ALCOHOLIC SCREENING

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AA

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NA

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ca

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alanon

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ALATEEN



1. Do you lose time from work due to your drinking?

2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?

3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?

4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?

5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?

6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of your drinking?

7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when drinking?

8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family's welfare?

9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?

10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?

11. Do you want a drink the next morning?

12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?

13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?

14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?

15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles?

16. Do you drink alone?

17. Have you ever had a complete loss of memory as a result of your drinking?

18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?

19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?

20. Have you ever been in a hospital or institution on account of drinking?


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If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, there is a definite warning that you may be an alcoholic.

If you have answered YES to any two, the chances are that you are an alcoholic.

If you have answered YES to three or more, you are definitely an alcoholic.



Christian Reading ~ Life's Evening ~ Passages & Poems from the 1800's

Feb 07, 2013 - 2 comments
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Grief Counseling

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Christian

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Death

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Self help

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aging

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retired



Life’s Evening by Samuel Burnham Year 1860 : Online @ the following address.


Passages
Banks Of The River
The Heavenly Rest
Words In Seasons
The Unchanging Friend

Poems
When Wilt Thou Die
Light At Eventide
Our Home


THE BANKS OF THE RIVER

"Now I further saw that betwixt the pilgrims and the gate of the city was a river ; but there was no bridge to go over , and the river was very deep . At the sight of this river the pilgrims were much stunned ; but the men that went with them said , ' You must go through , or you cannot come at the gate . The pilgrims then began to inquire if there was no other way to the gate?  to which they answered. ' Yes ;  but there hath not any , save two , Enoch and Elijah , been permitted to tread that path since the foundation of the world , nor shall until the last trumpet shall sound  .'  The pilgrims then began to despond in their minds , and looked this way and that , but no way could be found by them , by which they might escape the river . "

Ah , how true and how touching is this description of the emotions which are often excited in the Christian pilgim's breast , as he stands on the banks of the river !  He fears to cross its deep , dark water ; he shrinks from the strange , and it may be , the stormy passage to eternity .  Oh , if he could but reach the celestial city without having to cross the stream of death !

It cannot be .   When the summons for his departure arrives , he must enter that cold flood , and meet its terror . None can disregard the call , nor choose any other mode of transit .  " It is appointed unto men once to die . "

Yet why should the Christian be afraid ? Solemn and mysterious s the last change undoubtedly is , even to the child of God , he may rest assured that a wise and loving Saviour will shield him from every danger , and guide him in safety through it .  And if Christ himself is with him then , if his rod and staff support and comfort him , what evil can he fear ?

Aged reader , as you gaze upon the river which rolls between you and the promised land , is your mind filled with gloom and apprehension ?  Is it not because you look only at death ?  you do not at the same time fix the eye of faith upon your Saviour .  You seem to think that , unaided and alone , you will have to struggle through its waves , instead of joyfully remembering his promise ,  " When thou passest through the waters , I will be with thee '  and through the rivers , the shall not overflow thee . "  Oh !  he who lays hold upon this sweet assurance may safely shut his eyes , and leave himself to the entire disposal of infinite love , and faithfulness , and wisdom.

Does nature recoil from the physical suffering of the last mortal conflict ?  It is true , that the pains of death are sometimes so severe as to occasion the deepest distress and anguish ; but in the greater number of instances , how easy and tranquil are the closing moments of life !  How many pass from time to eternity as calm as an infant falling asleep on its mother's bosom !  But should it be otherwise ; should your dying hour be one of extreme suffering , is not the manner as well as the time of your departure hence appointed by your heavenly Father ?  and will he suffer you to be tried above that which you are able to bear ?  He knows your frame ; he remembers that you are dust , and feels the tenderest parental compassion for those who fear him ' and therefore you may be assured that the trials which his love ordains , whether in life or in death , are necessary trials , and that he will give you support under them .  And if your strength is proportioned to your burden , is it not the same in effect s if that burdened were removed ?  Listen to the testimony of an eminent minister of Christ , whose sufferings were intense , but whose spirit was filled with rejoicing in the midst of them .  " I have suffered twenty times , yes - to speak within bounds - twenty times as much as I could in being burnt at the stake ; but my joy in God so abounded as to render my sufferings not only tolerable but welcome .  The sufferings of the present time are not worth to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed . God is my all .  While he is present with me , no event can in the least diminish my happiness ;  and were the whole world at my feet trying to minister to my comfort , they could not add one drop to the cup .  Death comes every night , and stands at my bedside , in the form of terrible convulsions , until every bones is almost dislocated with pain ; and yet while the body is thus tortured , the soul is perfectly happy and peaceful , more happy than i can possibly express to you . "

How easily might we multiply proofs like these --  proofs of God so sustaining and elevating the soul of the believer above the pressure of physical suffering , as that it was comparatively unheeded and unfelt .  And can he not do the same , reader , for you ?  Is not his grace sufficient for you as well as for others ?  Oh, trust yourself to him ; repose with confidence upon his promises '; and believe that in a dying hour , your succour shall be equal to your need . Do not test our preparedness for that hour by the strength and comfort which you now possess , but by the solemn engagement which Christ has made never to leave nor forsake you .  He is with you now , to help you to glorify him by your life ;  when death comes he will be with you then ,  and help you to glorify him by your death.  Dying grace will not be vouchsafed until a dying hour ; you do not want it now , but it will be abundantly vouchsafed then .  Wait for it in faith .  " Death is somewhat dreary , " said bishop Cowper to his weeping friends , " and the streams of that Jordan which is between us and our Canaan run furiously ; but they stand still when the ark comes . "

But perhaps your anxiety respecting death is occasioned by the though of the separation which must be take place between your soul and the body .  You dread entrance upon an unknown and untried state of existence .  It is not what you know , but what you do not know of the future ,  which causes your distress .  If any one could return from the unseen world , and tell you exactly  what he experienced in the moment of his departure from earth , and clearly describe to you the sensations which he felt when he found himself absent from the body , your mind , you think would be relieved of much of its disquietude .  But it is the uncertainty , the blank , the mystery lying before , in the awful distance , at which you tremble .  Like a child in the dark , because you cannot see , you are afraid .  The imaginary objects which fill you with awe and trepidation would disappear if there were light enough to reaveal to you this true state of things .  Why then , you ask , is that light withheld ?  Could not God have unfolded to us in his word the nature of our future existence , and the mode of our introduction to it ?  He must have foreseen the suspense and the agitations which would arise through our ignorance , and yet he has not sought to allay our fears by a clearer and fuller revelation of things to come .  Why is this ?  The fact of God's silence upon this point is a sufficient reply .  We may be sure , since he is Love , that the knowledge which he as reserved is neither requisite nor desirable for us .  It is probable that , in our present state of existence , we could not comprehend more than he has already told us about another world ; or the full blaze of light which we desire , had it been granted , might have proved injurious to us .  We are as yet only in the infancy of our being , and do not know what is best for us ; but our Maker knows , and he has acted accordingly .  “ He has said enough to awaken curiosity – to enkindle desire – to inspire hope – to encourage confidence and expectation ; and we must wait for the rest .  God calls us to honour him by our faith , by our belief , at all times  and under all circumstances , in his wisdom and goodness .  

“It is as though we were allowed to give to the universe a proof of the firmness of our dependence upon him , such as no heavenly spirits can give ,  to show that we are not afraid to trust him , even when he bids us die . “  Oh , shall we not willingly prove how unshaken is our reliance on his love , by resigning ourselves in the hour of death , without one fear , to his care ?   The way before us is dark  and mysterious , but we will cheerfully follow where his leads us .   And how gently ,  how tenderly will he lead us !   The act of dying which we so greatly fear , may be gentle and painless slumber – a quiet falling asleep in Christ ;  and the light of eternity will dawn upon us like the tranquil beams of the morning , which now gladden our waking eyes .

“ Hast thou ne’er looked on a little child
When he first awakens from rest ,
And smiles to think how his dreams beguiled
While he slept on a parent’s breast ?
So calm and so sweet shall the waking be
In the radiant dawn of eternity . “

There is , it is true , something strange and inexplicable in the idea of our existence without a body ; we are apt to fancy that a disembodied spirit must at first feel as it were unclothed , and unprotected  .  But it is a mistake to suppose that the soul owes its defence from external harms and hardships to the body , in the same manner as the body does to the clothes it wears .  The very contrary is true.  It is here exposed to many more harms and hardships by means of its union with the mortal body ‘ and ,  consequently , its disunion from that will be its freedom from them .  The operations and conceptions of the liberated sould will be inconceivably more perfect , free , and unbiased than the are now while subject to so many impediments and interruptions from its connexion with animal nature .   This is evident from the fact , that even now we find our soul in the best frame for thinking when it is least affected by the body .  How rapid , how strong , how clear then will the flow of its thoughts , when they meet with nothing from without to obstruct them !

The dread of death , however , may arise from other causes .  It may result from apprehensions as to our eternal happiness .  We fear , sometimes , whether our names are written the the Lamb’s book of life ; whether we have any warrant to look forward to a participation in everlasting joys ; and therefore we cannot bear the thought of meeting our Judge face to face , and would fain retard the moment when our everlasting destiny must be fixed .  Were we sure that there was a mansion prepared for us , and a crown of glory laid up for us in heaven ; oh , we should not mind passing through the river of death , even though its waters were deep and tempest-tossed .   But how can we be sure ?

What saith the Scripture ?  “ There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus . “  “ He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life . “  “ I am the living bread which came down from the heaven ; if any man eat of this bread , he shall liver for ever . “  “ My sheep hear my voice , and I know them and they follow me : and I give unto them eternal life ; and they shall never perish . “  “ I will come again , and receive you unto myself ; that where I am , there you may be also . “

But precious as these assertions are , they do not exactly relieve our distress .  Our fear is not whether true believers are everlasting saved ,  but whether we are among their number .  We hope we are ,  but it is so easy to deceive ourselves ; we may be mistaken ; and how terrible to wake in eternity , and find ourselves excluded from the bliss of the redeemed ,  beyond the possibility of change ; for , what we are then , we must be for ever .

Our dread , then , of death , or rather of the consequences of death , may be traced to the weakness of our faith , or to imperfect views of the gospel of Jesus Christ .  It cannot , therefore be removed until our faith becomes stronger , and our views clearer .  We must study the word which God has given us , and ask for the teaching of his Spirit , that we may be enabled to understand to apply to ourselves the heart-cheering truth , “ Christ is all , and in all ; “ “ Ye are complete in him . “  We must strive to lay aside the reasonings , the prejudices , and the unbelief of our own hearts , and receive with simplicity and thankfulness the full and free promises of our Saviour .  As we become better acquainted with that loving Saviour , and understand more perfect the design of his all-sufficient atonement , our anxious forebodings about the future will gradually pass away , as the gloom of midnight fades before the rising sun , and the God of hope will fill us with all joy and peace in believing .

It will tend to mitigate the alarm which we regard the solemn change of death , if we look at it in its true character , as a continuation of the present , rather than as the commencement of a new state of existence .  Heaven and hell are not so much the reward – (using the word in its scriptural sense) – of our past life , as necessary sequence of it .   It will be what we are , not where we are , which will constitute our felicity or our woe ; and therefore if we are conscious now that we love the Saviour and trust in him , and follow after holiness ; or even that we heartily desire and strive to do this ; it is not plain that we have within us the germ of true happiness – a heart that is touched with the love of Christ , and longs for conformity to his likeness ?   With this principle implanted in our hearts , how could we be for ever miserable ?  It is impossible !  not only because God will never falsify his own word , nor condemn those who put their trust in his Son ; but because the elements of lasting peace and joy are already ours .  “ He that believeth on the Son hath – not  shall have – everlasting life . “  Meditate on this declaration , dear reader , and take the consolation which it is calculated to impart to all who are placing their reliance upon the atonement of Christ .

But in the contemplation of a dying hour , a tender and affectionate spirit is sometimes deeply affected at the prospect of parting with beloved relatives and friends .  There are some ,  perhaps , to whom we are a solace and a support , who have always been accustomed to lean upon us in their weary march of life , and to look to us for counsel and sympathy ; how will they do without us ? how can we leave them to struggle on , alone , and sorrowful ?  Or there are others , for whose salvations we are deeply concerned , and over whose wanderings we often shed bitter tears ; how shall we bear to take our farewell – it may be our last farewell – of them ?  How keen will the anguish of our dying hour , as we reflect that they are still unchanged , unsaved , and that we dare not cherish the hope of meeting them again !

Oh how painful are the separations of the grave !  How hard it is to sever , if only for a few years , the ties which bind us so closely to the dear ones around us !  Man Christians , aged Christians too – for old age does not quench the ardency of the affections – can respond to the touching desire of youthful discipline of the Saviour ,  “ Oh , mamma !  I wish we could all die and go to heaven together . “

Yet why should you dwell only on the dark side of the picture ?  it may never be presented to you .  Your heavenly Father , in his compassion for your weakness , may spare you the sorrow which you anticipate . You may pass away from this life as in a quiet slumber :

“ Nor bear a single pang at parting ;
Nor see the tear of sorrow starting ;
Nor hear the quivering lips that blessed you ;
Nor feel the hands of love that press you .

Or , if not ; if full conscious in your last moments that you are parting from those whom you love , God will so strengthen and animate your dying spirit as that you shall be enabled with calmness , nay with cheerfulness , to resign the objects of your affection to his merciful guidance and protection .  You will feel that he who has watched over you so many years in the wilderness , and brought you safely through every danger , can surely do as much for those whom you are leaving behind ; that He who has taught you to pray so earnestly and so perseveringly for their spiritual welfare , will not suffer your prayers to remain unanswered , although he calls you home before you have witnessed their fulfillment .  And you will also realize your happy and speedy re-union with your dear friends in another world .  Death will not long divide you ; the remainder of their appointed time on earth will pass rapidly away as a tale that is told , and then you will meet them again – meet to part no more !

“ With the prospect of meeting for ever ,
With the bright gates of heaven in view ,
From the dearest on earth we may sever ,
And smile a delighted adieu . “

Aged believer , you are standing now on the banks of the river ; fear not , only believe .  Remember than one of the reasons why Jesus Christ manifested himself in human nature was for the express purpose of dispelling that gloom which naturally overspreads the mind as we look upon the dark waters of death .   “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood , he also himself likewise took part of the same ; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death , that is , the devil ; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage . “   Then seek deliverance from that fear , and expect deliverance .  Christ suffered not in vain ; all the purposed of his death have been fully accomplished ; and he would have his people even now to participate in his triumph ; and without waiting for the actual encounter to join in the ascription of the apostle , “ Thanks be to God , which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ . “ Then

“ Shudder not to pass the stream ,
Venture all thy care on him ,
Him whose dying love and power
Still’d its tossing , hushed its roar ,
Not one object of his care
Ever suffered shipwreck there ;
See the haven full in view ;
Love Divine shall bear thee through . “

It is granted to you to possess that strong faith , that calm assurance , which elevates the mind above the fear of death ?  Can you say with gladness ,  “ The time of my departure is at hand ; I have fought a good fight , I have finished my course , I have kept the faith ; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness , which the Lord , the righteous Judge , shall give me at that day ?  Thank your Saviour for this glorius hope – this hope which is as an anchor of the soul , sure and steadfast – for he is its author and its bestower .  It is because he has abolished death , and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel , that you are now enabled to look forward with the composure to your conflict with the last foe , and triumphantly to ask  “ O death , where is thy sting ?  O grave , where is thy victory ? “  Well may you rejoice , for your life is his with Christ in God , and you are safe for ever .   Safe amidst the infirmities and perils of old age ; safe in the swelling waters of Jordan ; safe when you stand before the solemn judgment seat ; yes , safe throughout eternity .  Nothing in earth or hell can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus ; or pluck you from the grasp of your ever-living Saviour .  He upholds and comforts you now in the evening of life ; and   “ by and by , leaning upon his arm , you shall come down to the river .  Not a ripple shall be on its bosom ; its clear waters shining in heaven’s own light shall allure to the crossing .   His feet shall but touch the stream , and , lo , a way for the ransomed to pass over . “   “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord : “   “ Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints . “

But our remarks about the river of death have been addressed to true Christians ; are you , reader , one of their number ?   If not , you have no right to appropriate to yourself the consolations which are designed only for them .  There is no sight more painful that of an aged individual on the borders of the grave , on the threshold of eternity , unrenewed , unsanctified , and yet undismayed by the terrors of the future , and confident of the joys of heaven .  May God preserve us from so fearful a delusion !   “ Be not deceived ;  God is not mocked : for whatsoever a man soweth , that shall he also reap . “  A life of carelessness – of worldliness – of self-righteousness , cannot prepare us for a life of glory .  “ Except a man be born again , he cannot see the kingdom of God . “  “He that believeth not the Son shall not see life ; but the wrath of God abideth on him .  “ Without holiness no man shall see the Lord .”  A change of heart , faith in Christ , the fruits of holiness , are the precursors of the believer’s assurance of eternal felicity ; what do ou know of them in your own experience ?  Examine yourself , whether you are in the faith ; or whether you have only a name to live while you are dead .  The absence of alarm , or even the possession of joy , as you draw near to death and eternity , is not , in itself , an indication of safety .  It may be but the deadly calm before an awful tempest ; a fatal slumber on the edge of a frightful precipice .  IGNORANCE trembled not when he came to the river-side , and prepared to cross it ; he got over it with less difficult than Christian , for one VAIN HOPE helped him with is boat ; but when he reached the other side , the King commanded his servants to bind him hand and foot , and to cast him into outer darkness .

Yet while this should warn the presumptuous and the self-confident , it should not discourage the awakened sinner , who feels that life is receding beneath his tread , and that his feet have as yet found no sure resting-place .  The language of the gospel is language of peace to all who really desire salvations from the peril and the dominion of sin .  “ Come unto me , “  says the Saviour , whom it proclaims ,  “ all ye that labour and are heavy-laden , and I will give you rest . “   It is never too late to turn to him ; to seek forgiveness at his cross .  God’s promises of salvation are made without exception of time ; for whenever a sinner repents of his sins , he has promised to put away his wickedness out of rememberance .  The are made without exception of sins ; for ,   “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin ; “   and ,   “ All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven without exception of persons ; for ,  “ Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved ; “   “ Whosoever will let him take the water of life freely ; “   “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out . “

Aged reader !   ‘ behold the Lamb of God , which taketh away the sin of the world . “   Look unto him and be saved .  How else will you pass through the swellings of Jordan ?   how else will you stand at the judgment seat of Christ ?


THE  HEAVENLY  REST .

SOON will  “ the day break , and the shadows flee away . “   Soon will the darkness of earth be exchanged for the radiance of heaven .   There is no night there .   “ Thy sun shall no more go down ; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself ; for the Lord shall be thy everlasting light , and the days of thy mourning shall be ended . “

How welcome to the aged Christian is the thought of heaven !   As the toil-worn labourer hails with gladness the hours of rest ; as the wave-tossed mariner discerns with thankfulness the haven of safety ;  as the weary exile approaches the feelings of rapture his native country ; so does the believer rejoice in the immediate prospect of eternal glory .   He loves to think of that moment when he shall be absent from the body and present with the Lord ;  when the cares , and the conflicts , and the corruptions which surround him here , will be exchanged for the peace and purity which pervade the everlasting abode of the redeemed .   Varied are the attractions which draw his thoughts and affections thither .   Deliverance from trouble ; freedom from sin ; increase of knowledge ; separation from the ungodly ; intercourse with the holy ; communion with his Saviour ; these and other delineations of the heavenly state make him ready , eager to depart from the present life , and to enter upon that new and noble existence .

“ My chief conception of heaven , “  said Robert hall , who was an almost constant sufferer from acute bodily pain , “ is rest . “   And many sons and daughters of affliction can respond to his remark .   The have so much to do and to suffer ; the see so much misery and discord around them ; their spiritual foes are so powerful and perservering , that the sigh of the psalmist is often heard from their lips ,  “ Oh that I had wings like a dove ~ for then would I fly away , and be at rest . “   Rest ~ Where ?  In heaven : there the weary are at rest .

They rest from toil .   From physical exertion , and from mental labour .   The hand no longer has to procure bread for the sustenance of life , and to provide things honest in the sight of all men ; the head no longer has to plan for avoiding difficulties and distress , and to strive after a temporary relief from some of the cares of daily life .   “ They shall hunger no more , of daily life .   “They rest from their labours ; and their works do follow them , :  All fatigue and anxiety are for ever ended .

They rest from pain .   The inhabitant of that heavenly city shall not say , I am sick ;   and “there shall be no more pain : for the former things are passed away . “   “ I shall soon be at home now , “   said and aged Chrisitian woman , who had been for many years afflicted with a painful disease ,  “ and then all suffering will be over .  I hope I am not impatient ; I am willing to bear whatever God sends , and as long as he sends it ; I know he is love .   But it is very sweet sometimes , when my poor body is racked with pain and I cannot get a minute’s relief , to think that I am every day nearer heaven , and to feel that the sufferings of this present time are not worth to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed .  What a change it will be !

They rest from sorrow .  “ God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes ; and there shall be no more death , neither sorrow , nor crying . “   Yes ; God himself shall wipe away their tears .   The days of their mourning will be for ever ended , and sorrow and sighing shall flee away .   Want , disappointment , care , unkindness , injustice , bereavement , and every other source of earthly distress , are unknown in heaven .   The waves of grief cannot pass the confines of eternity .   The clouds of sadness cannot float in the clear atmosphere of heaven .   The voice of lamentation and weeping can never mingle with the songs of the redeemed .

They rest from spiritual conflict .  Life is a period of warfare and trial .   The foes of the Christian are many , and they are mighty .   His own unsubdued passions ; the world with its temptations on the one hand and its reproaches on the other ; and the great adversary of mankind going about as a roaring lion , seeking whom he may devour , are continually arrayed against him ; and he must be always upon is guard , always read for the encounter .   Not does he , except in occasional moments of discomfiture and depression , shrink from the battle-field .   It is his earnest desire to fight the good fight of faith , and to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ .   To ask for victory and rest from a mere love of selfish ease , in inconsistent with his principles and feelings .   God has called him to the contest , and when he sees fit will call him to his reward ; till then he is willing to wait and toil and struggle on .   His prayer is that when his Lord comes he ma find him watching .   This is a right spirit .   We ought not to grow weary in well-doing .  We ought not wish for our crown before our conflict is ended .  But at the same time we may look forward to our rest with hope and gladness .   In the midst of our conflict with evil we may soothe and refresh our sprits with the thought of final victory .   As we press forward in our heaven-ward journey , encompassed by difficulties and beset with dangers , we may rejoice in the consideration that ,
“ We nightly fix our moving tent ,
A day’s march nearer home ! “
Yes : our warfare will soon be over – our rest attained .

And how cheering is the reflection that holiness as well as rest is linked with our anticipations of heaven ~   Nothing that defileth can enter there .  The church above is “ a glorious church , not having spot , or wrinkle , or any such thing ;  but holy and without blemish . “      The Christian , it is true , is already sanctified by the indwelling of the Holy Ghost .   Sin has no longer dominion over him ; for the grace of God , which bringeth salvation , teaches him to den ungodliness and worldly lusts , and to live soberly , righteously , and godly in this present world .   His heard is purified by faith .   He has put on he new man , which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness .   He has been adopted into God’s family ;  renewed in his  image ; and made a partaker in his holiness .   But as yet how imperfect is the resemblance which he bears ~ how feeble are the attainments which he has made ~   While he delights in the law of God after the inward man , he sees another law in his members warring against the law of his mind , and bringing him into captivity o the law of sin , so that in the anguish of his spirit he exclaims with the apostle ,   “ O wretched man that I am ~   who shall deliver me from the body of this death ? “   Day by day he presses toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus , but he is often sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before him ; sometimes he stumbles and falls ; and sometimes he wanders into some by-path which leads him into distress and danger ; and although he never gives up ; although each revival of the sin which so easily besets him ~ each temptation to which , through unwatchfulness and self-dependence , he yield , only prompts him to more powerful and vigorous effort for the future ; can we wonder if he anticipates with eagerness and delight the moment when he shall be freed from the defilement and imperfection of his present condition , and be perfectly conformed to the image of his Saviour ?   Oh to have his will entirely absorbed in God’s will ; to have every thought in unison with his mind ; to have self for ever lost sight of in the radiance of his glory ; to be holy , and unblamable , and unreprovable in his presence ~   How delightful is this prospect ~  how all sustaining is this hope !   And as years increase , as life declines , his desires after perfected holiness grows stronger and stronger ; until it overcomes his fear of death , and weakness the fondest ties which link him to earth .   He is ready to leave all around him , and to press through all before him , in order that he may be separated from sin and completely assimilated to the likeness of Christ.  “ We shall be like Him ! “ is the thought ~ the glorious thought ~ which makes heaven so precious in his estimation .   He longs more for purity than he does for rest .    He wants to be holy , sinless , perfected .

His desire will soon be granted , his hope realized .   “ Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness ; for they shall be filled . “   Filled ?  Satisfied ?  Yes .  When ?  In part now , in completeness herafter .  In heaven they hunger no more , neither thirst any more ; they are restored to the image of their God , and are faultless before his throne .

And then how delightful to the thoughtful and inquiring Christian ~ and every Christian ought to sustain this character ~ in the assurance that in a future stage our knowledge will be greatly increased .  In this world how limited are our highest acquirements !   We are like children playing on he sea-shore , and diverting ourselves , now and then finding a smoother pebble , or a prettier shell than ordinary , whilst the great ocean of truth lies all undiscovered before us .   But what we know not now , we shall know herafter .   Now we see through a glass darkly ; now we know but in part : but hen we shall see face to face , and know even as we are known .   Many deeply interesting and important questions which are unanswered now , will be solved then .   Many difficulties which perplex us now , will be explained then .   How numerous are the mysteries in Providence , both in connexion with our own history , and with the history of others , which will then be unraveled !   How varied are the mysteries in religion which will then be clear to us as the light of noon-day !   And our knowledge will be ever increasing .   The first glance into eternity will not reveal to us all that it has to unfold .   We shall be always learning something new ; continually making fresh discoveries of the wisdom and the power and goodness of God .   And this without weariness , without effort , without disappointment .

Associated with the perfected development , and probable augmentation of our intellectual powers , is the noble and uninterrupted service in which we shall be engaged above .   Alas !   how feeble and how poor are our best attempts now for the fulfillment of God’s will , and the promotion of his glory !   How little , comparatively , have we done ; how little can we do to make him known and loved among our fellow – men !   Frequently we do mourn over our weakness and apparent uselessness , and feel that we are indeed unprofitable servants .   But in heaven our service will be vigorous , perpetual , untiring .   There the weary will be at rest , not because the cease to labour , but because labour brings no fatigue ; and they that  “ have entered into rest , “   will find this to be their rest , that  “ they rest not day and night . “

Each glorified servant will doubtless be occupied in the manner which is most accordant with his individual bias and qualification .   As the cherubim and seraphim are supposed to have their separate and appropriate offices , though all stand round the throne , so we may expect that holy engagements will be distributed in amazing diversity among the white-robed saints .   But this will be the delight , that each one occupies his own , his proper , his favourite employment ~ that for which his being is made ; nor nerve strained ; no part burdened ; no power taxed ; but all easy , enjoyable , delicious to the very part he would have chosen ; the part he loves ; the part he can do best , assigned to him for ever and ever .   And in this , his own proper province , each will exercise his whole perfected being .   Whatever he loves , he will understand , and whatever he understands , he will love ; and both his mind and his will will take effect through the instrumentality of a body which is in complete unison with his spirit ; never cumbering it , never darkening it , but instant and capable to do everything which the thought desires or the heart suggests ; so that it will be a perfectly intelligent affection , performing without diminution , and without delay , all it things and all it feels .  Then shall we understand , in that entire concurrence of all the properties which make the creature , what is the meaning of that service of which Christ spoke , when he said ,  “God is a Spirit ; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth . “

And as we think of all the high functions and happy services of those in glory , shall we not remember those loved ones among their number who were once co-workers with us her ; and rejoice in the thought that we shall , ere long , share in their holy occupations , and participate in their fadeless joys ?   The communion of saints on earth is sweet , but what will it be in heaven ?   Here there is much mar and interrupt it ; there it will be perfect and perpetual .  We shall be associated with  “ the glorious company of the apostles , the goodly fellowship of the prophets , and the noble army of martyrs ; “  we shall sit down with Abraham , Isaac , and Jacob , in the kingdom of God .   We shall share in the high and holy converse of those esteemed by us on earth for the beautiful graces and gifts which adorned their character , and become intimately acquainted with others , long endeared to us by their labours and their worth , but who , through time , or varied circumstances , were personally unknown to us .  And there will be no discord , no prejudices , no rivalry , to disturb the harmony of our intercourse .   We shall dwell together as the children of one Father ; as the breathren of one family ; as the loved and loving inhabitants of one eternal home.

But dearer , far dearer , than the thought of this complete and tender sympathy with all the redeemed in glory , is the prospect of that perfect and constant communion with our Saviour which his promises now unfold to our view .   “ Father , I will come again , and receive you unto myself ; that where I am ; there ye may be also .    “ Father , I will that they also , whom thou hast given me , be with me where I am ; that the may behold my glory , which thou hast given me . “   Well might one of Christ’s tried and honoured servants , in the simple meditations which she penned as she waited for her summons to pass over the river ,  write ,   “ To be where thou art , to see thee as thou art ; and to be made like unto thee ; the last sinful motion for ever past ; no more opposition ; no more weariness , listlessness , dryness , or deadness ; but conformed to my blessed Saviour , every way capacitated to serve him , to enjoy him , ~ this is heaven . “   And well might her glowing words animate the faith and hope of that devoted missionary of the cross , who was called , when at the foot of Mount Lebanon , to encounter the last enemy .   His friends having proposed to pray with him , he replied ,  “ Yes ; but first I wish you to read some passages from ‘ Mrs. Graham’s Provision for Passing over Jordan ; ‘ “   and on hearing the words ,  “ To be where thou art , to see thee as thou art , to me made like unto thee ; “  ~ he anticipated the conclusion , and said , with an expressive emphasis ,   “That is heaven ! “

Yes ;  to be with Christ , to see him as he is , that indeed is heaven .   In our converse with him now by faith , we rejoice with joy that is unspeakable and full of glory ; what then will be our emotions when that glory is realized , and his presence is attained ?

“ Not all things else are half so dear
As converse with the Saviour here ;
What must it be in heaven ?
‘ Tis heaven on earth to hear him say ,
As now I journey day by day ,
Poor sinner , cast thy fears away :
Thy sins are forgiven.

“ But how will his celestial voice
Make m enraptured heart rejoice
When I in glory hear hear him !
While I before the heavenly gate
For everlasting entrance wait ,
And Jesus on his throne of state
Invites me to come near him . ‘

Reader , is this happy , this heart-cheering anticipation of yours ?   What proof can you give of your title to the mansions in the skies ?  Is  “ Christ in you , the hope of glory ? “   Have you  “ the earnest of the Spirit ? “   Are you  “ made meet to be partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light ? “

Then ,  “ rejoice in hope of glory of God . “   Your warfare will soon be accomplished , your labours ended , your rest begun .   Now is your salvation nearer than when you believed .   A little while , and you shall tread the golden streets of the holy cit ; you shall eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God , and drink of the pure crystal river which proceeds out of the throne of God  and of the Lamb .  A crown of glory shall be yours , and the waving palm of victor ; you shall hear the voice of harpers harping with their harps , and you shall join in their ever new and triumphant song ,   “ Worth is the Lamb that was slain to receive power , and riches , and wisdom and strength , and honour , and glor , and blessing . “   “ In thy presence is fullness of joy ; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore , “

Wherefore , beloved , seeing that ye look for such things , be diligent that ye ma be found of him in peace .   “ Walk worthy of God , who hath called you until his kingdom and glory . “   Remember , that  “ without holiness no man shall see the Lord . “   And the well-grounded hope of future blessedness necessarily  leads to present sanctification .   “ Every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself , even as He is pure . “   The       “ exceeding great and precious promises are given to us , not only that we may be gladdened and comforted by them , but also that we may be made partakers of the Divine nature , and escape  “ the corruption that is in the world through lust . “   “ When Christ , who is our life , shall appear , then shall ye also appear with him in glory .   Mortify , therefore , your members which are upon the earth . “

Weary and sorrowful pilgrim , the sufferings of the present time are not worth to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed .  Let the radiance of coming joys illumine the clouds of present grief ; let the melod of heaven-breathed songs soothe the agitation of your troubled spirit .   Oh , your  “ light affliction is but for a moment , “ and it                “ worketh for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory ; while you look not at the things which are seen , but at the things which are not seen ; for the things which are seen are temporal ; but the things which are not seen are eternal . “

Aged Christian , the time of your departure is at hand .   The sunset of life and the night of death usher in the dawn of immortality .   The earthly house of your tabernacle is about to be dissolved ; but you have a building of God , a house not made with hands , erternal in the heavens .   “ Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ , which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead , to an inheritance incorruptible , and undefiled , and that fadeth not away , reserved in heaven for you , who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation read to be revealed in the last time : wherein ye greatly rejoice , “

Listen  to the words of your ascended and glorified Saviour :  “ Surely I come quickly ! “   What is your earnest and heartfelt response ?   “ Amen .   Even so , come , Lord Jesus !”

WORDS  IN  SEASON .

“ Cast me not off in time of old age ; forsake me not when my strength faileth . “ Ps. 1xxi. 9 .

Aged believer !  you feel your dependence upon God for support and succour .  If he should forsake you ; if he should cast you off , you would indeed be helpless and hopeless.   But you rejoice in the assurance that this can never be realized.  You know that he will never leave you to bear up alone the pressure of your trials and infirmities ; that he will never relax the grasp which enfolds you in his love .   And therefore your prayer is rather the expression of confidence , than the apprehension of fear .   You ask for that which he has promised , which you are certain he will grant ~ the continuance of his gracious aid .  In youthful days , it ma be , in healthful hours , your found that without him you are weak and unprotected ; and now in time of old age , when your strength faileth , you are more deeply conscious of your need of his help .   Well , ask , and you shall receive ; cast your burden , cast yourself upon him , and he will sustain you .   Fear not , for he is with you ; be not dismayed , for he is your God ; he will strengthen you ; yea , he will help you ; yea , he will uphold you with the right hand of his righteousness . “   These things will he do unto you , and will never forsake you .
“ Why should I doubt His love at last ,
With anxious thoughts perplext ?
Who saved me in the troubles past
Will save me in the next .
Will save ~ till at my latest hour ,
With more than conquest blest ,
I soar beyond tempatation’s power ,
And enter into rest. . “
“ Thou hast taught me from my youth : and hitherto have I declared th wondrous works .  Now also when I am old and grey-headed ,  God , forsake me not .”        Ps. Lxxi. 17 , 18 .

“ Thou has taught me from my youth . “   How encouraging it is to look back to our earl life , and recognize the goodness of God in it’s varied events !   He was our Guide , our Instructor , our Father .   He restrained us from evil ; counseled us in difficulty ; directed us in uncertainty ; preserved us through danger .   All the knowledge which we have gained of his character , of his will , of ourselves , of futurity , he has communicated to us .   And how gradual , how wise , how gentle are his teachings !   How patiently has he borne with our ignorance and forgetfulness ; how tenderly has he imparted his most difficult lessons .   And though we have been dull and wayward scholars ; though we have not profited as we might have done by his Divine instructions ; yet we know , if we are disciples of Christ , that we have so learned of him as to find rest unto our souls .   We have learned to rely upon his strength , to depend upon his faithfulness , to trust in his righteousness .

“ And hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works . “   Grateful for his favours towards us , we have striven to live to his praise , and show forth his glory .   It has been our aim to communicate to others the knowledge which we have received .  We have spoken of his goodness to those around us .  We have not been ashamed of his gospel , nor indifferent to his honour .

“ Now also when I am old and grey-headed , O God , forsake me not . “   “ Those who have been taught of God from their youth , and have made it the business of their lives to serve and honour him , may be sure that he will not leave them when they are old and grey-headed : he is not a Master that is wont to cast off old servants .

“ In early years Thou wast my Guide ,
And of m youth the Friend ;
And as my days began with thee ,
With thee my days shall end , “

“ And even to your old age I am he ; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you.”
Isa. Xlvi. 4.

Ah , Christian , here is ground for your confidence in God .   You have his promise that he will be with you in your old age , to support you under it infirmities , and therefore you are cheerful and tranquil .   Listen to the testimony of an aged pilgrim .   “ What a comfort it is , as we get old and feeble ,  and friends drop off one after another , to remember that our God does not change !   He says to us ,  “ I am he ; the same that I ever was ;   “ I am he ;  “   the Lored who preserved you and guided you from your infancy ;  “ I am he : “ all that I have promised to be to you ; all that you can possibly need .  “ And even to hoar hairs will I carry you . “    What tender and expressive language !   How can we help trusting in such a mighty and loving Friend ?   Whether we look at the present or the future , there is no room for fear .   Those who can walk , have his rod and staff to help and comfort them ; and those who cannot walk , find that his everlasting arms beneath them , and that they are borne safely onwards .   We are like children , who , when they are weak and tired , are carried in a father’s arms , and lifted over difficulty and danger . “

“ Fear not , I am with thee ; oh be not dismayed !
I , I am God , and will still give thee aid ;
I’ll strengthen thee , help thee , and cause thee to stand ,
Upheld by my righteous , omnipotent hand .

E’en down to old age all my people shall prove
My sovereign , eternal unchangeable love ;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn ,
In the arms of my mercy they still shall be borne . “

“ The hoary head is a crown of glory , if it be found in the way of righteousness . “   Prov. Xvi. 31.

Old age is honourable , and commands respect .   “ Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head , and honour the face of the old man . “   But we cannot expect to receive true and lasting deference from others , unless our character is calculated to win their esteem .  Superiority in age should be combined with superiority and excellence .   Multitude of years should teach wisdom .   “ The hoar head is a crown of glory , if “~mark that~ “ if it be found in the way of righteousness . “   If it be found in the way of wickedness , its honour is forfeited , its crown profaned and laid in the dust .   How is it with you , reader ?   Are you sanctified through faith in Christ ?  are you  “ walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless ? “   Oh , how lovely and dignified is old age when marked by piety and consistency !

“ When piety adorns declining years ,
The hoary head of glorious crown appears ;
A dignity no earthly rank bestows ,
Marks the believer then ; and sweet repose
Is stamped upon his features ; all who gaze ,
Revere his person , and his virtues praise . “

“ Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul , both sure and steadfast , and which entereth into that within the veil . “   Heb. Vi. 19.

A vessel was driving ashore .  Her anchors were gone , and she refused to obey the helm .   A few moments more , and she would strike .   If an should be saved , the must be tossed by the waves on the beach .   In the midst of the general consternation , there was one person quite calm .  He had done all that a man could do to prepare for the worst , when the wreck was inevitable ; and now that death was apparently near , he was quietly awaiting the event .  A friend of his asked the reason of his calmness in the midst of danger so imminent ~
“ Do you not know that the anchor is gone , and we are drifting upon the coast ? “
“ Certainly I do ; but I have an anchor to the soul . “   On this was his trust .  It entered into that within the veil .   It was the ground of his confidence in the storm , and enabled him to ride securely in the view of instant and awful death .

Have you this anchor , reader ?  Is this hope of the gospel yours ?  Amidst the storms and trials of life , and in the prospect of danger and death , are you calm and trustful , assured that you will soon be admitted into the heaven of everlasting peace ?

Or are you destitute of this hope ?   Without it , how can you be happy ?   Without it , what will you do in the swellings of Jordan ?   It may be yours ; yours even now , if you will seek it , if you will accept it .   The gift of God is eternal life .  Confidence in him ~ faith in Christ ~ will link your tempest-tossed , troubled , and perishing spirit with perpetual repose and security ~ with the unseen glories in heaven .

“ How still, amidst commotion ,
The bark at anchor cast ;
Around her heavens the ocean ,
The anchor holds her fast .
So hope , an anchor of the soul ,
How steadfast , to the saint is given ;
Though waves of trouble round him roll ,
His hope is fixed in heaven . “

“ They shall still bring forth fruit in old age . “  Ps. Xcii. 14.

The palm tree ~ to which God’s people are in this psalm compared , is remarkable for its lengthened and increasing fruitfulness .  The best dates are said to be gathered when it has reached a hundred years .  How beautiful an emblem of the aged believer , growing in grace and maturing in holiness to the close of his earthly existence !   Each day , each year , added to his life , adds to the loveliness and perfection of his Christian virtues .   His character has a mellowness and sweetness which it lacked in earlier seasons .   He is ripening for heaven .   In knowledge , in wisdom , in love , in humility , in gentleness , in forbearance , in peace , in usefulness , in happiness , he is steadily and constantly advancing .   He is filled with the Spirit , and therefore brings forth the fruits of the Spirit .

Is this portraiture of an aged Christian , yours , reader ?   Alas , it does not belong to all who profess to call themselves by the Saviour’s name.  Nay , it may be feared , that there are some , really and manifestly his , to whom it bears but little resemblance .  They have long been  “ planted “  in the house of the Lord , but the do not appear to  “ flourish “ in the courts of our God ; and as years augment ,  they seem to imagine that the infirmities of age are excuses for their little fruitfulness .   But they certainly never gathered such an idea from God’s word ; nor rightly studied and pleaded his promises to themselves .  Follow not their example .  Rest not satisfied with past attainments .   Strive to glorify God more than you have ever yet done .  Let your last das be your best days ; your latest fruit , the richest .  “ And this I pray , that your loved may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment ; and ye may approve things that are excellent ; that ye ma be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness , which are by Jesus Christ , unto the glor and praise of God . “

“ How beautiful to see
The clustered fruit upon the bending tree !
Yet lovelier still the graces which adorn
The soul that’s heaven-born .
And age does not diminish , but increase
The precious fruits of love , and joy , and peace ,
And gentleness , and patience ; at life’s close ,
Each Christian virtue more luxuriant grows . “

“ My times are in thy hand . “ Ps. Xxxi. 15.

Then I am sure that they will be wisely ordered .  Thou hast all power in heaven and in earth ; thou art acquainted with the end from the beginning ; everything is subject to thy control , and the future , to thee , is as the present ; therefore there can be no mistake in thy purposes ; no imperfection in thy plans .
“My times are in thy hand . “   Then I will not be anxious nor distressed about the future .  Varied may be the times which I have yet to experience ~ times of sorrow or joy ; of poverty or plenty ; of sickness or health ; of life or death ; but I can calmly leave them to thy disposal .  I cannot foresee the events which thy providence appoints , but I can wait and trust .   The period and the manner of my departure hence are unknown to me , but I am free from all solicitude on these points , because thou hast arranged them for the best .

“ My times are in thy hand ; the night , the day ,
The moon’s pale glimmering , and the sunny ray
Are thine ; and thine the midnight of the grave ;
Oh , be thou there to strengthen and to save ,
The light’s death’s valley with thy beam of love ,
And smile a welcome to thy throne above . “

“ Bless the Lord ,  O my soul : and all that is within me , bless his holy name: Bless the Lord , O my soul, and forget not all his benefits . “  Ps. Ciii 1. 2.

How animating is the sight of an aged Christian who is rejoicing in hope of the glory of God ; and furnishing , by daily conduct , a bright example to others of cheerfulness and gratitude !   His life is a psalm of thanksgiving ; his happy look and thankful spirit fill his home with sunshine .  It is impossible to be long in his society , without feeling gladdened and invigorated by it . You can scarcely tell why , but you feel less disposed to complain , and more inclined to rejoice , than you did before .   Your own path seems to grow more hopeful and promising ; you are reminded of mercies which you had hitherto forgotten ; and the troubles which you thought so heavy , insensibly grow lighter .  The fact is , that for a time at least , you have caught his spirit , and imbibed his tone of mind .

A lovely instance of real and sustained cheerfulness , was the late justly celebrated William Wilberforce .    “ A stranger might have noticed that he was more uniformly cheerful than most men of his time of life .   Closer observation showed a vein of Christian feeling , mingling with , and purifying , the natural flow of a most happy temper ; whilst those who lived most continually with him , could trace distinctly in his tempered sorrows, and sustained and almost childlike gladness of heart , the continual presence of that peace which the world can neither give nor take away .   The pages of his later journal are full of bursts of joy and thankfulness ; and with his children and chosen friends , his full heart swelled out ever in the same blessed strains ; he seems too happy not to express his happiness ; his song was ever of the loving-kindness of the Lord . “   Everything became with him a cause for thanksgiving .   When some of the infirmities of years began to press upon him ,   “ What thanks do I owe to God , “  was his reflection~”  that my declining strength appears likely not to be attended with painful disease , but rather to lessen gradually , and by moderate degrees !   How good a friend God is to me !   When I have any complaint , it is always so mitigated and softened , as to give me scarcely any pain .  “ Bless the Lord , O my soul . “   What thanks do I owe to my gracious and kind heavenly Father ! “   And so , when one of his friends passed through a painful operation ,  “ Seldom,” he says ,   “ have I felt anything so deeply .  How thankful should I be to be spared such trials , my strength not being equal to them !   I humbly commit myself unto Him , who surely has given me reason to say   “ Goodness and merc have followed me all my days . “

Aged Christian , do you sympathize with these feelings ? do you share this thankfulness ?  do you manifest this gladness ?   “ The fruit of the Spirit is love , joy , and peace . “    Every allowance must be made for natural temperament .   Some persons are naturally sanguine and cheerful ; others are naturally gloomy and desponding .   But , in either case , the promises of the gospel ,  if simply believed and heartily appropriated , cannot fail go gladden the heart , and influence the conduct .   And it is no less our duty than our privilege , to  “ rejoice in the Lord always ; “ to   “ show forth his loving-kindness in the morning , and his faithfulness every night ; “  to  “ be thankful unto him , and bless his name : “    We must cultivate this joyous and grateful frame of mind  ; we must strive , be meditation ,  practice , and prayer , to acquire or to strengthen it ; for we ought no more to dishonour God by our unhappiness and unthankfulness , than by our unholiness .

The weakness and in the infirmities of old age sometimes tend to depress our spirits and dim our hopes .  Therefore let us be upon our guard ; and instead of giving way to discontent and despondency , let us count up our mercies , and look more steadfastly on the bright side of things ; and as often as we do this , sadness will be chased from our brow , and the self-exploration to praise will burst from our lips ,   “ Bless the Lord , O my soul : and all that is within me , bless his holy name .  Bless the Lord , O my soul , and forget not his benefits . “
“ Fareweill to sadness ,
Let every tear depart ;
Wake all to gladness ,
Wake, O m heart !
Shall worldly triflers raise the song
O’er pleasures the must lose ere long ?
And shall not those rejoice and sing
Who love the heavenly King ?
Let saints on earth unite their voice
With saints that round the throne rejoice ;
And here begin the song that through
Eternal years is new .
Psa. Xcii. 2: c. 4.
“ Though our outward man perish , yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”  2 Cor. Iv. 16.

“ We must of necessity , “ says a celebrated wrier ,  “ become better or worse as we advance in years .  Unless we endeavour to spiritualize ourselves, and supplicate in this endeavour for that grace which is never withheld when it is sincerely and earnestly sought , age bodylizes us more and more , and the older we grow the more are we embruted and debased ; ~ so manifestl is the text verified which warns us that ,   “ Unto every one which hath shall be given ; and from him that hath not , even that he hath shall be taken away . “   In some , the soul seems gradually to be absorbed and extinguished in its crust of clay ; in others , as if it purified and sublimed the vehicle to which it was united .  Nothing therefore is more beautiful than a wise and religious old age ; nothing so pitiable as the latter stages of mortal existence , when the world , and the flesh , and that false philosophy which is of the devil , have secured the victor for the grave . “

Aged Christian , thank God for the strengthening and invigorating grace which he imparts to you .  Your earthly frame is weak and enfeebled ; it has lost its vigour and elasticity ; it is harassed with pain and infirmity ; it must soon die .  But while your body decays , your soul thrives   If the one is preparing for the grave, the other is ripening for glory .  Your faith grows firmer ; your hope stronger ; your lover deeper ; your views clearer .

The soul’s poor cottage , batter’d and decay’d ,
Lets in new light through chinks which time hath made .

“ For our light affliction , which is but for a moment , worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory . “  2 Cor. Iv. 17.
“ In visiting , “  writes a clergyman ,  “ a poor man who has been bed-ridden these twenty-five years , I was preparing to pity him , but he called on me to rejoice .  “Are you not wearied out with the length of your afflictions ? “   “ Wearied , sir ! “ said he ;  “ no , nature will soon faint , but God sustains me .   I could lie here for another twenty-five years , if it pleased God .  I have found this bed to be the very gate of heaven .  Length of my affliction , sir !   oh , let me not call it long : it is short , very short , and will soon be over .  These light afflictions , which are but a moment , work for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory .   Is not God all love ?   He cannot then be unkind .  I s he not all-wise ?  He cannot them do wrong .  Are not his promises yea and amen in Christ Jesus ?  He cannot then break his word .  None who have trusted him have repented of it .  Oh , sir , I dare not complain , My affliction is a mercy . “

Troubled  and afflicted Christian , remember , the troubles of earth will enhance the joys of heaven .  And , compared with that weight of glory which is prepared for you above , are not your sorrow light ?  measured by the eternity of the happiness you anticipate , is not their duration that of a moment ?   Murmur not at the present ; think of the future .  How striking the contrast !  how glorious the change !

“ The gloom of the night adds a charm to the morn ;
Stern winter and spring-time endears ;
And the darker the cloud on which it is drawn ,
The brighter the rainbow appears ;
So trials and sorrows the Christian prepare
For the rest that remaineth above ;
On earth tribulation awaits him , but there
The smile of unchangeable love . “

“ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out .” John vi. 37.

During his last hours , a highly distinguished writer called for his chaplain, and said,   “ Though I have endeavoured to avoid sin , and please God to the utmost of my power , yet I am still afraid to die . “
“ My lord, “  said the chaplain , “ you have forgotten that Jesus Christ is a Saviour.”
“ True , “  was the answer , “ but how shall I know that he is a Saviour for me? “
“ It is written , my lord , “ Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out . “
“ Yes, it is ! “ was the quick reply , and I am surprised that though I have read that scripture a thousand times over , I never felt its virtue till this moment ; and now I die happy . “
Reader , are you coming to the Saviour ?  Then this promise is yours.

“ Jesus , the sinner’s friend , to thee ,
Lost and undone , for aid I flee ;
Ah , wherefore did I ever doubt ?
Thou wilt in no wise cast me out . “

“ When a

Social Anxiety Disorder: Social Phobia / Self-Help

Feb 04, 2013 - 2 comments
Tags:

social anxiety disorder

,

social phobia



I have posted the following disorders on my journal. My son suffered from Panic Attacks, and this was useful. We first had my son on Anti-Depressants, that had many side effects, and he opted to use techniques to solve his problem. He used Mindfulness, Exercise, Good Sleep, Nutrition & CoQ10 & Magnesium Citrate Powder. to solve this problem. He no longer has migraines, or any panic disorder that he cannot manage. Best of luck to you all~ It's a lot of reading but.....it pays off in the end to be fully informed in the process. There is enough over prescribing that is savvy to be educated on this subject, for ourselves, our families and especially, our children.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – Learn how to break free from this common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension.

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder – Learn about the causes of panic attacks, how to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic, and regain control of your life.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Learn how to get help for uncontrollable thoughts, irrational urges, or the compulsion to continually repeat the same rituals.

Phobias and Fears – When fears are irrational and disabling, they are called phobias. Learn how to get help and overcome these fears.

Social Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia – Learn to understand this disorder and be more comfortable in social situations.
___________________________________________________________

Social Anxiety Disorder & Social Phobia
Symptoms, Self-Help, and Treatment
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/social_anxiety_support_symptom_causes_treatment.htm
Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., and Ellen Jaffe-Gill, M.A. Last updated: December 2012.

Many people get nervous or self-conscious on occasion, like when giving a speech or interviewing for a new job. But social anxiety, or social phobia, is more than just shyness or occasional nerves. With social anxiety disorder, your fear of embarrassing yourself is so intense that you avoid situations that can trigger it. But no matter how painfully shy you may be and no matter how bad the butterflies, you can learn to be comfortable in social situations and reclaim your life.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
Social anxiety disorder
Common triggers
Signs and symptoms
Challenge negative thoughts
Learn to control your breath
Face your fears
Change your lifestyle
When self-help isn’t enough
  
What is social anxiety disorder / social phobia?
Matthew’s story
Matthew skipped class today. It’s the first day of the new semester, and he’s afraid that the professor will go around the class and have the students introduce themselves. He knows it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it really stresses him out. Whenever he has to speak in front of more than just a few people, his voice starts shaking and his face gets red. He always feels so humiliated afterwards.

Since public speaking is Matthew’s worst nightmare, he’s been avoiding a speech class he has to take in order to graduate. He’s also dreading his brother’s wedding, even though it’s over six months away. As the best man, he’ll have to give a toast at the reception and he’s already nervous about it.

Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, involves intense fear of certain social situations—especially situations that are unfamiliar or in which you feel you’ll be watched or evaluated by others.

These social situations may be so frightening that you get anxious just thinking about them or go to great lengths to avoid them.

Underlying social anxiety disorder or social phobia is the fear of being scrutinized, judged, or embarrassed in public. You may be afraid that people will think badly of you or that you won’t measure up in comparison to others. And even though you probably realize that your fears of being judged are at least somewhat irrational and overblown, you still can’t help feeling anxious.

While it may seem like there’s nothing you can do about the symptoms of social anxiety disorder or social phobia, in reality, there are many things that can help. It starts with understanding the problem.

Common social phobia / social anxiety disorder triggers
Although it may feel like you’re the only one with this problem, social anxiety or social phobia is actually quite common. Many people struggle with these fears. But the situations that trigger the symptoms of social anxiety disorder can be different.

Some people experience anxiety in most social and performance situations, a condition known as generalized social anxiety disorder. For other people with social phobia, anxiety is connected with specific social situations, such as speaking to strangers, eating at restaurants, or going to parties.

The most common specific social phobia is fear of public speaking or performing in front of an audience.

Triggers for social anxiety disorder (social phobia)
The following situations are often stressful for people with social anxiety disorder:
Meeting new people
Being the center of attention
Being watched while doing something
Making small talk
Public speaking
Performing on stage
Being teased or criticized
Talking with “important” people or authority figures
Being called on in class
Going on a date
Making phone calls
Using public bathrooms
Taking exams
Eating or drinking in public
Speaking up in a meeting
Attending parties or other social gatherings
Signs and symptoms of social anxiety disorder / social phobia
Just because you occasionally get nervous in social situations doesn’t mean you have social anxiety disorder or social phobia. Many people are shy or self-conscious — at least from time to time — yet it doesn’t get in the way of their everyday functioning. Social anxiety disorder, on the other hand, does interfere with your normal routine and causes tremendous distress.

For example, it’s perfectly normal to get the jitters before giving a speech. But if you have social anxiety disorder or social phobia, you might worry for weeks ahead of time, call in sick to get out of it, or start shaking so bad during the speech that you can hardly speak.

Emotional symptoms of social anxiety disorder / social phobia
Excessive self-consciousness and anxiety in everyday social situations
Intense worry for days, weeks, or even months before an upcoming social situation
Extreme fear of being watched or judged by others, especially people you don’t know
Fear that you’ll act in ways that that will embarrass or humiliate yourself
Fear that others will notice that you’re nervous
Physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder / social phobia
Red face, or blushing
Shortness of breath
Upset stomach, nausea (i.e. butterflies)
Trembling or shaking (including shaky voice)
Racing heart or tightness in chest
Sweating or hot flashes
Feeling dizzy or faint
Behavioral symptoms of social anxiety disorder / social phobia
Avoiding social situations to a degree that limits your activities or disrupts your life
Staying quiet or hiding in the background in order to escape notice and embarrassment
A need to always bring a buddy along with you wherever you go
Drinking before social situations in order to soothe your nerves
Social anxiety disorder / social phobia in children
There’s nothing abnormal about a child being shy, but children with social anxiety disorder or social phobia experience extreme distress over everyday activities and situations such as playing with other kids, reading in class, speaking to adults, taking tests, or performing in front of others. Often, children with social phobia don’t want to go to school.
Social anxiety disorder treatment #1: Challenge negative thoughts
Social anxiety sufferers have negative thoughts and beliefs that contribute to their anxiety. If you have social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, you may find yourself overwhelmed by thoughts like:

“I know I’ll end up looking like a fool.”
“My voice will start shaking and I’ll humiliate myself.”
“People will think I’m stupid.”
“I won’t have anything to say. I'll seem boring.”
Challenging these negative thoughts, either through therapy or on your own, is one effective way to reduce the symptoms of social anxiety disorder.

The first step is to identify the automatic negative thoughts that underlie your fear of social situations. For example, if you‘re worried about an upcoming work presentation, the underlying negative thought might be: “I’m going to blow it. Everyone will think I’m completely incompetent.”

The next step is to analyze and challenge them. It helps to ask yourself questions about the negative thoughts: “Do I know for sure that I’m going to blow the presentation?” or “Even if I’m nervous, will people necessarily think I’m incompetent?” Through this logical evaluation of your negative thoughts, you can gradually replace them with more realistic and positive ways of looking at social situations that trigger your anxiety.

Unhelpful thinking styles involved in social phobia
In particular, ask yourself if you’re engaging in any of the following unhelpful thinking styles:

Mind reading – Assuming you know what other people are thinking, and that they see you in the same negative way that you see yourself.
Fortune telling – Predicting the future, usually while assuming the worst will happen. You just “know” that things will go horribly, so you’re already anxious before you’re even in the situation.
Catastrophizing – Blowing things out of proportion. If people notice that you’re nervous, it will be “awful,” “terrible,” or “disastrous.”
Personalizing – Assuming that people are focusing on you in a negative way or that what’s going on with other people has to do with you.
How can I stop thinking that everyone is looking at me?
In order to reduce self-focus, pay attention to what is happening around you, rather than monitoring yourself or focusing on symptoms of anxiety in your body:
Look at other people and the surroundings.
Really listen to what is being said (not to your own negative thoughts).
Don't take all the responsibility for keeping conversations going—silence is okay, other people will contribute.
Adapted from: Moodjuice
Social anxiety disorder treatment #2: Learn to control your breath
Many changes happen in your body when you become anxious. One of the first changes is that you begin to breathe quickly. Overbreathing throws off the balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body—leading to more physical symptoms of anxiety, such as dizziness, a feeling of suffocation, increased heart rate, and muscle tension.

Learning to slow your breathing down can help you bring your physical symptoms of anxiety back under control. Practicing the following breathing exercise will help you stay calm when you’re the center of attention.

A breathing exercise to help you keep your calm in social situations
Sit comfortably with your back straight and your shoulders relaxed. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose for 4 seconds. The hand on your stomach should rise, while the hand on your chest should move very little.
Hold the breath for 2 seconds.
Exhale slowly through your mouth for 6 seconds, pushing out as much air as you can. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on keeping a slow and steady breathing pattern of 4-in, 2-hold, and 6-out.
Relaxation techniques for anxiety relief
In addition to deep breathing exercises, regular practice of relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation will also help you get control over the physical symptoms of anxiety.

For step-by-step advice on getting started, see Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief: Finding the Relaxation Exercises that Work for You.

Social anxiety disorder treatment #3: Face your fears
One of the most helpful things you can do to overcome social anxiety disorder, or social phobia, is to face the social situations you fear rather than avoid them. Avoidance keeps social anxiety disorder going.

Avoidance leads to more problems
While avoiding nerve-wracking situations may help you feel better in the short term, it prevents you from becoming more comfortable in social situations and learning how to cope. In fact, the more you avoid a feared social situation, the more frightening it becomes.

Avoidance may also prevent you from doing things you’d like to do or reaching certain goals. For example, a fear of speaking up may prevent you from sharing your ideas at work, standing out in the classroom, or making new friends.

Challenging social anxiety one step at a time
While it may seem impossible to overcome a feared social situation, you can do it by taking it one small step at a time. The key is to start with a situation that you can handle and gradually work your way up to more challenging situations, building your confidence and coping skills as you move up the “anxiety ladder.”

For example, if socializing with strangers makes you anxious, you might start by accompanying an outgoing friend to a party. Once you’re comfortable with that step, you might try introducing yourself to one new person, and so on.

Working your way up the social phobia “anxiety ladder”
Don’t try to face your biggest fear right away. It’s never a good idea to move too fast, take on too much, or force things. This will backfire and reinforce your anxiety.
Be patient. Overcoming social anxiety takes time and practice. It’s a gradual step-by-step progress.
Use the skills you’ve learned to stay calm, such as focusing on your breathing and challenging negative assumptions.
Social anxiety disorder treatment #4: Build better relationships
Actively seeking out and joining supportive social environments is another effective way of tackling and overcoming social anxiety disorder or social phobia. The following suggestions are good ways to start interacting with others in positive ways:

Take a social skills class or an assertiveness training class. These classes are often offered at local adult education centers or community colleges.
Volunteer doing something you enjoy, such as walking dogs in a shelter, or stuffing envelopes for a campaign — anything that will give you an activity to focus on while you are also engaging with a small number of like-minded people.
Work on your communication skills. Good relationships depend on clear, emotionally-intelligent communication. If you find that you have trouble connecting to others, learning the basic skills of emotional intelligence can help.
Social anxiety disorder treatment #5: Change your lifestyle
While lifestyle changes alone aren’t enough to overcome social phobia or social anxiety disorder, they can support your overall treatment progress. The following lifestyle tips will help you reduce your overall anxiety levels and set the stage for successful treatment:

Avoid or limit caffeine. Coffee, tea, caffeinated soda, energy drinks, and chocolate act as stimulants that increase anxiety symptoms.
Drink only in moderation. You may be tempted to drink before a party or other social situation in order to calm your nerves, but alcohol increases your risk of having an anxiety attack.
Quit smoking. Nicotine is a powerful stimulant. Smoking leads to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.
Get adequate sleep. When you’re sleep deprived, you’re more vulnerable to anxiety. Being well rested will help you stay calm in social situations.
When self-help for social anxiety / social phobia isn’t enough
The best treatment approach for social anxiety disorder varies from person to person. You may find that self-help strategies are enough to ease your social anxiety symptoms. But if you’ve tried the techniques above and you’re still struggling with disabling anxiety, you may need professional help as well.

Therapy for social anxiety disorder / social phobia
Of all the professional treatments available, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to work the best for treating social anxiety disorder, or social phobia. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is based on the premise that what you think affects how you feel, and your feelings affect your behavior. So if you change the way you think about social situations that give you anxiety, you’ll feel and function better.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for social phobia typically involves:

Learning how to control the physical symptoms of anxiety through relaxation techniques and breathing exercises.
Challenging negative, unhelpful thoughts that trigger and fuel social anxiety, replacing them with more balanced views.
Facing the social situations you fear in a gradual, systematic way, rather than avoiding them.
While you can learn and practice these exercises on your own, if you’ve had trouble with self-help, you may benefit from the extra support and guidance a therapist brings.

Group therapy for social anxiety disorder / social phobia
Other cognitive-behavioral techniques for social anxiety disorder include role-playing and social skills training, often as part of a therapy group.

Group therapy for social anxiety disorder uses acting, videotaping and observing, mock interviews, and other exercises to work on situations that make you anxious in the real world. As you practice and prepare for situations you’re afraid of, you will become more and more comfortable and confident in your social abilities, and your anxiety will lessen.

Medication for social anxiety disorder / social phobia
Medication is sometimes used to relieve the symptoms of social anxiety, but it’s not a cure for social anxiety disorder or social phobia. If you stop taking medication, your symptoms will probably return full force. Medication is considered most helpful when used in addition to therapy and other self-help techniques that address the root cause of social anxiety disorder.

Three types of medication are used in the treatment of social anxiety disorder / social phobia:

Beta blockers – Beta blockers are used for relieving performance anxiety. They work by blocking the flow of adrenaline that occurs when you’re anxious. While beta blockers don’t affect the emotional symptoms of anxiety, they can control physical symptoms such as shaking hands or voice, sweating, and rapid heartbeat.
Antidepressants – Antidepressants can be helpful when social anxiety disorder is severe and debilitating. Three specific antidepressants—Paxil, Effexor, and Zoloft—have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of social phobia.
Benzodiazepines – Benzodiazepines are fast-acting anti-anxiety medications. However, they are sedating and addictive, so they are typically prescribed only when other medications for social phobia have not worked.

Anxiety: Phobias and Fears

Feb 04, 2013 - 0 comments
Tags:

Phobia and Fears

,

Anxiety: Phobias/Fears

,

Anxiety



I have posted the following disorders on my journal. My son suffered from Panic Attacks, and this was useful. We first had my son on Anti-Depressants, that had many side effects, and he opted to use techniques to solve his problem. He used Mindfulness, Exercise, Good Sleep, Nutrition & CoQ10 & Magnesium Citrate Powder. to solve this problem. He no longer has migraines, or any panic disorder that he cannot manage. Best of luck to you all~ It's a lot of reading but.....it pays off in the end to be fully informed in the process. There is enough over prescribing that is savvy to be educated on this subject, for ourselves, our families and especially, our children.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) – Learn how to break free from this common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension.

Panic Attacks and Panic Disorder – Learn about the causes of panic attacks, how to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of panic, and regain control of your life.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Learn how to get help for uncontrollable thoughts, irrational urges, or the compulsion to continually repeat the same rituals.

Phobias and Fears – When fears are irrational and disabling, they are called phobias. Learn how to get help and overcome these fears.

Social Anxiety Disorder and Social Phobia – Learn to understand this disorder and be more comfortable in social situations.
___________________________________________________________

Phobias and Fears
Symptoms, Treatment, and Self-Help
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/phobia_symptoms_types_treatment.htm
Authors: Melinda Smith, M.A., Robert Segal, M.A., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D. Last updated: December 2012.

Almost everyone has an irrational fear or two—of mice, for example, or your annual dental checkup. For most people, these fears are minor. But, when fears become so severe that they cause tremendous anxiety and interfere with your normal life, they’re called phobias. The good news is that phobias can be managed and cured. Self-help strategies and therapy can help you overcome your fears and start living the life you want.
IN THIS ARTICLE:
What is a phobia?
Normal fear vs. phobias
Common types of phobias
Signs and symptoms
When to seek help
Face your fears
Learn relaxation techniques
Challenge negative thoughts
  
What is a phobia?
Barbara’s fear of flying
Barbara is terrified of flying. Unfortunately, she has to travel a lot for work, and this traveling takes a terrible toll. For weeks before every trip, she has a knot in her stomach and a feeling of anxiety that won’t go away. On the day of the flight, she wakes up feeling like she’s going to throw up. Once she’s on the plane, her heart pounds, she feels lightheaded, and she starts to hyperventilate. Every time it gets worse and worse.

Barbara’s fear of flying has gotten so bad that she finally told her boss she can only travel to places within driving distance. Her boss was not happy about this, and Barbara’s not sure what will happen at work. She’s afraid she’ll be demoted or lose her job altogether. But better that, she tells herself, than getting on a plane again.

A phobia is an intense fear of something that, in reality, poses little or no actual danger. Common phobias and fears include closed-in places, heights, highway driving, flying insects, snakes, and needles. However, we can develop phobias of virtually anything. Most phobias develop in childhood, but they can also develop in adults.

If you have a phobia, you probably realize that your fear is unreasonable, yet you still can’t control your feelings. Just thinking about the feared object or situation may make you anxious. And when you’re actually exposed to the thing you fear, the terror is automatic and overwhelming.

The experience is so nerve-wracking that you may go to great lengths to avoid it — inconveniencing yourself or even changing your lifestyle. If you have claustrophobia, for example, you might turn down a lucrative job offer if you have to ride the elevator to get to the office. If you have a fear of heights, you might drive an extra twenty miles in order to avoid a tall bridge.

Understanding your phobia is the first step to overcoming it. It’s important to know that phobias are common. Having a phobia doesn’t mean you’re crazy! It also helps to know that phobias are highly treatable. You can overcome your anxiety and fear, no matter how out of control it feels.

“Normal” fear vs. phobias
It is normal and even helpful to experience fear in dangerous situations. Fear is an adaptive human response. It serves a protective purpose, activating the automatic “fight-or-flight” response. With our bodies and minds alert and ready for action, we are able to respond quickly and protect ourselves.

But with phobias the threat is greatly exaggerated or nonexistent. For example, it is only natural to be afraid of a snarling Doberman, but it is irrational to be terrified of a friendly poodle on a leash, as you might be if you have a dog phobia.

The difference between normal fear and a phobia
Normal fear Phobia
Feeling anxious when flying through turbulence or taking off during a storm
Not going to your best friend’s island wedding because you’d have to fly there
Experiencing butterflies when peering down from the top of a skyscraper or climbing a tall ladder
Turning down a great job because it’s on the 10th floor of the office building
Getting nervous when you see a pit bull or a Rottweiler
Steering clear of the park because you might see a dog
Feeling a little queasy when getting a shot or when your blood is being drawn
Avoiding necessary medical treatments or doctor’s checkups because you’re terrified of needles
Normal fears in children
Many childhood fears are natural and tend to develop at specific ages. For example, many young children are afraid of the dark and may need a nightlight to sleep. That doesn’t mean they have a phobia. In most cases, they will grow out of this fear as they get older.

If your child’s fear is not interfering with his or her daily life or causing him or a her a great deal of distress, then there’s little cause for undue concern. However, if the fear is interfering with your child’s social activities, school performance, or sleep, you may want to see a qualified child therapist.

Which of my child’s fears are normal?
According to the Child Anxiety Network, the following fears are extremely common and considered normal:
0-2 years – Loud noises, strangers, separation from parents, large objects.
3-6 years – Imaginary things such as ghosts, monsters, the dark, sleeping alone, strange noises.
7-16 years – More realistic fears such as injury, illness, school performance, death, natural disasters.
Common types of phobias and fears
There are four general types of phobias and fears:

Animal phobias. Examples include fear of snakes, fear of spiders, fear of rodents, and fear of dogs.
Natural environment phobias. Examples include fear of heights, fear of storms, fear of water, and fear of the dark.
Situational phobias (fears triggered by a specific situation). Examples include fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), fear of flying, fear of driving, fear of tunnels, and fear of bridges.
Blood-Injection-Injury phobia. The fear of blood, fear or injury, or a fear of needles or other medical procedures.

Which of my child’s fears are normal?
According to the Child Anxiety Network, the following fears are extremely common and considered normal:
0-2 years – Loud noises, strangers, separation from parents, large objects.
3-6 years – Imaginary things such as ghosts, monsters, the dark, sleeping alone, strange noises.
7-16 years – More realistic fears such as injury, illness, school performance, death, natural disasters.
Common types of phobias and fears
There are four general types of phobias and fears:

Animal phobias. Examples include fear of snakes, fear of spiders, fear of rodents, and fear of dogs.
Natural environment phobias. Examples include fear of heights, fear of storms, fear of water, and fear of the dark.
Situational phobias (fears triggered by a specific situation). Examples include fear of enclosed spaces (claustrophobia), fear of flying, fear of driving, fear of tunnels, and fear of bridges.
Blood-Injection-Injury phobia. The fear of blood, fear or injury, or a fear of needles or other medical procedures.
Common phobias and fears
Fear of spiders
Fear of snakes
Fear of heights
Fear or closed spaces
Fear of storms
Fear of needles and injections
Fear of public speaking
Fear of flying
Fear of germs
Fear of illness or death
Some phobias don’t fall into one of the four common categories. Such phobias include fear of choking, fear of getting a disease such as cancer, and fear of clowns.

Social phobia and fear of public speaking

Social phobia, also called social anxiety disorder, is fear of social situations where you may be embarrassed or judged. If you have social phobia you may be excessively self-conscious and afraid of humiliating yourself in front of others. Your anxiety over how you will look and what others will think may lead you to avoid certain social situations you’d otherwise enjoy.

Fear of public speaking, an extremely common phobia, is a type of social phobia. Other fears associated with social phobia include fear of eating or drinking in public, talking to strangers, taking exams, mingling at a party, and being called on in class.

Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces)
Agoraphobia is another phobia that doesn’t fit neatly into any of the four categories. Traditionally thought to involve a fear of public places and open spaces, it is now believed that agoraphobia develops as a complication of panic attacks.

Afraid of having another panic attack, you become anxious about being in situations where escape would be difficult or embarrassing, or where help wouldn't be immediately available. For example, you are likely to avoid crowded places such as shopping malls and movie theaters. You may also avoid cars, airplanes, subways, and other forms of travel. In more severe cases, you might only feel safe at home.

Signs and symptoms of phobias
The symptoms of a phobia can range from mild feelings of apprehension and anxiety to a full-blown panic attack. Typically, the closer you are to the thing you’re afraid of, the greater your fear will be. Your fear will also be higher if getting away is difficult.

Physical signs and symptoms of a phobia
Difficulty breathing
Racing or pounding heart
Chest pain or tightness
Trembling or shaking
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
A churning stomach
Hot or cold flashes; tingling sensations
Sweating
Emotional signs and symptoms of a phobia
Feeling of overwhelming anxiety or panic
Feeling an intense need to escape
Feeling “unreal” or detached from yourself
Fear of losing control or going crazy
Feeling like you’re going to die or pass out
Knowing that you’re overreacting, but feeling powerless to control your fear
Symptoms of Blood-Injection-Injury Phobia
The symptoms of blood-injection-injury phobia are slightly different from other phobias. When confronted with the sight of blood or a needle, you experience not only fear but disgust.
Like other phobias, you initially feel anxious as your heart speeds up. However, unlike other phobias, this acceleration is followed by a quick drop in blood pressure, which leads to nausea, dizziness, and fainting. Although a fear of fainting is common in all specific phobias, blood-injection-injury phobia is the only phobia where fainting can actually occur.
When to seek help for phobias and fears
Although phobias are common, they don’t always cause considerable distress or significantly disrupt your life. For example, if you have a snake phobia, it may cause no problems in your everyday activities if you live in a city where you are not likely to run into one. On the other hand, if you have a severe phobia of crowded spaces, living in a big city would pose a problem.

If your phobia doesn’t really impact your life that much, it’s probably nothing to be concerned about. But if avoidance of the object, activity, or situation that triggers your phobia interferes with your normal functioning or keeps you from doing things you would otherwise enjoy, it’s time to seek help.

Consider treatment for your phobia if:
It causes intense and disabling fear, anxiety, and panic.
You recognize that your fear is excessive and unreasonable.
You avoid certain situations and places because of your phobia.
Your avoidance interferes with your normal routine or causes significant distress.
You’ve had the phobia for at least six months.
Self-help or therapy for phobias: which treatment is best?
When it comes to treating phobias, self-help strategies and therapy can both be effective. What’s best for you depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your phobia, your insurance coverage, and the amount of support you need.

As a general rule, self-help is always worth a try. The more you can do for yourself, the more in control you’ll feel—which goes a long way when it comes to phobias and fears. However, if your phobia is so severe that it triggers panic attacks or uncontrollable anxiety, you may want to get additional support.

The good news is that therapy for phobias has a great track record. Not only does it work extremely well, but you tend to see results very quickly—sometimes in as a little as 1-4 sessions.
However, support doesn’t have to come in the guise of a professional therapist. Just having someone to hold your hand or stand by your side as you face your fears can be extraordinarily helpful.

Phobia treatment tip 1: Face your fears, one step at a time
It’s only natural to want to avoid the thing or situation you fear. But when it comes to conquering phobias, facing your fears is the key. While avoidance may make you feel better in the short-term, it prevents you from learning that your phobia may not be as frightening or overwhelming as you think. You never get the chance to learn how to cope with your fears and experience control over the situation. As a result, the phobia becomes increasingly scarier and more daunting in your mind.

Exposure: Gradually and repeatedly facing your fears
The most effective way to overcome a phobia is by gradually and repeatedly exposing yourself to what you fear in a safe and controlled way. During this exposure process, you’ll learn to ride out the anxiety and fear until it inevitably passes.

Through repeated experiences facing your fear, you’ll begin to realize that the worst isn’t going to happen; you’re not going to die or “lose it”. With each exposure, you’ll feel more confident and in control. The phobia begins to lose its power.

Successfully facing your fears takes planning, practice, and patience. The following tips will help you get the most out of the exposure process.

Climbing up the “fear ladder”
If you’ve tried exposure in the past and it didn’t work, you may have started with something too scary or overwhelming. It’s important to begin with a situation that you can handle, and work your way up from there, building your confidence and coping skills as you move up the “fear ladder.”

Facing a fear of dogs: A sample fear ladder
Step 1: Look at pictures of dogs.
Step 2: Watch a video with dogs in it.
Step 3: Look at a dog through a window.
Step 4: Stand across the street from a dog on a leash.
Step 5: Stand 10 feet away from a dog on a leash.
Step 6: Stand 5 feet away from a dog on a leash.
Step 7: Stand beside a dog on a leash.
Step 8: Pet asmall dog that someone is holding.
Step 9: Pet a larger dog on a leash.
Step 10: Pet a larger dog off leash.
Make a list. Make a list of the frightening situations related to your phobia. If you’re afraid of flying, your list (in addition to the obvious, such as taking a flight or getting through takeoff) might include booking your ticket, packing your suitcase, driving to the airport, watching planes take off and land, going through security, boarding the plane, and listening to the flight attendant present the safety instructions.
Build your fear ladder. Arrange the items on your list from the least scary to the most scary. The first step should make you slightly anxious, but not so frightening that you’re too intimidated to try it. When creating the ladder, it can be helpful to think about your end goal (for example, to be able to be near dogs without panicking) and then break down the steps needed to reach that goal.
Work your way up the ladder. Start with the first step (in this example, looking at pictures of dogs) and don’t move on until you start to feel more comfortable doing it. If at all possible, stay in the situation long enough for your anxiety to decrease. The longer you expose yourself to the thing you’re afraid of, the more you’ll get used to it and the less anxious you’ll feel when you face it the next time. If the situation itself is short (for example, crossing a bridge), do it over and over again until your anxiety starts to lessen. Once you’ve done a step on several separate occasions without feeling too much anxiety, you can move on to the next step. If a step is too hard, break it down into smaller steps or go slower.
Practice. It’s important to practice regularly. The more often you practice, the quicker your progress will be. However, don’t rush. Go at a pace that you can manage without feeling overwhelmed. And remember: you will feel uncomfortable and anxious as you face your fears, but the feelings are only temporary. If you stick with it, the anxiety will fade. Your fears won’t hurt you.
If you start to feel overwhelmed…

While it’s natural to feel scared or anxious as you face your phobia, you should never feel overwhelmed by these feelings. If you start to feel overwhelmed, immediately back off. You may need to spend more time learning to control feelings of anxiety (see the relaxation techniques below), or you may feel more comfortable working with a therapist.

Phobia treatment tip 2: Learn relaxation techniques
As you’ll recall, when you’re afraid or anxious, you experience a variety of uncomfortable physical symptoms, such as a racing heart and a suffocating feeling. These physical sensations can be frightening themselves—and a large part of what makes your phobia so distressing. However, by learning and practicing relaxation techniques, you can become more confident in your ability to tolerate these uncomfortable sensations and calm yourself down quickly.

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and muscle relaxation are powerful antidotes to anxiety, panic, and fear. With regular practice, they can improve your ability to control the physical symptoms of anxiety, which will make facing your phobia less intimidating. Relaxation techniques will also help you cope more effectively with other sources of stress and anxiety in your life.

A simple deep breathing relaxation exercise
When you’re anxious, you tend to take quick, shallow breaths (also known as hyperventilating), which actually adds to the physical feelings of anxiety. By breathing deeply from the abdomen, you can reverse these physical sensations. You can’t be upset when you’re breathing slowly, deeply, and quietly. Within a few short minutes of deep breathing, you’ll feel less tense, short of breath, and anxious.

Sit or stand comfortably with your back straight. Put one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
Take a slow breath in through your nose, counting to four. The hand on your stomach should rise. The hand on your chest should move very little.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale through your mouth to a count of eight, pushing out as much air as you can while contracting your abdominal muscles. The hand on your stomach should move in as you exhale, but your other hand should move very little.
Inhale again, repeating the cycle until you feel relaxed and centered.
Try practicing this deep breathing technique for five minutes twice day. You don’t need to feel anxious to practice. In fact, it’s best to practice when you’re feeling calm until you’re familiar and comfortable with the exercise. Once you’re comfortable with this deep breathing technique, you can start to use it when you’re facing your phobia or in other stressful situations.

Phobia treatment tip 3: Challenge negative thoughts
Learning to challenge unhelpful thoughts is an important step in overcoming your phobia. When you have a phobia, you tend to overestimate how bad it will be if you’re exposed to the situation you fear. At the same time, you underestimate your ability to cope.

The anxious thoughts that trigger and fuel phobias are usually negative and unrealistic. It can help to put these thoughts to the test. Begin by writing down any negative thoughts you have when confronted with your phobia. Many times, these thoughts fall into the following categories:

Fortune telling. For example, “This bridge is going to collapse;” “I’ll make a fool of myself for sure;” “I will definitely lose it when the elevator doors close.”
Overgeneralization. “I fainted once while getting a shot. I’ll never be able to get a shot again without passing out;” “That pit bull lunged at me. All dogs are dangerous.”
Catastrophizing. “The captain said we’re going through turbulence. The plane is going to crash!” “The person next to me coughed. Maybe it’s the swine flu. I’m going to get very sick!”
Once you’ve identified your negative thoughts, evaluate them. Use the following example to get started.

Negative thought: “The elevator will break down and I’ll get trapped and suffocate.”
Is there any evidence that contradicts this thought?
“I see many people using the elevator and it has never broken down.”
“I cannot remember ever hearing of anyone dying from suffocation in a elevator.”
“I have never actually been in a elevator that has broken down.”
“There are air vents in a elevator which will stop the air running out.”
Could you do anything to resolve this situation if it does occur?
“I guess I could press the alarm button or use the telephone to call for assistance.”
Are you making a thinking error?
“Yes. I’m fortune telling, as I have no evidence to suggest that the elevator will break down.”
What would you say to a friend who has this fear?
“I would probably say that the chances of it happening are very slim as you don’t see or hear about it very often.”
Source: Mood Juice
It’s also helpful to come up with some positive coping statements that you can tell yourself when facing your phobia. For example:

“I’ve felt this way before and nothing terrible happened. It may be unpleasant, but it won’t harm me.”
“If the worst happens and I have a panic attack while I’m driving, I’ll simply pull over and wait for it to pass.”
“I’ve flown many times and the plane has never crashed. In fact, I don’t know anyone who’s ever been in a plane crash. Statistically, flying is very safe.”