Parents Of Troubled Adults Face Dilemmas

Taken from the Boston Globe  which is located   HERE.

His adult stepson was acting erratically and seemed increasingly volatile, as if he might strike them or do something worse. Guy Beales and his wife mulled seeking a restraining order or asking a judge to order emergency treatment in a hospital, but in the end, they called the police.

“I had become concerned for our safety, and at that point, he was psychotic,’’ said Beales, who now serves as president of the board of directors of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Massachusetts and whose stepson, suffering from schizoaffective disorder, had stopped taking his medication. “For many parents, it might be very difficult to call 911 on an adult child, but sometimes it has to be done.’’

How parents should respond to threatening behavior by adult children with mental illnesses has long been a quandary, but it has become all the more so in the aftermath of the recent killings in Weymouth and Danvers, in which two young, troubled men allegedly killed a parent and other close relatives.

Advocates for the mentally ill say the challenge of providing the right balance of care for such people is more difficult in Massachusetts because the Commonwealth is one of only six states without a law allowing authorities to require the mentally ill who are deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others to take medication, undergo therapy, or be treated at outpatient medical facilities.

In arguing for such legislation, the supporters cite studies by the Department of Justice, which found in the 1990s that more than 25 percent of children who killed their parents had a history of untreated mental illness, and that 10 percent of the nation’s homicides were committed by people with untreated mental illness.

“A major predictor of violence is the lack of treatment for the mentally ill,’’ said Kristina Ragosta, legislative counsel for the Treatment Advocacy Center, a Virginia-based group that seeks to remove barriers to care for the mentally ill. “People with schizophrenia and other severe mental illnesses are no more likely to commit acts of violence than the general public, provided they are receiving treatment.’’

But 40 percent of people with schizophrenia and 51 percent of individuals with bipolar disorder are not receiving treatment, according to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health. Many refuse to take medication because they believe they are not sick.

In Massachusetts, Representative Kay Khan, a Newton Democrat and psychiatric nurse, has repeatedly proposed a bill over the past decade that would allow judges to order those with severe mental illnesses to undergo regular treatment at outpatient facilities near their homes.

She said it would increase the likelihood such people would take their medication, reduce the need to hospitalize them for prolonged periods far from their homes, and ultimately result in less homelessness and less violence.

“This bill would target the most high-risk people, those who show signs of behavior deteriorating and lack awareness of their own illness,’’ said Khan, who chairs the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities.

At a State House hearing on the bill last month, Khan said a study of a similar law in North Carolina found that hospital admissions for those with court-ordered outpatient treatment were 57 percent lower and the average length of stay at a medical facility was 20 days shorter than for those without such a court order.

She cited similar results in New York, where she said passage of the so-called Kendra’s Law in 1999 sharply reduced the need to hospitalize people with severe mental illnesses, and cut their substance-abuse rates, homelessness, and violence.

“This legislation would protect people from themselves and from the dangerous situations they find themselves in,’’ she said.

But over the years, the state Department of Mental Health has opposed the bill. Officials have questioned its impact on the civil rights of the mentally ill, as well as the cost of providing outpatient treatment.

The potential costs have presented more of an obstacle recently, as lawmakers have cut the Department of Mental Health budget by more than $50 million, or 8 percent, over the past three years.

State officials have also questioned the need for Khan’s bill when they have other tools, such as a section of the law that took effect in 2000 that allows authorities to commit those with mental illnesses who are at imminent risk of harming themselves or others to hospitals against their will.

But the so-called Section 12 commitments often last for a much shorter period than the treatment that would be required by Khan’s bill.

Last year, the state involuntarily committed 8,520 people, 13 percent more than the previous year. But more than one-third of those patients were released from hospitals within a week.

“Prior administrations have opposed the bill in part related to the lack of data that supports that it works, and the need to develop services to focus on the engagement of clients, as opposed to using the courts to mandate their care,’’ said Debra Pinals, acting deputy commissioner of clinical and professional services and medical director for the Department of Mental Health, referring to the goal of getting mentally ill people to take part in services on their own. “But we are reviewing the bill.’’

It is not clear such a bill would have made a difference in preventing the recent killings.

In one, Stephen Anastasi, 24, of Danvers, allegedly hit his father in the head with a hammer last week and then, after injecting heroin, returned to fatally stab him in the neck. He initially told police aliens killed his father.

In Weymouth, Donald Rudolph, 18, who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had a long history of hospitalizations, allegedly used knives and a hammer to kill his mother, sister, and his mother’s boyfriend in their home last week.

Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and a former medical director of the Department of Mental Health, said it is rarely straightforward when deciding when someone should be involuntarily committed to a hospital or forced to take medication.

“What happened in Danvers and Weymouth were unbelievable catastrophes,’’ he said. “But it’s hard to predict human earthquakes.’’

He said parents of adult children with mental illnesses can find themselves in a very difficult dilemma when their children seem to be spiraling out of control.

Their impulse to protect and nurture may put them and their children in greater peril.

He said parents should consider committing their children against their will if the children refuse to take medication, attend therapy sessions, or take part in other services that might help. Parents might also take such action if the medication and other efforts don’t appear to be working.

One red flag that such a move may be needed, he said, is when a person begins making threats.

“I tell people not to ignore their fears,’’ he said. “I tell them to follow their instincts, and to call police if they feel threatened.’’

For Guy Beales and his wife, the decision to call the police two years ago paid off.

Their son surrendered peacefully, leaving their home without incident. Since then, he has entered a treatment program, regularly takes his medication, and has become a part of the family again.

“He’s doing extraordinarily well,’’ Beales said. “We’re very glad we made that call.’’

Tracey Gold To Host “Starving Secrets”, A Show Addressing Anorexia, Beginning December 2nd on Lifetime Television

Taken from PopStar  which is located   HERE.

Actress Tracey Gold has had her own share of growing pains, but now she’s helping others cope with their own.

The actress, best known for her role as Carol Seaver on the 1980′s sit-com Growing Pains, has created a new reality show for Lifetime called “Starving Secrets.”  The show addresses the issue of anorexia, a disease that she herself  has publicly fought and won.

Through what she calls “an amazing support system,”  Tracy has risen above the disease that plagued her and has established herself as an actress, producer and advocate, while living happily with her husband and four sons in suburban L.A.

At the end of the day, it’s the simple things in life  that  make her happy and keep her grounded.   We recently had the chance to speak with Tracey about her new show, and what inspired her to create it.  As she now enters the reality ring to do battle with anorexia – this time with others who are affected- her mission is clear.

Through her own experience with the disease, she intends to offer treatment,  hope, and ultimately, healing to those affected by what she calls a “lonely, isolating” disease.  With the premier date set for December 2nd, Tracey is hoping that “Starving Secrets” will get people thinking and talking.

In the meantime, here’s what she said to us.

Let’s talk about your new Lifetime reality series called “Starving Secrets.” You created, executive produced and will be hosting the show which addresses the issues associated with anorexia.  Give us an idea of what the show is about and how it came to fruition.

It’s an idea of mine that’s been mulling around for the past couple of years.  I talked it over with my husband and my family, and we thought it would be something that might really resonate with the audience.  We’re ten women and six episodes.  We follow the women.  These are women who are at a crossroads in their life.  Most of them have had treatment before and it hasn’t worked.  They really are at a place in their life where they could go either way, and I come in and offer them help.  I come from a standpoint of “I’ve been there, done that.  I understand where you are….” I am a mentor/friend and help them get to the place and facilitate the process of getting treatment.  We put them into some of the best treatment centers in Los Angeles.

What is your biggest hope for the show?

I hope that it gets people talking, and I hope that it brings more awareness to eating disorders.  I think the glamorization of eating disorders is still really prevalent in our society.  I think when you really take the veil off this disease, it’s a really lonely, isolating, sort of horrifying disease.

You were one of the first celebrities to come forward with your own eating disorder.  Now that you are working with these women, did it open up some old wounds or did you find it cathartic in a way?

I think it was cathartic.  In the beginning, of course when you venture into anything especially with a subject that’s so close and personal,  you’re vulnerable to it.  And I went into it not knowing how I would feel, and I think as I started into the process, every story affected me deeply.  As I started to really get along in the process, I think it was healing for me.  I was glad to be where I was,and don’t ever want to go back there.  I was glad that I could be a source of strength for these women and something that they could see on the other side – to show them that if you Take That leap of faith and get better, there is something on the other side.

That took a lot of courage.  It could not have been easy.

No, it was very intense.  There was a lot of shooting, and when you’re talking about an eating disorder, you don’t just get 30 days of treatment and get better.  Many of these women are still in treatment and we started filming last January.  The treatment we were offering these women – TV was secondary.  The treatment always came first.

Do you see this evolving further down the road to include men, for example?

Absolutely men.  And also, I think the understanding in mainstream society is that they know the Black and White of anorexia and bulimia, and I think that even I was surprised as we got involved in these women’s stories, how complicated they were.  It’s not just the college girl that’s got anorexia who stopped eating and was sick for a few months.  These women have been sick for ten years.  Even with bulimia, I had anorexia so I understand that disease, but it seemed like they’re life was so out of control.  And as I talked to a lot of doctors, I learned that men are becoming sick with eating disorders more and more.  The numbers are increasing, so absolutely.  It happens in all walks of life and I don’t want people to think that just because they don’t have an eating disorder or know somebody that has an eating disorder, this series can’t affect them or can’t have meaning for them.  The thing is, I think in our life, everybody has had a battle with self image, body image, all those things.

As a wife, mother, actress, producer and advocate, how do you now achieve balance in your life?

You know I’m really lucky.  I think I’ve had a certain amount of fame that’s completely manageable.  I work, but I also consider myself a stay-at-home mom.  So I have periods of time where I work.  I have periods of time when I’m off.  I’m still with my husband for 22 years, so we have a really solid foundation and work as a team.  My family lives two miles away from me and also, I don’t live right in Los Angeles.  We live a half an hour north of Los Angles, and I think it really, really helps to give you balance in life.

The underlying theme here seems to be solid family support.

I’ve always had support, and I think that’s what’s helped me get better from anorexia.  It’s that support system that surrounds me as adult that surrounded me in my early twenties with an eating disorder and I’ve always had an amazing support system.  I think that’s key.  I think that’s key in life, for all of us.

Tell me what an average day in the life of Tracey Gold consists of.

It’s actually busy but not glamorous {laughs}.  I have four boys ages 14,12,7, and 3.  I take them to school every morning, I clean the house myself, I make dinner, we do homework.  Just regular family stuff, you know? Go to movies.  Very suburban.  It’s what I like.  And then you have these periods of time where you’re promoting a show like this, or filming the show where things get turned upside-down a little bit and so I think the times that are quiet prepares us for when things get a little bit nutty.

What is the most fun you’ve had in the last week?

I think hanging out with my family, watching TV and making dinner.  We had a rainy weekend staying in and just watching movies and hanging out.

You recently had a reunion with many of your cast mates from Growing Pains.

We did.  We were lucky in the past couple of months.  We did an Entertainment Weekly reunion photo shoot and that was a blast.  We did the Entertainment Tonight reunion a couple of weeks ago, so I got to see those guys quite a bit in the past couple of months, which doesn’t happen a lot.  We don’t get to see each other all that often.

It’s great that you all still have that obvious fondness for one other. 

It is.  We’re super lucky.  We’re really close, and it’s just a nice, warm environment when we all get back together.  I think it’s reflective of how fun it was to do the show twenty years ago, that we could get together that many years later and still feel that fondness for each other and warmth.

You were like family.

Absolutely, and I think we’ll always be family.  It’s kind of a bond that when you go through an experience like that, you can’t break.

Looking ahead to 2012, what would you most like to see happen either personally or professionally?

Professionally, I’d like to see the show do really well and get a second season.    That’s my goal, is to do more of it and to have it be something that people are talking about.  Personally, where I am is where I want to be.  Things are great, and I just want to continue that way and be healthy – all of my children and my husband.  To be healthy and happy, and all of that.

Starving Secrets (TV) premiers December 2nd on Lifetime.  Check your local listings for time.

Follow Tracey on Twitter @thetraceygold

Bring Change 2 Mind: Helping Erase The Stigma Surrounding Mental Illness

Bring Change 2 Mind is an organization that works towards eliminating the stigma that so often is associated with mental illness.  Their website recently posted a mission that individuals can choose to adhere to.  I have chosen to share that mission here as well as linking to the  Bring Change 2 Mind website which is located   HERE.  I have also included a description that describes precisely what they stand for. This brief article concludes with a brief video they have made that I encourage you to watch.  Allan

 

 

Bring Change 2 Mind has two core goals:

  1. Provide people who have misconceptions about mental illness quick and easy access to information that combats stigma.
  2. Provide people who have mental illness, and those who know them, quick and easy access to information and support.

About Bring Change 2 Mind

Bring Change 2 Mind is a national anti-stigma campaign founded by Glenn Close, The Balanced Mind Foundation, Fountain House, and Garen & Shari Staglin of the International Mental Health Research Organization (IMHRO), aimed at removing misconceptions about mental illness. The idea was born out of a partnership between Glenn Close and Fountain House, where Glenn volunteered in order to learn more about mental illness, which both her sister, Jessie Close, and nephew, Calen Pick, live with.

I pledge to follow the Bring Change 2 Mind principles:

For people living with mental illness:

  • I am living with a mental illness that is treatable and manageable.
  • I am a valuable and valued person and I deserve to be treated with respect.
  • I am responsible for the decisions and choices I make in my life.
  • Educating myself about the symptoms of my illness, and any side effects I may have from treatment, will help me find and use the resources I need to work toward stability.
  • Communicating about my experiences with others will help them support me in difficult times and keep me “on track.”
  • If I am feeling suicidal, it is critical that I reach out for help, for in the face of real pain and suffering, it is others who can help me with a commitment to live.
  • I can reduce stigma in myself and in others by being open about living with mental illness, naming it out loud, and raising people’s awareness.

For everyone:

  • It is likely that someone I know is living with a mental illness and that fear of stigma may be preventing them from accepting their illness and seeking help.
  • I can make a difference by learning about mental health issues and the devastating effects of stigma.
  • If someone I know exhibits sudden changes in behavior, I will pay attention and reach out to them.
  • If someone I know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, I will take it seriously and make every effort to ensure they get help.
  • I will not perpetuate or tolerate stigma of any kind and will commit myself to changing the way society views people living with mental illness.

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?

I have “known” Randall Slack and his daughter for several years.  Today we can know people via the phone and internet without having met.  Randall has been a Pastor and served God faithfully. You’re about to meet Rachel.  She was a big reason I began this blog as I used to read her blog and it inspired me.  Read this carefully.  Read it twice.  You’ll be better for it.  Randall’s blog is located   HERE.   Rachel’s can be found  HERE.  Pray for the Slacks.  Allan

“To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.”  Isaiah 61:3, NKJV

Christmas music has started on the radio. The Christian station here is playing nothing but Christmas music. This song, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is being played over and over. For many, it is true. For some it is not.

Many are mourning the loss of a loved one, or are homeless, or have experienced a divorce, the suicide of a loved one, the loss of a Father/Mother/Son/Daughter/friend in combat, or suffering from physical and mental illnesses. This song, to them, mocks their suffering and sorrow.

Statistically, there are less suicides at Thanksgiving and Christmas than at any other time of year. (It is a myth that more suicides are committed during the Holidays than at any other time of the year – check out Snopes).

According to NIMH (the National Institute of Mental Health, http://www.nimh.nih.gov), “research shows the risk factors for suicide include:

depression and other mental disorders, or a substance-abuse disorder (often in combination with other mental disorders). More than 90 percent of people who die by suicide have these risk factors.

prior suicide attempt

family history of mental disorder or substance abuse

family history of suicide

family violence, including physical or sexual abuse

firearms in the home, the method used in more than half of suicides

incarceration

exposure to the suicidal behavior of others, such as family members, peers, or media figures.

However, suicide and suicidal behavior are not normal responses to stress; many people have these risk factors, but are not suicidal. Research also shows that the risk for suicide is associated with changes in brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, including serotonin. Decreased levels of serotonin have been found in people with depression, impulsive disorders, and a history of suicide attempts, and in the brains of suicide victims.”

If you are under extreme distress, or have thoughts of suicide or thinking about harming yourself, please contact one of the following:

UK: Contact your GP – Take yourself to Accident and emergency @ your nearest NHS hospital (24/7) – NHS Direct 0845 4647

USA: Contact 911 – Contact your Doctor – Take yourself to emergency hospital.

Or Contact: ‘The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’ on; 1 – 800 -273 -TALK (8255) toll free 24/7

It is believed that the suicide rate is lower because the support of family and friends is greater at this time of year due to increased interaction than at other times of the year. But it doesn’t change the fact that many are seriously depressed at this time of the year.

For them, it seems that there is no way out of their suffering. They feel helpless and many have lost hope of things ever improving. All too often, Job’s Comforters come along and “diagnose” their problem as “not having enough faith; or not praying enough or reading the Word enough, or not trusting God.”

For many the problem may be spiritual, so confession, repentance, and Christian counseling is the answer. But for many, the problem is physical, a chemical imbalance in the brain which affects behavior. This requires a diagnosis by a qualified medical health professional, and almost always, medication. Yet even then, life is dealt with in a day-by-day struggle.

Now lest you think I am speaking from theoretical knowledge, I am the father of a daughter who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder type II. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth), bipolar disorder is defined as, “a condition in which people go back and forth between periods of a very good or irritable mood and depression. The ‘mood swings’ between mania and depression can be very quick.”

Before I go any further, let me tell you a little about my daughter. She is very intelligent. A straight “A” student throughout school. A National Merit Scholar, graduating in the top 1% of her High School class. She attended Texas A&M, and due to her high placement score, was given credit for 1 semester of school before she even started. She is brilliant, articulate, and very hard working. She is a gifted artisan, and anything she puts her hand to she soon masters. She is a student of Scripture, having rededicated her life to Jesus in 2000. She knows the Bible better than I do (which is no big deal, as I am admittedly ignorant – the more I learn, the less I realize I know).

During her third year of college, she began to exhibit the signs of bipolar disorder. She quit school and withdrew herself from her family, moved to Austin, and got into the “Rave” scene (which involved a time of drug abuse). During the next 4 years, we saw her exactly 4 times (Christmas). She would never stay more than 30 minutes.

In 2000, she gave her life to Christ, and started attending church. But the bipolar disorder continued. She has been prayed for by people from all over the country, literally. She has had hands laid on her and her mother and I have wept and pleaded with God to heal. However, at this time He has chosen not to hear her. He has His reasons, and we are thankful that things are not worse.

As a child, she would complain of having a “funny feeling” at times, that would make her worrisome and apprehensive. (This was 1978. There was very little information about mental illness at the time, and speaking of it was “taboo”, especially in the church). We would pray for her and do our best to comfort her. I now believe what she was experiencing was “panic attacks.” She was so happy to start attending school, but we also noticed that she put herself under tremendous pressure to get all “A’s.” We would assure her all we expected was that she do her best. But the idea of getting anything else than an “A” was unthinkable to her. As a teenager she was moody and irritable (what teenager isn’t?). But things came to a head when my job transferred me to Texas in 1988. (Go to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth, to read more about how the changes she went through line up with bipolar disorder).

High school was very difficult for her, and we did not handle her illness very well because we were ignorant. Then she went off to college. After her second year she came home for the summer. She would stay up all night chatting on the computer, suffering from sleeplessness. When I put an end to it, she left. Then the 4 year period of silence began.

In 2009, we realized that she was not doing very well and made the decision to have her move to Oklahoma and live with us. She agreed that it was best and did so. Within 4 months, she was hospitalized with severe depression and thoughts of harming herself. Over the course of the next year, she was hospitalized two more times.

This year we moved back to Texas. Rachel was excited as it was a chance for her to renew old acquaintances and a fresh start. She has been working and doing well until yesterday when my wife took her to the hospital so she could check herself into the Mental Health Ward. Again, severe depression and thoughts of harming herself.

We have come to learn of the “cycle” of bipolar disorder in her. We have yet to understand what “triggers” the episodes. It seems that she gets gradually happier until we are concerned about her laughing at things that are seemingly “normal” and would nor usually trigger intense laughter. It is always followed by periods of severe depression. Then, the “cycle” repeats itself. Usually, she does not need hospitalization. But as is the case with her, when she has thoughts of harming herself, she knows she needs help. And we realize it as well, because we have watched it unfold.

So here it is, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, my daughter is in the hospital, and this stupid song, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is being played over and over again on the radio.

My wife is brokenhearted. Her pain for her daughter is almost unbearable. She cries for her firstborn daughter. She prays for her firstborn daughter.

Allan (More Than Coping) has been after me for some time now to write about Mental Illness from a father’s perspective. Today is the day.

For years, I thought people who claimed to have “Mental Illness” were just flakes looking for a free ride and an excuse for their sin. But my eyes have been opened. Yes, hers is a physical illness in her brain that affects the way she thinks, feels and acts. It is, therefore, a Mental Illness.

As her father, I cannot adequately express my sorrow for my daughter and the pain of watching her suffer. Her suffering is real. Her pain is real. I have prayed and cried out, and shed many a tear in wrestling with the Lord for her. But He has chosen not to heal her. And I am grateful. Why? Because He has given her the ability to recognize when she needs help instead of letting her end her life at her own hand. Some of you reading this may have had a child who committed suicide and know the pain I have been spared. As a pastor, I have never had to do a funeral for a child who took their life; but I have done funerals for children. And the pain in the parents eyes was unbearable. I can only imagine the pain of a parent who has lost a child to suicide – honestly, it is my greatest fear.

Jesus Christ came to save sinners. And if Paul is the chief, then I am one of the Indians. I am beginning to understand the feelings of our Heavenly Father as He watched His Son suffer for us. He had the ability to act, and for reasons we now understand, He chose not to. He has the ability to act on behalf of my daughter, and for reasons I do not now understand, He has chosen not to act. But I will come to know. And in that day, I will rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Until then, we continue to wrestle with God in prayer for our daughter.

We can trust God. Many days, I am reminded of the conversation Jesus had with His disciples in John 6:66-69: “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (NKJV).

This is what I believe. Until that day, I continue to pray for God’s promise in Isaiah: “To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” (Isaiah 61:3, NKJV)

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Upper Springs: Streams In The Desert, November 27th, 2011

“And Caleb said unto her, What wouldest thou? Who answered, give me a blessing; for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And he gave her the upper springs, and the nether springs” (Joshua 15:18, 19).

There are both upper and nether springs. They are springs, not stagnant pools. There are joys and blessings that flow from above through the hottest summer and the most desert land of sorrow and trial. The lands of Achsah were “south lands,” lying under a burning sun and often parched with burning heat. But from the hills came the unfailing springs, that cooled, refreshed and fertilized all the land.

There are springs that flow in the low places of life, in the hard places, in the desert places, in the lone places, in the common places, and no matter what may be our situation, we can always find these upper springs.

Abraham found them amid the hills of Canaan. Moses found them among the rocks of Midian. David found them among the ashes of Ziklag when his property was gone, his family captives and his people talked of stoning him, but “David encouraged himself in the Lord.”

Habakkuk found them when the fig tree was withered and the fields were brown, but as he drank from them he could sing: “Yet will I rejoice in the Lord and joy in the God of my salvation.”

Isaiah found them in the awful days of Sennacherib’s invasion, when the mountains seemed hurled into the midst of the sea, but faith could sing: “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. God is in the midst of her: she shall not be moved.”

The martyrs found them amid the flames, and reformers amid their foes and conflicts, and we can find them all the year if we have the Comforter in our hearts and have learned to say with David: “All my springs are in thee.”

How many and how precious these springs, and how much more there is to be possessed of God’s own fulness! –A. B. Simpson

I said: “The desert is so wide!”
I said: “The desert is so bare!
What springs to quench my thirst are there?
Whence shall I from the tempest hide?”
I said: “The desert is so lone!
Nor gentle voice, nor loving face
Will brighten any smallest space.”
I paused or ere my moan was done!

I heard a flow of hidden springs;
Before me palms rose green and fair;
The birds were singing; all the air
Did shine and stir with angels’ wings!
And One said mildly: “Why, indeed,
Take over-anxious thought for that
The morrow bringeth! See you not
The Father knoweth what you need?”
–Selected

Prayer Requests & Praise Reports: November 27th, 2011

The Same Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow,

You do not change. The earth cracks, the seas roar, the nimrods shake their fists, dark doers threaten. We are not affected in Spirit and Truth. There is no turning. Our face is toward You Who equipped us with promises fulfilled. As we wait, we worship. As we worship, we rejoice. As we rejoice, we love. Love never fails.

Take us into the inner court and wash us in Your Word. Prepare us for the Coming in the Clouds. Brighten our hope with the twinkling of an eye. Blow the trumpet. Keep us in ready response.

Alter our offerings that we might please You Who is worthy. All Three in One, satisfy our longing to be eternalized from this world and its devious assaults. We spew our own lukewarmness. You have allowed the Taste of heaven to walk among us to teach and admonish. Cinch the meaning of Your exactness of the Father’s will into our understanding and fullest desire to obey continually. We pray for less interruption.

Grant us peace in the midst. Diminish our awareness of the temporal conditions that single us away from the finished sacrifice that proved Your love toward us. Set our mind on things above. Stay our hearts upward.

We love You God of All. We adore, though feebly. Yes You Lord. First and Only.
Amen      ~clean hands pure heart~

 

Prayer Requests

Pat Baunsgard-  Please, Please, Please, Pray for our son Hugh, and his wife Barbie
they don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Also please pray for my brother Bill he is an alcoholic and will
not acknowledge that sin. He also needs the Lord

Randall Slack-  Just wanted to update you on our situation. We have moved to Tomball, TX. I am working for an Oilfield Service Company, my wife is getting ready to sell Real Estate and Rachel is working for Starbucks.

Rachel is doing much better. She has started blogging again and is doing well at work. My wife is happy here in Texas, and is looking forward to going back to work for the company she worked for before we went to Oklahoma. My health is about the same. I have quit taking two meds that were making me sleepy; so, while I am still in pain and loss of energy, I am doing better. We have found a church that looks like we will plug in. So, thanks everyone for praying for us.

My blog, Okie Preacher, is no more. I am praying about another blog, so I’ll keep you posted. Also, my new email address is: randall.slack@gmail.com

God bless you all…

Grace and peace…

Sue-  Please pray for Michael, he is going through a rought time and doctors feel it is Bi-polar and depression – he is only 14 – really a lovely boy who also was born with a heart condition – please ask the Lord to give the whole family strenght and to give Michael an abundance of strenght that he recovers from this and does not have set backs. I also pray for all those afflicated by the same condition, my heart and soul goes out to all – may the Lord bless you and keep you and may his face shine upon you – always. Amen.

Long Term Prayer Requests

Randall Slack-  The doctor who operated on my back, has taken us on. After some time he believes that I may have a very rare condition. So rare, there are only a handful of doctors in the U.S. that deal with it. I would rather not say what it is at the time, but I am grateful that we may be getting to the end of this journey. And, it is treatable. Thank you for your continued prayer. And Captain Kevin, I’ll keep you posted…

Dorci-  She is still having physical problems related to surgery that removed a cyst from her spine. Please pray for Dorci to experience relief from her pain.

Captain Kevin-  Been going through a lot of pain and depression lately. So much want to exercise and get rid of these extra 40 pounds I’ve put on in the last 2 years, spend time studying scripture and improving my vocal and keyboard abilities, but I just can’t seem to get started. Sleep is my favorite pastime lately, but I don’t really want it to be..

Allan-  Please pray for Rachel as she is battling bipolar disorder.

Allan- Please pray for Natalie Tan as she has had a setback in her battle with her eating disorder.

Angela-  Keep Angela in prayer as she continues on her road of recovery from Anorexia.

Praise & Worship: November 26th, 2011

Song List

1.  Praise You In This Storm-  Casting Crowns

2.  By Your Side-  Tenth Avenue North

3.  With All I Am-  Hillsong

4.  Beautiful Lord-  Leeland

5.  Waiting Here For You– Christy Nockels

6.  My Soul Longs For You-  Misty Edwards

7.  Just One Touch From The King-  Godfrey Birtill

8.  The Wonder Of Your Cross-  Robin Mark

9.  Fool’s Wisdom-  Malcolm And Alwyn

10.  Your Grace Is Enough-  Matt Maher

11.  Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)-  Casting Crowns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have A Blessed Thanksgiving

Joni Eareckson Tada Interviewed On PBS

I’m of the opinion that any time Joni is speaking you can’t help but be built up.  In this interview Joni talks about her cancer among other things.  You can read the interview below but even better you can click   HERE and watch it.  You won’t regret it.  Allan

Taken from PBS. org which is located   HERE.

KIM LAWTON, correspondent: Joni Eareckson Tada is a woman of many talents. She’s a bestselling author, an acclaimed artist, and an internationally known advocate for people with disabilities. Paralyzed for more than 40 years, Tada is one of the longest living quadriplegics on record. She endures chronic pain, and just a few months ago she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Tada says it’s her faith that keeps her going.

JONI EARECKSON TADA: Boy, when Jesus said in this world you will have trouble, he wasn’t kidding. In this world there will be trouble. Perhaps the gift of this cancer and pain and quadriplegia is that it forces me to recognize my desperate, desperate need of God, and that is a good thing.

LAWTON: Tada was an active, athletic teenager. Then, at the age of 17, she broke her neck in a diving accident in the Chesapeake Bay. Her spinal chord was severed, and she became paralyzed from the shoulders down. She has limited arm motion but can’t use her hands or her legs. Immediately after the accident, she was angry and depressed and begged friends to help her commit suicide. Ultimately, she says she found peace when she committed her life to God.

EARECKSON TADA: God is that big, and he’s that good, and his grace is that sufficient.

post03-joniLAWTON: Tada wanted to help others with disabilities and in 1979 began a ministry called Joni and Friends, offering support to disabled people and their families.

EARECKSON TADA: Disabilities are on the rise. Autism, Alzheimer’s—there’s not a cul-de-sac in America that’s not impacted somehow with a family who has a child or an elderly parent with a disability.

LAWTON: Because of her efforts, Tada was appointed to the National Council on Disability. She worked for passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, which sought to make America more accessible. But she feels more is still needed.

EARECKSON TADA: You can provide for the curb cuts, provide for the elevators and the ramps and the Braille and the TTY machines, but it’s going to require a change of heart in our society.

LAWTON: Joni and Friends provides resources to help local churches reach out to people with special needs and their families. The goal is to help disabled people find dignity and purpose in their lives. The ministry holds family retreats around the country and has begun special sessions called “Wounded Warrior Getaways” for armed service members injured in combat and their families.

post04-joniJoni’s husband, Ken, knows all too well the toll disabilities can take on a family. He and Joni married in 1982 and have become mentors for other couples living with disabilities. Now retired from teaching school, Ken helps Joni with the international component of their ministry, called Wheels for the World, which provides wheelchairs and walkers to disabled people in poor countries.

KEN TADA: To give the gift of mobility to someone who has never walked before and to watch how it not only changes that person’s life, but the whole family—that’s been huge.

LAWTON: In one ministry project, prisoners at a California penitentiary make special pediatric wheelchairs that Joni and Friends distribute around the world.

Tada herself has become a living testimony that a disability doesn’t have to be, in her words, “the end of the world.” She has told her personal story countless times in speaking engagements and through the more than 35 books that she has written, including her newest one, A Place of Healing. Her autobiography called Joni has been translated into more than 20 languages, and in 1980 Billy Graham’s Worldwide Pictures turned it into a feature film.

post05-joniDespite the wheelchair—in fact, because of it—Tada has been all over the world, and she’s learned how to compensate for the paralysis. Tada taught herself how to draw and paint using her mouth. Music and art, she says, give her a vibrant creative and spiritual outlet.

EARECKSON TADA: Yeah, I do many things—mostly family retreats, working at Joni and Friends for others, but boy, my artwork and my music is something that comforts my own soul, that encourages my own soul. That’s a blessing. Since I’m dealing with more pain I work more now with pencil rather than brushes. Brushes are just a little too heavy. Pencils are lighter.

LAWTON: Tada is open about her struggles. Just getting out of bed in the morning is a two-hour ordeal. A series of friends come in and help get her ready for the day.

EARECKSON TADA: And there are many days, honestly, when I can hear my girlfriends come into the front door, and they’re running water for coffee in the kitchen. I know they’re going to be in my bedroom in a few minutes with a happy hello, and I just don’t have the strength to welcome them, and so while they’re still in the kitchen I’m praying oh, God, I have no strength for this day, but you do.

post09-joniLAWTON: Tada talks often about the reality of suffering—a difficult message in what she calls America’s culture of comfort.

EARECKSON TADA: We want to erase suffering out of the dictionary. We want to eradicate it, avoid it, give it ibuprofen, institutionalize is, divorce it, surgically exorcise it, do anything but live with it.

LAWTON: Even after all these years in the wheelchair, she says some fellow evangelicals still tell her if she had more faith God would heal her.

EARECKSON TADA: But sometimes healing doesn’t come, and you’ve got to live with it, and when you do you really do learn who you are. God uses suffering. He lobs it like a hand grenade and blows to smithereens these notions we have about our self and who we think we are. Blows it to smithereens until we are left raw, naked, and we have to let suffering do its work.

LAWTON: These days it seems like there is a lot of that work. After breast cancer surgery, Tada is undergoing chemotherapy, which has siphoned off much of her trademark vitality.

EARECKSON TADA: It is very hard to go on. I mean privately I’ve wondered, gee, Lord, is this cancer my ticket to heaven? Because I sure am tired of sitting in a wheelchair, and my body is aching, and I’m so weary. Could this be my ticket to heaven?

post08-joniLAWTON: Her motivation for persevering, she says, is all the people she’s able to help.

EARECKSON TADA: I need a reason to get up in the morning, and my big reason is to help other families like mine, other people with disabilities, other special needs moms and dads, to encourage them and strengthen them, to help them want to face life head on.

LAWTON: She says she won’t allow herself to spiral into doubt and despair.

EARECKSON TADA: I’m not going to go there. I’m not going to go there. I went down that dark, grim path when I was a teenager and first broke my neck and wanted my girlfriends to bring in razors to slit my wrists or their mother’s sleeping pills or whatever. I’m not going to go down that path again. It’s too horrible.

LAWTON: Ken Tada says it’s been hard watching his best friend go through so much.

TADA: I’ve often had several guy friends of mine who I’ve said, you know, if I ever go to war I’d want those guys in my foxhole. The first person I’d want in my foxhole is my wife.

LAWTON: He says the cancer has brought them closer to each other and to God.

EARECKSON TADA (singing): “I surrender all, I surrender all.”

TADA: Yeah, we’re depressed. If we didn’t have God to turn to, I don’t know. I mean, I certainly understand some of the other alternatives, but boy, I tell you, you know, you just kind of grab on with both hands and just hold on as tight as you can, because that’s the only hope.

LAWTON: I asked her a question she’s been asked over and over again: How can you just keep believing in a God that would let all that happen?

EARECKSON TADA: I pray a lot, and I sing a lot. I sing because I have to sing. There’s something good about talking to yourself, reminding yourself of things you believed in the light but you’re so quick to doubt in the darkness. And I’ve seen too much of the light to not choose the Lord.

LAWTON: I’m Kim Lawton in Agoura Hills, California.

Knowledge About Mental Illness Increases Likelihood Of Seeking Help

Taken from   Active Minds  which is located   HERE.

 

Increased knowledge about mental illness, attitudes of tolerance toward people with mental illness, and support for providing them with care in the community lead to an increased likelihood of individuals seeking help, according to research appearing in the June issue of the American Psychiatric Association’s journal Psychiatric Services.

The question of what makes people willing to seek mental health care is an important area for research. Many people who need and could benefit from treatment do not seek it, which may result in unnecessary suffering for them and their families as well as high social and financial costs. Researchers looked at data from a United Kingdom Department of Health survey of 1,751 adults in England. Survey participants were asked a series of questions relating to knowledge and attitudes about mental health and contact with people with mental illness. The researchers were particularly interested in the group who responded that they would seek care if they had a mental health problem.

Participants who said that they would seek treatment if they needed it were also those who expressed stronger attitudes of tolerance toward people with mental illness and stronger support for providing care in the community (rather than in institutions). These participants, who tended to be older than those who were less willing to seek care, also had better knowledge about mental illness and available treatments. Women were more likely than men to be willing to seek help and to disclose a mental illness to friends and family.

In addition, past or present contact with individuals with mental illness was associated with greater knowledge and greater tolerance and support for community care but not with greater willingness to seek help or to disclose a mental illness to others. Attitudes of prejudice and exclusion were associated with poorer knowledge and less contact with individuals with mental illness.

“Knowledge of mental illness and treatments was the strongest predictor of both help-seeking and disclosure, a finding that underlines the role of mental health literacy in influencing reactions to developing a mental illness,” the researchers concluded. The study authors, affiliated with King’s College in London and led by Nicolas Rüsch, M.D., suggest that future efforts to increase care-seeking should include a focus on improving health literacy.

Source:
American Psychiatric Association

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