Thinking Out Loud

There is so much for Christians to contend with these days so as to stay on the narrow road.  I realize we are powerless to prevail on any level without God’s indwelling Spirit empowering us.  My idea of a powerful Christian life has been changing a lot over time.  I wanted that ideal for myself and when God had other ideas I rebelled.

To me the power of God was strictly seen as a demonstration of the sign gifts among believers.  Tongues, healings, words of knowledge, a prophetic word, and so on.  The last thing I want to infer is that the sign gifts aren’t for today.  I believe they are and have experienced them at times in my life.  Sadly, these days there are times when these gifts are in operation all I see is a mockery of God with the result being people leaving more impressed with the person(s) than they are with the awesomeness of God.

What I did and what others today still do by measuring by the standards I set is to create a distinction among believers.  You might call one group “The Haves” and the other “The Have Nots.”  I find it difficult to separate that mindset from what Paul came across when he penned his first letter to the Corinthians.  The bottom line is that Jesus was no longer the focus. Other believers were.  Paul scolded them for that mindset.

1Corinthians 1:10  I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.
1Corinthians 1:11  For it has been reported to me by Chloe’s people that there is quarreling among you, my brothers.
1Corinthians1:12  What I mean is that each one of you says, “I follow Paul,” or “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Cephas,” or “I follow Christ.”
1Corinthians 1:13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?

God is no respecter of persons, so why should we be?  We should esteem others as better than ourselves which can help us fight a “party spirit” and more importantly, our pride.  Once pride creeps in we will soon find ourselves in a place we don’t belong and all sorts of potential problems are knocking on a door that our pride insists we answer.

We are all aware of the tragedy that took place in India.  The pure evil of it all horrifies us.  Our heart breaks for innocent victims and the human debris left behind.  9-11 taught us that lesson on a more personal level.

As I thought about the tragedy in India my mind was on a group of what some see as “have nots.”  That is the mentally ill who were there.  I first thought about the person who is Agoraphobic and is severely restricted in how far they can travel away from home.  I thought of the person with Panic Disorder and what this tragedy was doing to them.  I thought of those who are severely depressed.  What was their fate to be?  I thought about all of these people who suffer mentally.  Were there going to be people to help them?  Did others even understand what these people were going through?  What about the aftermath?  How many might develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?  Were they overlooked?

I think about our nation when the hurricane hit Texas and back to when Katrina hit.  Were the mentally ill attended to?  Were they able to get medication if it was lost in these tragedies?  How are they now?

Will segments of the church soften their hearts and take another look at their stigmatization of the mentally ill?  Or will they be guilty of inflicting even more pain upon innocent victims who are seen as the “have nots” with uninformed and other comments that indicate the one who is suffering is somehow responsible?

Somebody needs to stand behind their pulpit and stand up for the mentally ill.  And they need to do it in no uncertain words.  Maybe if a “big name” in the church used their position to plead for the “have nots” God might respond and touch many hearts.  But then again, I’m only thinking out loud.

Romans 8:24  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
Romans 8:25  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Saturday Night Live- Praise & Worship

Song List

Today, the first eight songs are from suggestions from my friends over at Phoenix Preacher.  Made my job easy!  Enjoy some really wonderful music!   Allan

1a.  The Light Of That City-  Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir   For our brother-in-law David.

1.  He Reigns-  Newsboys

2.  A Place On The Earth-  Fernando Ortega

3.  Holy Is The Lord-  Andrew Peterson

4.  No More Tears-  David Nevue

5.  Come Thou Fount Of Every Blessing-  Jars Of Clay

6.  Down To The River To Pray-  Allison Krauss

7.  I Know My Redeemer Lives-  Nicole Mullen

8.  Russian Orthodox Choir-  Gabriel Appeared

9.  Love With Me (Melody’s Song)-  Keith Green

10  He’s Always Been Faithful-  Sara Groves

11.  He Lays In The Reins-  Iron and Wine With Calexico

12.  Vincent-  Don Mclean       This video is nothing short of brilliant.  It weaves the song with a message about Bi-Polar Disorder.

Prayer Requests & Praise Reports- November 28th

Anyone Can Pray

Anyone Can Pray

“Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is greater still.” E.M. Bounds

“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.”  William Cowper

Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.”  Martin Luther.

“I would rather teach one man to pray than ten men to preach.”  Charles Spurgeon

New Prayer Request

  1. Erunner–  The wife of our nephew has MS as I have shared in the past. This week they found another lesion on her brain. They have been giving her a ton of steroids intravenously that has totally wiped her out. They were to be here tomorrow.All of this has impacted her to the point she can’t be left alone. Their kids will be with us tomorrow. Please pray for the family.

Past Prayer Requests

Dusty–  We are having some difficulty with finding a good dosage with my meds. My doc has upped one and lowered the other…lowered one and upped the other…increased both…decreased both… some of the dosages have kind of stabilized things…but not made things better…other dosages have seemed to me that the depression was getting worse…

Erunner–  I saw the endocrinologist yesterday. It turns out they caught my Diabetes early so they gave me one medication and even offered to let me choose not to take it if I can lose weight. Knowing me as I do I’m taking the medication.

They gave me a very fancy diabetes monitoring kit for me to use at my leisure to check up on my blood sugar now and then. They checked it in the office and it was 138.

I am still recovering from my surgery to remove the kidney stone and need to take it easy until I have a follow up to have a tube removed.

I never in my wildest dreams thought I could have all this stuff done not so long ago. The anxiety would have kept me away. But God has been so gracious to me and has given me the strength through Him to experience these last several weeks.

My prayer is you can experience even more of His grace and mercy than I have. Allan

Erunner–  Our brother-in-law has taken a turn for the worse. He is now home after four days in the hospital and is receiving hospice care. They don’t expect him to live more than a few weeks.

Please pray that the physical pain he has been having would ease up and that He would be flooded with peace as he slips in and out of consciousness. Please pray for his wife and four children. This has been a very difficult time for them. Thank you. Allan

Erunner- Today I have surgery for removal of a kidney stone at about 4:00PM. Prayer would be welcome. Thanks.

Erunner–  Today my urologist called and it turns out I have a kidney stone that is creating a blockage. I will be having an out patient procedure to blast it to smithereens on Tuesday.  Today I see a cardiologist who has to clear me to have the surgery. The old urologist totally missed it.  I’m very thankful it was detected.

Okie Preacher–  Please see my blog ( for the latest update on Carolyn.

Shannon Kent–  I need your prayers, so much!! My husband is suffering from extreme anxiety. He was just able to share with me on sunday that he’s been dealing with issues for 18 years, but has always kept it inside. He is fixating and worrying obsessively about trivial things. For the past two days, I haven’t been able to get him to function, he sleeps a lot, and doesn’t feel well. His sister and father have generalized anxiety disorder, and this appears to be what’s going on with him.

He’s agreed to see a doctor and counselor, and is paralyzed to do anything about it, so I am going to make the phone calls. My prayer request is, we are living in a new area, and I am grasping at straws at who to call. I have a suggestion from a friend for a general practitioner, but am concerned about the knowledge they may posses, dealing with anxiety medications. I would love prayer for strength, for my ability to help him through this, of course for his healing, and for our little boys who are watching him crumble. It’s very difficult, and rough.

Thanks for your prayers, any advice or ideas are also appreciated.

Love, Shannon

briwd200g– two things:

1. I have a job, and doesn’t look like we’ll get laid off anytime soon; so you can change that in the prayer list. But, it’s something that potentially could go down some day, and I need to prepare myself AHEAD of time.

2. I also need a second job (okay, that’s THREE things) )

Dusty– Continued prayer as she battle depression

Erunner–  Please keep Jessica in your prayers. She is struggling with depression.

Erunner–  Our nephew’s wife has multiple sclerosis. She has been on the prayer list for some time. She is in her 20’s and has two young children (11and 8.) This past Friday she had an MRI and the results showed the disease is very aggressive. She has new lesions on her brain and spine.

Erunner–  Please pray as we begin a search for a new church home.

kept-by-the-King- Thank you so much for praying, my brother sends me bizarre text messages about every other day…. he is so tormented….please pray for conversations I can have with him and that he would get the specific help he needs. Right now he is in a drug/alcohol rehab center …..

Rachel–  please continue to pray. my family is really under attack right now, and i’m having a hard time coping with it. i feel it starting to drag me down, just the stress of it and the emotional upheaval of everything. i’m worn out!

may God bless all of you richly.

Sandy–  Sandy left this post in response to an article Rachel had written.  Pray that Sandy would see God work powerfully in her life.   “I have spent many hours in the last weeks on the web and stumbled across this site yesterday. Trust me when I say it was a Godsend for a Christian who has suffered bouts of panic, PTSD and sometimes agoraphobia while trying to be a single parent for many years. Well meaning family members have consistently equated my problems with some sin or other they see in my life – to the point that I now just hide my problems from Christians to avoid the guilt trips. It only makes someone suffer more to keep hearing that it’s their own fault for not being somehow holy enough. Thanks for your message.”

Linnea–  Would you all pray for my friend, Rebecca, who is ending her marriage. Her 16 year old son has been diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension and she has a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia. Please pray that she get the help she needs, that her son be made whole and that their marriage be healed.

Linnea–  Could I ask a prayer of you all?

My sons, ages 16 and 18, are now both in residence at schools away from home. I am confident that they both have a better understanding of the gospel and of who they are in the Lord, but I worry that they will not make time for the Word and for fellowship with other Christians. Would you pray that God would move their hearts to make time with Him each day and to seek out the fellowship of other Christians? Thanks

Linnea– Could you pray for my doctor, his son Patrick and his wife? They are struggling with him and they need prayer for their marriage.

Philbert–  “I am a 58 year old man and have suffered from depression and Borderline Personality Disorder all of my life. I cannot remember anytime that I did not have suicidal thoughts, it continues even today. I visualize how and where I would do “it” never frees me.”

Jan– Has been extremely depressed with thoughts of dying entering her mind.  Pray that God would bring her to a place of peace and that these thoughts would become a thing of the past.

Jesus Freak 4 Real– Prayer for her mental health and for God to lead and guide as she and her husband  seek to serve Him.

Anne – To overcome the “ feeling like it is my lack of faith or not being the “right” kind of Christian or believer that prevents my having “victory” or even immunity from depression. I also struggle with maintaining prayer when in the deepest parts of depression and grief.”

Nene – Prayer for her father to be saved and to come to a place of peace. Father and brother have been  estranged 27 years.

Cash – That God would continue to heal and lead him as he battles PTSD.

Cash– Hello, friends. I am not doing well at all. Please pray for me and my family. Thanks.

Maryellen – Please pray for my daughter Jennifer and her daughter Avery, who was born with Down’s Syndrome. Strengthen the family as they enter into therapy for Avery that is very demanding. Pray also for their 2 and a half year old son during this time. Pray that the family will not be overwhelmed and that God will strengthen and guide them.

New Praise Report-

Erunner–  I would like to share a praise report. As I have posted I’ve been going through prostate and kidney stone issues for some time.

Two weeks ago I had surgery to remove a stone that had created a dangerous blockage. Since then I have dealt with the after effects of that surgery.

Today I went in so they could finish the procedure. I was not looking forward to it one bit. Once I arrived, I had to sit for a time until my turn came up.

The doctor was very kind as he is aware I have anxiety issues. The procedure took longer than expected, but once more God brought me through!

All of my post op issues are now gone!

I pray God would do so much more for each of you who happens to read this. God bless!

Past Praise Reports

Erunner- Today I saw the cardiologist and everything is fine and he doesn’t need to see me again. God is good!

Okie Preacher–  I start my new job on the 20th of Oct; we have started a Calvary Chapel home fellowship and God is blessing; Rachel has moved in with us and is doing great; we are so thankful for all He has done!

Rachel– PRAISE REPORT: i am finally feeling better. i thought it might just be a fluke but it seems to be lasting and to be more than just a swing into hypomania. ) praise the LORD! He is good beyond measure and expression. and i’m off all of my meds, which is really odd. my therapy helped more than all the meds put together and in a fraction of the time. thank you all so much for your prayers.

i am still coveting your prayers on the oklahoma situation. there’s more to say, but i can’t make it public now. i do still need prayers though that things will fall into place and that God would shut any and all doors that He doesn’t want me walking through.

Erunner–  Our nephew returned home safely from his 2nd and last tour of Iraq yesterday!

Dusty– Thanks for keeping me on the list. Still not quite myself, but I think I am starting to see some improvement.

I think the medicine is starting to kick in . The counseling is helping a lot though it has been only a few weeks. I am surprised at all the things I did not know how to deal with…I just stuffed it deep down so I would not have to feel it or think about it…

Still not sleeping well but am managing with that for now.Still keeping to myself a lot but working on overcoming that as well.

Thanks for the prayers.

Nene–  My dad brought up the name of Christ today, with a positve tone. It was as if was hearing things. He has been befriended by a trucker/preacher. This man has been telling my dad about “being saved.”
I really am in a more skeptical mindset as to who this man is. There are many “characters” out there in his area. I hope I am not sounding as I am not trusting. I am only being honest. I pray this is a normal preacher. May Gods word go forth, and into my dads soul.

Note….. As I compile this list I am eliminating those requests or praise reports that have been answered. I am also shortening the requests that are not new while trying to keep the essence of the request intact.

Reality Of Mental Illness Strikes Close To Home

Two days ago our son was headed to college to take important final exams.  On his way there he saw police at the home next door to his best friends so he stopped to see what had happened.  Although final details haven’t been released I will share what is known.

A friend our son has grown up with for years has always had a tough home life.  A few months ago his mother passed away and this greatly impacted her son.  He began doing some things he shouldn’t have been doing and ended up the other night at a friends home, asking to spend the night.  This is next door to our sons best friends.

The morning after the young man spent the night he was leaving for work and found his friend dead from causes yet unknown.  This victim has suffered with Bi-Polar disorder and may possibly have been off of his meds.  Time will tell exactly what took his life.  I feel terrible as another person with Mental illness slipped through the cracks.

Last year at the same location my son and friends were confronted by skin heads who were looking for trouble.  They stabbed our son’s best friend in the neck, almost killing him.  He was standing near our son when this took place.

Our son is taking this pretty badly and yesterday found it difficult to be with family as we celebrated Thanksgiving.  His best friend isn’t doing great as the neighbor rushed over and asked him to look at the body.

Please pray for our son and all involved.  The victim has a younger brother who also has Bi-Polar.  He has now lost his mother and brother.

Happy Thanksgiving

Pause And Give Thanks

Wherever you find yourself today,
Whether filled with joy or wrapped in pain,
Remember to pause a moment and give thanks
For no other event in our history and time,
Can change our lives like the birth of Christ – so Divine.
His love never failing, and His Presence always near
The greatest wonder in Heaven on Christmas did appear.
God’s gift full of grace that brings life, love, and hope,
Can be unwrapped by us all – changing life’s scope.
For when we invite His life into our hearts,
No love is greater than that He imparts.
So wherever you find yourself today,
Remember to pause and give thanks,
For He is the Truth and the Way!

–© 2007 – Carolyn Lynn Schwartz

Thanks to all of you who drop by and read the material that I post.  I pray it will bless each of you.  That is why the blog is here.  We serve a wonderful God.  We all have things we can thank Him for, even in the midst of our trials.  God bless each of you.  Allan

The Future Of Our Mental Health System

I had come across an article concerning the harsh realities of the Mental Health system as it currently stands across our nation.  While enlightening, it was depressing to read.  Maybe another time…..

Instead I chose to run this article as the message of hope is so much more important.  Pray for our President elect, Barack Obama, that he will follow through in efforts to bring needed reform to our mental health system.  In the article you will be linked to a questionaire Obama filled out with comments in response to NAMI.  With so many pressing issues facing our incoming President my hope is that he can follow through on what he shared.   Allan

As always, my thanks to NAMI for permission to reproduce their articles.


After an historic election cycle that lasted two years and featured many candidates, the 2008 presidential election has been decided.  Barack Obama will take the oath of office for the presidency in January.  Both houses of Congress—the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate—now have Democratic majorities.  What does the future hold?

So much has happened in just the past six months that affects mental health care: Congress’s passage of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 and the Paul Wellstone-Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 were included in the massive Emergency Economic Stabilization Act that rescued banks only weeks before the election. The economic crisis inevitably will affect health care as a whole, especially in terms of state budgets for mental health services. Meanwhile, American troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq will have mental health needs at home.   All these events and needs will require creative leadership and collective courses of action.

“NAMI is excited and looking forward to working with the new administration,” commented Andrew Sperling, NAMI Director of Federal Affairs.  “If the new president and the Democratic-controlled Congress undertake health care reform, NAMI will be ready to act from a position of strength.  The newly minted parity law means that mental illness will be covered equitably, and any comprehensive health care reform bill will mean that people with mental illness and their families will no longer be subjected to limitations on conditions that don’t also apply to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.”

During the election campaign, NAMI took the lead in asking questions of the candidates about mental health issues. A review of President-elect Obama’s answers may offer insight into things to come. But it will take more than a president to achieve these goals. It will require action by Congress, governors, and other elected officials, which means NAMI will be working hard and continuing to rely on grassroots action.

Excellent Movie About Schizophrenia Coming Early Next Year

Hope For Schizophrenia

Hope For Schizophrenia

I believe this movie will prove to be of great interest to our readers.  It was supposed to be released this month but is being held back until April.  The cast is “A” List Hollywood with Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx headlining.  You might be interested in reading the book ahead of time as it’s now available.  Be sure to visit the link to the web site for the movie where you can watch a preview. Allan

Used with permission from NAMI.

The Soloist Premiere Postponed—But See the Clips

Originally scheduled for release during Thanksgiving, the movie “The Soloist,” about a homeless violinist living with schizophrenia, has been postponed until April 24, 2009.

NAMI previously has reviewed the book and the making of the movie. The book is now in paperback as a movie tie-in. Paramount Studios has postponed the premiere to put it at the beginning of the “summer box office season,” when movie-going reaches its peak. The release originally was postponed until March, but don’t be fooled if you see that date on some promotional materials.

The movie stars Jamie Foxx, who won an Academy Award for his performance in Ray, and Robert Downey, Jr. Its Web site is up and running on the Internet, where promotional, advance film clips can be viewed now.