But church folks can minister to families struggling with mental illness in effective, loving ways. Continue reading
What started as a small scratch, a break in the skin, turned into a blood infection which turned into a rare flesh-eating bacteria, which resulted in the amputation of both feet and right hand of Cindy Martinez.
May is the month our nation focuses on one of the most devastating, puzzling family illnesses ever — mental illness. Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily function. Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder, according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI).
We have loved ones in our family suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia and depression. Mental illness is truly a family disease that impacts both family members, extended family, neighbors, co-workers and friends.
Sadly our society attaches a stigma to mental illness. It is a disease like cancer, diabetes, autism and multiple sclerosis. It is a disease of the brain. However, those with mental illness are often labeled “crazy” by those outside the disease who have no understanding of its dimension and impact.
During May I will be writing occasionally about our family’s experience with mental illness and our efforts to live normal lives.
My heartfelt prayer is that God will raise awareness of the seriousness and pervasiveness of mental illness. My personal goal is to educate my beloved FHG readers about mental illness. I want to erase some of the horrible stigma plaguing our efforts to cope and heal from the devastating effects of mental illness.
How does God get the glory in our struggles with mental illness? You’ll see this month as you read how God works in the midst of our struggles.
For more information on mental illness visit the NAMI website.
I spent the weekend in Huntsville, Alabama at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. That’s the literal part. The North Alabama mountains are absolutely gorgeous and I love spending any time I can in that beautiful country.
Now for the spiritual part. I got to spend a few days with my favorite student ever, Laurie Winfield Bishop. She is married to a wonderful Christian man and they have raised three beautiful and successful God-centered children, all now young adults. They are foster parents to Raeann, a beautiful 14-year-old. I have written about Winfield (that’s what I always called her, and she has always called me Sawyer–even in school.) and our special friendship before. To read about her and another one of my favorite students, click here.
Laurie and husband Lee and Raeann have busy lives and full schedules. But they made special time for me and we had a fantastic heart-felt reunion. Winfield said it was as if we had known each other for years and the friendship remains. What a blessing for me to get to spend time with her and her family.
The only downside for me was that I had to remember I have a former student who is now 48 years old. Oooooooh!
Friday night they took me to their small group Bible study with some other couples they meet with regularly. What a stimulating conversation we had in the book of Matthew.
It was one of two special mountain top experiences for me this weekend. I’ll write about my other mountain top experience in my other post today. Don’t miss it. In fact, click here to read it.
By Bryan Daniels
Blogger at Chiefoftheleast
I remember Juan.
He was a retired Puerto Rican doctor in his seventies who spent his retirement pouring out his life for the people in the slums of Caguas. His mission house fed the poor a warm Continue reading
In May I decided I needed a blogging break. I called my sabbatical my Summer of God. I asked God to refresh my spirit, replenish me with fresh ideas for devotionals, new references and new ways to blog about His Gospel. To show me what He wanted me to know about Him, and about myself. He answered my prayer in ways I didn’t expect. He did, as the Bible says do more than I could think or imagine.
Meeting A Fellow Blogger
One of my most memorable experiences during my Summer of God was meeting fellow blogger and writer AmandaBeth, her husband, Jay, her sister and Amanda and Jay’s four children (from toddler to a pre-teen). They were driving through Atlanta on their way to Florida for a vacation after spending a night with Amanda’s sister who lives in Atlanta.
We all met at a Chick-Fil-A for lunch. They told me they had never had a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich. Next to an RC Cola and a Moon Pie, eatin’ a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich is about as Southern a food as you can get. Jay said they didn’t have Chick-Fil-A up Nawth where he hails from. So eating their chicken sandwiches was a real treat for the whole family.
They’re a Genuine Godly Family
I don’t think I’ve ever met such a fun and godly couple. Jay has the patience of Job with his kids. He is one of the most mild-mannered, yet caring and loving dad I’ve ever met. His kids listen to him (except the little one sometimes) and he interacts with each of them in a personal loving way. I truly admire him and hope to get to know him better.
Amanda is a sweetheart and a very Godly women. She disciplines her kids with love and respect. All the kids (except the little one sometimes) respect and mind mom and dad. And Amanda and Jay have one of the most loving considerate relationships I’ve seen in a young couple. It was easy for me to be around them and if we lived closer together I know we’d become lasting friends.
Amanda is a published author
Amanda’s first book, You Can Have A Happy Family is a well-written guide for any family at any juncture of their relationship. It’s not as much a “how to” book as it is the biography of a happy family. One that works day-in day-out. Amanda also maintains a website about her writing, and she writes a devotional blog as well called Sharing The Truths Behind The TRUTH.
Psychologists and PhD’s usually author marriage and family books. They base their information for their books on research and experience counseling clients. Amanda wrote YOU CAN HAVE A HAPPY FAMILY from the trenches. When Amanda writes about discipline or sacrifice or intimacy or marital relationships you can take her advice to the bank for two reasons: 1) she lives what she writes every day. As a thirty-something stay-at-home mother of four (from a toddler to a pre-teen) she writes about her own experiences, her successes and her failures. Her transparent candid informal writing style puts readers in the midst of her life. 2) She writes from a deeply felt commitment to allow the Lord to show her and teach her what His will is for her marriage and family.
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” Calvin Coolidge.
Sarah’s husband died suddenly in his sleep in their house. He exhibited no signs of health problems and went to bed the last night of his life wrapped in Sarah’s arms. Continue reading
Some pastors will tell you they perform more crisis counseling during the Christmas season than at any other time of year.