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       Senior Pastor Phil Roland


              Pastor Ray Scott


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I don’t like Winter! 

My granddaughter Hope and I learned a jingle sent to me by the FB friends.

Noses are Red, Fingers are Blue

I'm sick of Winter! How about You?

          Here's some adjectives I associate with Winter:

Ice, Wind Chill, Threats of Snow, Cloudy Skies, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Cabin Fever Black Ice, Fender Benders, Dead Batteries, Stalled Cars, Frozen Pipes, Sore Throats, Flu, and Big Bills from the Electric and Gas companies. 

I don’t like Winter! 

          The older I get, the less I like Winter! My first Winters out here from sunny Southern California, I took up Ice Fishing. I still do it when I get younger people to mentor in the fine art of catching pan fish through the ice.

          Winters, however, have always been a trial of endurance. We have learned to adapt. We wear long johns and layers of extra clothing even around the house. This Christmas someone gave me a pull-over hoodie for Christmas. I live in it when I'm around the house, and sometimes outdoors.

          Yesterday afternoon Lois and I went to a Celebration of Life service at Rossi Funeral Home in Youngstown. We were Celebrating the life of Pastor Ron's Brother, Henry "Hank" Wasilchak. There I met all the "young people" from my first church. They're all in their 50's and 60's today. As I started up the car afterwards, warmed up the heater and put the car into gear, I felt the stress we feel when Winter driving in NE Ohio and NW Pennsylvania. Winter Blues. . .

My sermon explores a Psalm of David who was often in a blue mood. I have some Biblical suggestions of how you can overcome Winter Blues.

Pastor Phil  <><<


January 27, 2,019

Sheepfold Ministries, Pastor Phil Roland




“Winter Blues aren’t just the Post-Holiday Blaughs.  Depression happens when we repress, deny and hold inside the anger conflict issues we feel out-of-control about. King David shows us how he deals with it .                                                                                                    Pastor Phil Roland  <><<

13 But to You I have cried out, O LORD, And in the morning my prayer comes before You. 14 LORD, why do You cast off my soul? Why do You hide Your face from me?   Psalm 88:13-14


5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.    Psalm 30:5




More than 20% of American adults wille experience depression during their lifetimes. Median age of onset is 32 years of age. 

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD)
MDD is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15 to 44.3.
MDD affects more than 16.1 million American adults, or about 6.7%of the           U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year.
While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at           onset is 32.5 years old.
MDD is more prevalent in women than in men.


Historic Christian Leaders were Depressive:

  • Martin Luther, one of the historic founders of the Protestant church, and penned the words to the hymn, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” struggled with depression all his life


  • Charles Spurgeon, who was probably one of the greatest preachers of the 19th century, battled with depression until the day he died 


  • The famed missionary Hudson Taylor contemplated the awful temptation to end his life because of his severe depression


  • Charles Spurgeon suffered from chronic bouts of depression throughout his life


Modern and Historic figures have been Depressive:

     First Lady Barbara Bush became deeply depressed in the mid-1970's

     Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Beethoven, Tolstoy


A Barna study reveals that nearly one-fifth of young adults leave church because their faith "does not help with depression or other emotional problems" they experience. It certainly doesn't help that that the church can sometimes frown on medication.

WINTER BLUES, cont. p.2




“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.”

      A. Born into separation / Isolation

                    1. Pediatric surgeon cuts the umbilical cord

                    2. For the first time since conception we are alone

                    3. The baby's anguished cry is abandonment

                              a. Since their 1st heartbeat they are connected w/mom

                              b. Birthing means separation

      B. The Garden's Curse for Adam and Eve was separation

                    1. Their disobedience cut them off from God

                    2. It also cut them off from each other

                    3. It cut them off from their world

      C. Adam and Eve's Disobedience was SIN, Willful Disobedience

             2 But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have

          hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2

                    1. Sin Separates us from God, ourselves and one another

                    2. Sin cut the umbilical cord connecting Adam and God

                    3. Sin cuts the umbilical cord between YOU and God

      D. David feels alone and weeps over his disconnect from God

         2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and

        appear before God?
      E. David talks out his isolation accusingly with himself - Psalm 42:3

            3 My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me,              "Where is your God?"


 “Why are you downcast, O my soul?   Why so disturbed within me?

   Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”

          A. Own Your Own Feelings

                    1. Do the Painful Introspection

                    2. The Twelve Step Addiction Recover Movement's 4th Step

                            I now obey God's call in scripture to make a fearless, ethical,                                       moral, and scriptural inventory of my entire life in order to uncover                  all sins,  mistakes,  and  character defects, and to make a written                                 list of every item uncovered.

                    3. Difficult Self-Examination

                    4. Accept Your Own Diagnosis

                              a. Confess it to God

                              b. Confess it to at least one other person

          B. Three Positive Conclusions

                    1. "Trust" - “Put your trust in Jesus to reconnect you"

                    2. “Hope” - “Put your hope in God.”

3. “Praise” - “I will yet praise him. . .”


WINTER BLUES, cont. p. 3



          A. Approach God With Your Feelings - v. 6b

                    “My soul is downcast within me. . .”

1. T ELL GOD how you feel

                    2. A CKNOWLEDGE your problems

                    3. L OVE GOD with all your heart, soul and strength

                    4. K  NOW GOD hears your pain, knows your anger, loves you

          B. Remember What God Has Done - v. 4

                    1. God Is In Control - Romans 8:28

                                        28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who

                          love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

                    2. God’s Lovingkindness Is Forever - Isa. 26:3; 2 Tim 1:7

                                        3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You,

                          Because he trusts in You.     Isaiah 26:3

                                        7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love

                          and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7
          C. Ask Jesus (again) to be Lord of your life

                    1. Depression robs our awareness of Jesus' Presence

                    2. Listen for His still, small voice

                    3. Together walk out of the Winter Blues



1. God knows about your angry heart and loves you anyway

2. God has the ability to heal you from your anger and depression

3. What feels like a closed door may often be an opportunity God is giving           you to a better situation in life

4. Give God a real chance with ALL your life and your future 






Psalm 42:1-11
1 To the Chief Musician. A Contemplation of the sons of Korah. As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, While they continually say to me, "Where is your God?"
4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise, With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.
6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me; Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan, And from the heights of Hermon, From the Hill Mizar.
7 Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls; All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
8 The LORD will command His lovingkindness in the daytime, And in the night His song shall be with me-- A prayer to the God of my life.
9 I will say to God my Rock, "Why have You forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?"
10 As with a breaking of my bones, My enemies reproach me, While they say to me all day long, "Where is your God?"
11 Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.






1. DO SOMETHING FOR SOMEONE who cannot pay you back.  Often the path to peace and healing is in doing for others.  Volunteer to work at the Salvation Army or a hospital or a church project.

2. GIVE TO OTHERS - Look at Matthew 20:31-46

            Remember the example of life of Mr. Rockefeller

            MARY MARTIN's note from Oscar Hammerstein just before filming of "South Pacific":

                        "A bell is not a bell until you ring it.

                      A song is not a song until you sing it.

                      Love in your heart is not put there to stay.

                      Love is not love until you give it away!"

3.  SPEND TIME WITH YOURSELF DAILY - Take time to do something that you enjoy and gives you a sense of peace.  Pursue a hobby.  Take a nature walk.  Draw a picture.  Write a letter.  Read a light, pleasant book.  Jesus withdrew from crowds and people regularly to seek personal restoration.  See Mark 3:7; Luke 22:41; Luke 5:16.

4.  LIVE IN THE PRESENT - Jesus extolled the little child as our example for living in the Kingdom of God.  Learn from the child the ability to live in the "Golden Now," extracting every joyful moment from it.  Don't allow or permit stress, burn out, depression or worry to rob you of the joy of living in the present.  See Matt. 6:25-34.

5.  GUARD YOUR HEART AGAINST BITTERNESS - Never sleep on anger. See Ephesians 4:26.  If you do, confess to God you're having trouble releasing it.  See I John 1:9.  The Hebrews writer warns us about the ". . . root of bitterness, whereby many are defiled." (12:15). 

6.  STAY IN THE WILL OF GOD - Listen to Job's resolution after the pain and disappointment had overtaken him, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him; I will maintain mine own ways before Him."  See Job 13:15.  Sometimes when we persist in our petitions before God, He says, "YES;"  sometimes He says, "NO;"  sometimes He says, "WAIT AWHILE."  No matter what the circumstance of life, never consider your commitment to God as an option.  Keep your eyes on Him. Let your ears hear frequently the vision He placed before you when He called you into His Kingdom of Light.

7.  SPEND SOME QUALITY TIME WITH GOD EACH DAY - Sing a spiritual song to God about His goodness in your life.  Recite the memorized Word of God aloud.  Commit new select passages to memory.  Write a comforting letter to yourself from God.  Compose a poem of



7.  Quality Time, cont.

assurance to yourself. Take a minute vacation: fantasize  yourself  enjoying  a  treasured  moment in a place that gives you great peace.

Do a three to five minute relaxation exercise.  Take a deep breath and remind yourself that God is the Master of the Universe, not you.  Say it softly to yourself as you exhale: "God's in Control."  Or, exhale using the Name of  "Jesus."  Feel His Peace come into the midst of your storm.

8.  CALL A TRUSTWORTHY CHRISTIAN FRIEND - Make sure your friend is close-mouthed and confide your troubles in the context of prayer.  Ask your friend to prayerfully listen, pray for you and not feel they have to FIX you or solve your problem.  A good Christian counselor can be helpful also, and can help to relieve stress, especially in the situation of grief.  Christian counselors specialize in grief recovery counseling.


Pastor Phil Roland, Sheepfold Ministries, 2019 - 724-981-5683









Slow Me Down, Lord


Slow me down, Lord.


Ease the pounding of my heart

         by the quieting of my mind.


Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.


Give me, amid the confusion of the day,

         the calmness of the everlasting hills.


Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles

         with the soothing music of the singing streams

         that live in my memory.  

Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep.


Teach me the art of taking minute vacations. . .

         of slowing down to look at a flower,

         to chat with a friend,

         to pat a dog,

         to read a few lines from a good book.


Slow me down, Lord, and inspire me

to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.       


Author Unknown