Saturday Night Live- Praise & Worship

Song List

1.  Let It Rain-  Michael W. Smith

2.  How Majestic Is Your Name-  Keith Green

3.  Be Near-  Shane and Shane

4.  Yet I Will Praise You-  Vineyard Music-  Melissa Boraski

5.  How Beautiful-  Twila Paris

6.  Pace The Cage-  Bruce Cockburn

7.  Holy Is His Name-  John Michael Talbot

8.  Oh The Glory Of It All-  David Crowder Band

9.  Tears Of The Saints-  Leeland

10.  Oh Happy Day-  Edwin Hawkins

11.  Call On Jesus-  Darlene Zschech & Hillsong

12.  Restore-  Sherri Youngward

Prayer Requests & Praise Reports – February 27th


In the beginning God......

In the beginning God......

Psalm 8:1  To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Psalm 8:2  Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Psalm 8:3  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
Psalm 8:4  What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psalm 8:5  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.
Psalm 8:6  Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
Psalm 8:7  All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
Psalm 8:8  The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
Psalm 8:9  O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

New Prayer Requests

washburn–  Hi-
could you pray for me about returning to the Lord? I started to lose my faith a while back even though I still believe that God exists, I feel like that is slipping away from me as well. My daughter came up to me the other day and asked me what I believed about the bible and I didn’t have anything to say. I want to be able to teach her but I don’t even know how to get things right with God let alone that. Am I supposed to forgive others before God will accept me?

Erunner– This church is nearby and one my brother attended for years. The Pastor used to be the Associate Pastor at Hosanna Chapel in Bellflower where we attended for 19 years. This church will continue to reach out to the community. Please pray for their safety and that they won’t be hit again.

http://www.presstelegram.com/ci_11753511

Past Prayer Requests

Cash–  Hello, friends. May I ask you to pray for me and my family. I just lost my job on Tuesday. It was a good job with really good benefits, so we’re job searching now.

Erunner–  Please keep Rachel in prayer as she has a tentative doctor’s appointment today seeking to find the right medications to help her as she seeks to find relief from the depression that is part of her Bi-Polar Disorder.  Update.  Rachel was able to keep her appointment.

Nene–  …. I feel “frozen” in one place, Some sort of “fear” is keeping me from moving on. This is about my job. I still have the same one, yet I have known for a long time I need a change. A BIG change! lol

God has been moving the “chess pieces” in order for me to make my “move”, and I don’t. I need to move forward (in His strength)….just like E did in the drs!! I could really use some prayer….thanks guys..really.

needs_hope- Hi Allan,
I came across your website just now, and I think it might be what I need. I’ve been a Christian for about 5 years now, but in the last 6 months I’ve been dealing with an onslaught of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts – mostly related to post truamatic stress. In that, I have lost sight of God, and feel like I can no longer trust Him. I’m not sure if I’m mad at Him, scared of Him, or some combination of the two. I am on the verge of walking away from Him altogether. Yet deep down inside, I know I need to turn back.
I would like to talk to you, or anyone else out there reading this, via email if at all possible. I need help. It’s really unlike me to reach out via the internet, but I’m nearing the end of my rope and not sure what else to do. Please shoot me an email if you can.
Thanks.

arlivon d ornoski- many people do not relise just how horriable exist, we have to,crawl thru at all times of our life..i have a dr.and medicene,i thought i was gettig better,but my husband,says i have not,,when i cant do what he told me to do ..he lets me know how useless i still am….yes i think of killing myself every dsy…so glad you got good help..god bless you..arla

anne–  Thank you Allan and Larry.
I am clinging to hope by a thread. The despair got so bad I too finally sought help. I am in my second month of medication with slight improvement finally starting. I am seeing a therapist FOUR hours a week to try and keep the despair somewhat manageable. I too have found reminding myself of my children and grandchildren prevents me from following through with my darkest thoughts. I am stable but not out of the woods yet.

I have found that well meaning believers pour salt on my pain by insisting that the joy of the Lord should be my strength, I should be able to do all things through Christ who strengthens me. The worst was recently when someone said I should be like Jesus who for the joy set before him endured the cross. That is the WORST thing to tell someone who is feeling like death is the only alternative they have.

I am able to work a little each day now but become exhausted and overwhelmed by even the tiniest fraction of what I was able to do before.

Thank you all for your encouragement, testimonies, honesty and making this a safe place to be honest.

Erunner–  We have a niece who is coming out of ten years suffering with Anorexia. She is now battling depression and would covet our prayers. She is a beautiful young Christian mother with a fantastic husband and two adorable young boys.

Rachel–  hey all. please keep me in your prayers. i’m pretty sure i’m in a major depression and i am under a lot of attack. it’s easy when i’m not thinking clearly. struggling with thoughts of being a failure, worthlessness, not having enough faith, no one like me, etc. also some thoughts for a permanent ’solution’ that isn’t really a solution. i know i can’t/won’t do that, but i still think about it a lot.

Anne–  Wow, Nene! I am blown away. And greatly encouraged! My need to move has as much to do with broken family issues as my unemployment. The family issues date back over 30 years and it seemed there had been healing over the last 8 I was back in OC, but they have resurfaced with a literal vengence -(

So now, it is official. Barring any unforeseen circumstances I will be moving to Beaverton, OR around March/April depending on how long it takes me to sell or give away whatever won’t fit in my car and tie up some other loose ends.

Covet your prayers as although I am glad I have family to go to now that I am unemployed, (my brother and his wife), it will be hard being farther away from my kids and grandkids . However it will be a blessing to be out of my current situation and out from behind the Orange Curtain.

I especially need prayer regarding my depression and general anxiety disorder. Although in the long run this move will probably be therapeutic in removing me from a very painful and awkward situation, I need strength and a clear mind to do all the things necessary for the move.

Thank you all, but especially Allan for making this space available.

a mom- I have a child diagnosed with PTSD after being molested and this article will be very helpful.
The 3 points were excellent and I will make a copy for her to keep with her.
God bless you

Erunner– Cara is a friend I met recently on a blog for people with Diabetes. She suffers with Mental Illnesses and tried to take her own life thirteen years ago. She ended up in a coma and as a result has minor brain damage from having flat lined twice.

“Plus the mental illness, plus all the physical illness. I have not worked for 12 years and I’ve lived in a AFH for 9 years as a cannot take care of myself.”

Please pray for Cara that God would work out His perfect will in her life and that she would know the peace He can provide during difficult times.

Dusty– Continued prayer for deep depression.

Erunner– The wife of our nephew has MS as I have shared in the past. This week they found another lesion on her brain. Please continue to pray.

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

Okie Preacher– Please see my blog (okiepreacher.blogspot.com) for the latest update on Carolyn.

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) )

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 …..

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.

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

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.

Praise Reports

Erunner–  As Rachel isn’t here I’m taking the liberty to post what I think is great strides in her life.  Continue to pray for her.  Read a very recent post from her blog and maybe post some words of encouragement.

http://notesfromthewell.wordpress.com/2009/02/18/let-your-light-shine-on-me/

Nene–  I forgot to share this one…on the day I was going back to the airport from my trip, I was looking out the window, and praying, praying. There was an old beautiful house with a sign that looked very familiar. I had traveled that street before, and never noticed it.

It dawned on me it was the sign for NAMI that I discovered here on the links page!! Not meaning to sound too corny, but it was a moment, that God spoke loudly to me!! He connected the dots, and now I have an amazing resource. It would of just been another sign if I had never learned about it here! Cool huh?

Dorci–  I just have a praise report that in almost 3 years of suffering with daily headaches I am finding some relief. I still have them every day, but I have times during the day when I don’t have one at all, and at night they are usually not as bad as they have been.

Thanks for your prayers! Please keep on praying, though.

Nene–  Erunner, this is a HUGE praise. I asked for prayer here regarding my brother and dad. They have not spoken in 27 years or more, I lost count. It became a non issue, and one complete silence.

Today, my mom told me on the phone that my brother prayed for my dad last night at dinner. Besides this being so off the charts, my mom never even says his name. She also told me to tell my dad they love him.

Erunner!, I am stunned as the hand of God is covering this situation. With ll of my heart, whoever prayed for this situation, thank you, thank you.

I am in need of prayer as I haven’t told my dad yet. It is more than overwhelming to me. I am being honest….
Help me God with this.

Mr Jesus Freak 4 Real-  Thanking God for the work He has done in the life of his wife who has suffered tremendously for several years.

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.

Superwoman Syndrome: AWoman’s Work Is Never Done

I came across this article and found it to be excellent reading.  It is written from the perspective of a counselor speaking to other counselors while also relating a true story. Allan

This article has been reproduced with permission.

Leslie Vernick, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice near Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is a popular speaker for women’s conferences, couple’s retreats and professional workshops. www.leslievernick.com

Sandra rushed into her counseling session 10 minutes late. Apologizing profusely she moaned, “Sorry I’m late. There’s never enough time in the day to get everything I need to get done. I always feel like I’m rushing to get to the next thing. Is it ever going to stop?”

Sandra’s complaint made me pause, because I too was feeling stressed and overwhelmed, anxious about all the things that needed to get done. But for every item that got crossed off my “to do” list, five more got added.

I know Sandra and I are not alone. Frequently, I see women who habitually forsake adequate sleep and consume too much caffeine just to have the time and energy to get everything done and keep their lives and their family’s schedules running smoothly. What’s all this busyness about and how do we help our clients (and often ourselves) slow down and gain balance in their lives?

A Look Behind Busyness

As Christian counselors, one goal we strive for is to teach our clients to live in more God honoring ways. However, implementing the right treatment requires an accurate diagnosis. When dealing with a stressed out, harried woman, merely addressing the outward behavior is often not sufficient. Relaxation techniques, time management strategies and assertiveness training may all be part of helping a woman manage a stressful life in a healthier way, but it is often not enough.  If we do not take the time to look for what is “driving” or “ruling” her frenzied activity, we cannot teach her to pause and learn how to make better choices.

It is important we understand why a woman expects herself to function like a machine instead of a person. What drives her to have such grandiose expectations of herself? Why has her doing overwhelmed her being? Let us examine two causes I find that underlie many women’s perpetual busyness.

Cultural pressures. We live in a world that defines a person’s value and worth by his or her productivity and efficiency. How much we get done and how well we can do it are the benchmarks of a good day or professional success. The more efficiently we produce, the better we feel. The downside, however, is that continued good feelings depend on keeping up the momentum of doing more. This does not come without a cost. What often gets sacrificed in the whirlwind of too much doing is our being—and our relationships with others.

God defines personhood and success very differently than our culture does. Jesus warns, “What will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). From Christ’s perspective, success is not measured by how much we do but by how well we love and what kind of person we are becoming, even in the midst of life’s activities.

As Christians, we readily acknowledge the truth of God’s word, but in our daily lives, many of us still fall prey to prioritizing productivity over building relationships and growing in godly character. How can we detect when someone (including ourselves) has slipped into this cultural mindset? Pay attention to what gets sacrificed or put on the back burner when time is crunched. Is it your doing or your being?

When my children were young, I chose not to work outside the home so I would have plenty of quality time to spend with them during their formative years. But even there, I often found myself bowing down to the idol of productivity and efficiency, impatiently yelling at my children when their needs and demands disrupted what I wanted to get done for the day. What that showed me was getting things done was more important to me than growing in patience and practicing gentleness with my children.

When approaching a client who struggles with feeling useless or purposeless unless they are in a constant state of activity, remind her that God tells us that we are not to be conformed to this world’s way of thinking, but to renew our mind with His perspective on life (Romans 12:2). Thomas à Kempis writes in his classic book, The Imitation of Christ, “Blessed are the ears that catch the pulses of the divine whisper and give no heed to the whisperings of this world.”

Encourage her to intentionally take time to be still so that her mind may be renewed with God’s truth. In this empty space, she can quietly reflect upon God and his goodness, remembering ways He has met her needs in the past. Or, she can pray and journal, quietly listening to what God has to say to her about her value and His love for her. Other ways she might practice being instead of doing is to take a walk, not just for exercise, but to notice God’s beauty in nature, or she can call a friend just to talk, not to plan an activity.

As she practices these small changes, help her keep track of her thoughts and feelings, especially when she becomes anxious that she is not getting as much done. Journaling will expose the underlying lies about productivity and busyness and whether they are rooted in cultural expectations or other pressures or fears in her life.

People Pressures. A second reason many women try to do it all is that their well-being revolves not around productivity, but around receiving the approval and acceptance of people in their lives. People pleasers cannot bear the idea that someone might be disappointed or displeased with them in any way. As a result, they frantically do the things they believe they must do in order for others to be happy with them, to accept them, to approve of them and/or to need them. They are terrified of rejection and bend over backward so they will not be abandoned, unneeded or disliked.

Sandra’s tardiness for her counseling session was a regular pattern. Sandra was so busy tending to everyone else’s needs in her life that she often lost track of time. She rarely made her own needs a priority and frequently sacrificed herself not only to meet another’s needs, but also to satisfy many of their wants.

When I asked Sandra to look at why her needs always came last, she responded, “God wants us to love others and meet their needs.” When pressed further, Sandra felt selfish if she used her time for herself and believed she should never say “no” to anyone if she could possibly say “yes.”

I took Sandra to Mark 1:29-38, where Jesus recognized his limitations and took time out for both sleep and prayer. When Jesus decided to leave Peter’s house and go to nearby villages to preach, he left many people unhealed, disappointed and perhaps even angry with him. Jesus knew that he could not do it all, nor did he try. He only did what His Father told him to do. Jesus was never dependent on what others thought of him but only what His Father thought of him. The scriptures encourage us to do likewise (Galatians 1:10).

Until you help your client put an axe to the root of her problem (the fear of man and her inner sense of unworthiness), she will not be able to curtail her outward busyness. In a moment of anger or exhaustion she may stop for a bit, but soon the cycle starts up again and her desire to please people and win their approval triumphs over her desire to take better care of herself or even please God.

Sandra’s outer life resembled mine— although for different reasons, we were both too busy. It is important that we examine the reasons why a woman continually pressures herself to overextend and over commit.

*Learn to Intentionally Choose Being Over Doing *

Recently, I sat out on my deck and watched the sun set over the hills. It was breathtaking. I could not remember the last time I noticed it. God gently reminded me that He gives me this spectacular gift every night, but that I have been too busy to notice.

Busyness always dulls awareness, which is one of Satan’s favorite ploys. Whether he keeps us deceived into thinking that meaning and purpose are found in our productivity or people- pleasing tendencies, or blinds us to other problems brewing in our lives through our non-stop lifestyles, Satan distracts us from God’s perspective and eternal realities, which are the truest things there are.

Jesus has something to say to those of us who do too much. He says, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I will show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I will not lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you will learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Superwoman is a fantasy and an idol. Let us instead follow the example of Mary of Bethany when she sat at Christ’s feet instead of scurrying about like her sister Martha. Jesus said she made the better choice.

No woman can do it all or have it all. Therefore, we must learn to make wise choices based on what God values and His purposes for our lives. When doing compromises our being, we are out of balance. Doing is important but only when it serves our being—the person we are or who God calls us to be.

Abusers And True Repentance

Many who suffer with a mental illness arrived at that place in their lives due to some type of  past sexual abuse.  This article, written by Philip Monroe, who has a blog listed here, tackles a very delicate topic.  I chose to print this article with two things in mind.  1)  For the well being of the victim by not rushing in and offering forgiveness where the fruits of true repentance don’t exist.  2)  To remind us that the worst of sinners can be forgiven.

In no way is this article intended to be a means to cause any condemnation to victims of abuse.  Nor is it intended to create any pressure to make a huge decision you aren’t comfortable with.

I pray that God would use this article to work out His perfect will for those who have been victimized and also for the victimizer.  Allan

This article is in the public domain and reproduced with permission.

As a psychologist and seminary professor, I frequently entertain questions about the timeline for forgiveness and reconciliation in situations of domestic or familial sexual abuse. Most frequently, church leaders want to know when it is appropriate to encourage a victim of abuse to allow an offender back into the home or life.

These questions sometimes originate for quite different reasons. Some ask due to fear that once abuser and victim are separated, reconciliation is made much more unlikely. Others ask because it seems that the abuser is not being forgiven in a timely manner. Still others want to know how to discern whether the abusive person is genuinely repentant. It is this last question that I think merits the most attention. How do you know when an abusive person is adequately repentant, and therefore, capable of providing a safe environment for others to live in? The answer, of course, is found in the fruit they produce.

Honest admission.

When God’s people encounter his holiness, they often fall on their faces and admit the state of their soul (e.g., Moses, Isaiah, Paul). They make no pretense of being clean and they do not look to excuse their behavior or blame others (“I might be 60% responsible, but she’s responsible too.”). They do not attempt to manage their image as Saul did when confronted by Samuel (1 Samuel 15:14f). In appropriate settings they willingly reveal secret sins that had not been known. This honesty should be permanent rather than temporary. If another should bring up their sins decades later, they should be capable of admitting what is true without defensiveness or undue shame.

Does the abuser:

openly acknowledge abusive behavior and its impact on the victim?

accept full responsibility for actions without excuse?

accept the consequences of the abuse without demand for trust or forgiveness?

Sacrificial efforts to repair.

The story of  Zacchaeus provides a wonderful illustration of the fruit of repentance in the life of a man who profited by abusing others with his power. He does not shy away from the sniggering comments of others, but publicly promises to pay back all he has cheated plus four times more (probably twice as much as the Law required!). Not only that, but he willingly gives half of his wealth to feed the poor.

Jesus describes the kingdom of God as having so much worth that a true disciple joyfully gives all to acquire it (Matthew 13:44-46). The repentant abuser sees the value of restoration and joyfully gives all to obtain it. He no longer sees his rights as something to hold on to, but immediately thinks of how he can sacrificially put the interests of others before his own. Further, he does not demand acknowledgment of this sacrificial effort to undo the wrong done. Sadly, the opposite fruit seems more prevalent. The abuser strives to protect personal interests (e.g., an unwillingness to pay for counseling costs of the victim), attempts to compromise (I’ll pay for counseling if you won’t report the abuse to the authorities), or uses children to gain leverage (the children will be hurt if I am out of the home)

Does the abuser:

spontaneously seek to make restitution (not penance!) or to offer economic support without demand for things in return?

give physical and emotional space for the victim to receive help from others?

Accepts and flourishes under discipline.

When caught in abusive or addictive behavior, individuals commonly make immediate changes in their behavior. They stop certain problematic behaviors and start healthier ones (e.g., returns to church, reads the Bible, goes to counseling). We commend these behaviors. However, Jesus warns the disciples (Matthew 12-13; the story of the house swept clean and the parable of the soils) about the problem of reading initial reactions to the Gospel. Time and cultivation are required. The repentant abuser willingly submits to the loving discipline of the Church. When adequate ministry to him is not available, he pursues it until he finds it. He does not demand time limits or the entitlement to be forgiven. He accepts the intrusion of accountability partners and sees their work not as police work, but as discipleship.

Does the abuser:

accept the ministry of discipline, accountability, counseling, etc. with joy?

acknowledge that the fruit of change takes time to develop and so sees discipleship as a lifetime project?

show evidence of a growing life of prayer, reading of the Word and increasing measure of the fruits of the Spirit?

Be careful.

A word of caution to those whose job it is to assess the level of change in an abuser. There are two errors we must avoid. It is easy to classify abusers as subhuman and unable to ever change. If we fall into this error, we may be tempted to prejudge their ability to change, thereby encouraging greater defensiveness on their part. The power of the cross changes the worst of sinners (including ourselves). These men and women deserve God’s grace as much as any. The second error is that of being thrown off by external issues that may not have much to do with repentance. Those who are charming and well-spoken (especially those who use spiritual language) may tempt you to ignore fruit that is inconsistent with repentance. Also, when victims are less likable due to their own interpersonal demeanor, it is tempting to excuse abusive behavior.

It is wise to seek supervision during this process and to remember that you participate in the Lord’s work and that He will accomplish refinement in his children, including you!
Philip Monroe, PsyD., is Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology and the Director of the MA in Counseling Program at Biblical Seminary in Hatfield, Pennsylvania. He is also a licensed psychologist and practicing counselor.

Stress, Anxiety, and Exercise

The Boston Marathon

The Boston Marathon

This topic hits home for me.  I have a terrible time exercising on a regular basis and I realize that needs to change.

Back in the day I used to do a lot of running.  I ran countless 10K’s, a number of 5K’s, and a half marathon.  My goal was to complete a marathon but I injured myself training for one many years ago and never achieved that goal.

If I was honest, I’d say finishing a marathon is still a goal of mine, although I’m very sedentary these days.

We all know the benefits of exercise, yet many of us fall short.  Hopefully, this article can serve to motivate all of us.  Allan

Reproduced with permission from ADAA.

Stress is an inevitable part of life. Seven out of ten adults in the United States say they experience stress or anxiety daily, and most say it interferes at least moderately with their lives, according to the most recent ADAA survey on stress and anxiety disorders.

It’s impossible to eliminate stress, but you can learn to manage it, and most people usually do. According to a recent ADAA online poll, some 14 percent of people make use of regular exercise to cope with stress. Others reported talking to friends or family (18 percent); sleeping (17 percent); watching movies or TV (14 percent), as well as eating (14 percent) and listening to music (13 percent).

While all of these are well-known coping techniques, exercise may be the one most recommended by health care professionals. And among ADAA poll takers who exercise, a healthy percentage is already on the right track: Walking (29 percent), running (20 percent), and yoga (11 percent) are their preferred strategies.

Exercising Body and Mind
The physical benefits of exercise—improving physical condition and fighting disease—have long been established, and physicians always encourage staying physically active. Exercise is also considered vital for maintaining mental fitness, and it can reduce stress. Studies show that it is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration, and at enhancing overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.

When stress affects the brain, with its many nerve connections, the rest of the body feels the impact as well. Conversely, if your body feels better, so does your mind. Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers—and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.

Relationship of Exercise to Anxiety Disorders
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults, are the most common psychiatric illnesses in the U.S.—and they are on the increase. The benefits of exercise may well extend beyond stress relief to improving anxiety and related disorders.

Psychologists studying how exercise relieves anxiety and depression suggest that a 10-minute walk may be just as good as a 45-minute workout. Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed mood in many people. Although the effects may be temporary, they demonstrate that a brisk walk or other simple activity can deliver several hours of relief, similar to taking an aspirin for a headache.

Science has also provided some evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. In one study, researchers found that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.

Exercise as Part of Therapy
According to some studies, regular exercise works as well as medication for some people to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the effects can be long lasting. One vigorous exercise session can help alleviate symptoms for hours, and a regular schedule may significantly reduce them over time.

That’s why exercise is an integral part of every treatment program recommended by ADAA President and CEO Jerilyn Ross, MA, LICSW. “It’s one of the first things I tell patients, whether they are suffering from an anxiety disorder or trying to cope with everyday stress,” she says. “People may feel powerless in terms of home life, finances, or politics, but they’re in control when they exercise.”

Although exercise has a positive effect on most people, some recent studies show that exercise may not have a positive effect on anxiety or depression for some people or may not make a strong impact on some individuals’ long-term mental health. Like all forms of therapy, the effect can vary: Some people may respond positively, others may find it doesn’t improve their mood much, and some may experience only a modest short-term benefit. Nonetheless, researchers say that the beneficial effects of exercise on physical health are not in dispute, and patients should be encouraged to stay physically active.

Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
The most recent federal guidelines for adults recommend at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity (such as jogging or swimming laps), or a combination of the two.

If you have an exercise program already, keep up the good work. If not, here are tips to get you started.

  • 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
  • Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
  • Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
  • Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find it’s more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
  • Recruit an “exercise buddy.” It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
  • Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.

More Anti-Stress Tips

  • Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, volunteer, or get a massage. Stepping back from the problem lets you clear your head.
  • Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
  • Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
  • Do your best instead of trying to be perfect. Perfection isn’t always possible, so be proud of however close you get.
  • Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
  • Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
  • Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
  • Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
  • Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and then look for a pattern.
  • Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.

Wrestling Legend Vern Gagne Implicated In Death Of Man, 97

I came across this article today and realized that the subject matter spoken of relates to the topic of mental illness.  The story itself is incredibly tragic but at the same time illustrates the harsh realities of both Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.  Allan

FILE: Verne Gagne, world champion wrestler, 1965. (Minnesota Historical Society)

Minnesota wrestling legend Verne Gagne, who climbed to fame as a likeable giant of the ring, is under police investigation in the death of a fellow resident at a Bloomington care facility, a local television station is reporting.

Gagne, 82, threw his roommate, Helmut R. Gutmann, 97, to the floor on Jan. 26, breaking his hip and injuring his head, according to Gutmann’s family and KMSP-TV. Gutmann, an accomplished cancer researcher and violinist who fled Nazi Germany in 1936, was treated for his injuries, but was later rehospitalized.

He died Saturday.

Gutmann’s daughter, Ruth Hennig, told the Pioneer Press that the two men had been in a public lobby of the Friendship Village memory loss unit, by the nurse’s station, when Gagne grabbed her father.

“I don’t know what precipitated the attack, if anything,” Hennig said. “All I know is that Verne Gagne lifted my father off the floor and then threw him down to the ground, and that caused him to crack his hip.”

Gagne suffered from Alzheimer’s and Gutmann, who could recognize his wife and children but not his grandchildren, suffered from dementia and short-term memory loss, said Hennig, the executive director of a charitable trust in Boston.

She said Gagne had pushed her father in a previous incident, but there were no injuries.

“I don’t blame him, in the sense that I know he’s not fully responsible for what he did,” Hennig said. “But on the other hand, I know that my father would still be alive today if they hadn’t had this altercation. I’m not trying to assign blame. I’m more sad than I am angry.”Gutmann’s wife Betty Gutmann resides in an independent living area at Friendship Village. She declined comment.

Gagne and his wife could not be reached for comment, and calls to a family home in Eden Prairie were not immediately returned. His son Greg Gagne described the incident as a terrible accident, and referred all other questions to the family attorney, Julian Hook.

A native of Robbinsdale, Gagne sidestepped multiple opportunities to play professional football after completing school at the University of Minnesota. He instead became a longtime presence in wrestling circles.In 1960, he formed the American Wrestling Association with a staple that eventually included Hulk Hogan and Jesse “The Body” Ventura. With Gagne as sole owner, the association toured civic centers and dominated televised wrestling in the 1960s and ’70s.

Before long, he became known as one the more extroverted and approachable figures in professional wrestling, a self-made superstar who rose up from poverty. His mother died when he was 14 and he lived in a hotel room during his senior year in high school, supporting himself by mopping floors at a beauty salon.

By the 1980s, his Minneapolis-based wrestling circuit maintained franchises in Hawaii, Chicago, Winnipeg, Toronto, Denver, Omaha, Milwaukee and San Francisco.

Gagne and the AWA officially called it quits and filed for bankruptcy in 1991.

“He had nothing when we were married,” his wife, Mary Gagne, told the Pioneer Press in 1981. “I lived with my parents for a long time.”

In the same interview, Mary Gagne said her husband, who raised quarter horses, had once burst into tears when his children surprised him with a horse to replace his appaloosa, which had been struck and killed by a car.

Hennig said her father received excellent care at Friendship Village and had lived in the memory care unit for two years. Gutmann, who was Jewish, left Nazi Germany and made a name for himself in Minnesota as both a cancer researcher and a musician.

Gutmann served as a captain in the Chemical Warfare Service of the US Army, according to his family, and spent 40 years as a research scientist at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis. He taught at the University of Minnesota and his cancer research led to the publication of 120 papers in professional journals.

Gutmann played violin for 12 years with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, and then switched to piano when he could no longer hold the strings correctly, his daughter said.

He was also a founding member of the Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Bloomington, where he had been scheduled to perform on the piano twice in recent months. “He was one of the co-founders of the congregation in 1966,” said Pastor Don Rollins.

Both performances were canceled — the first, shortly before Christmas, because of an illness, and the second time, in January, because of his fall.

“At 97, he lived a really good long life,” Hennig said. “He was on the whole healthy for most of it. But it was a shock and regrettable that his life came to an end in the way that it did. He was in pain, and he was extremely disoriented while he was in the hospital.”

She said her father may have made a conscious decision to stop eating after he left the hospital. He was comatose when she saw him Friday.

“He really had no idea what was going on or what was being done to him when he returned to Friendship Village,” Hennig said. “He didn’t go to his own room. He was in the skilled nursing wing. And so all of this, I think, was traumatic, to both his mind and his body. … I know he was comfortable when he died, and we’re very grateful for all of that. But the couple weeks in between were hard. He lost over 30 lbs.”

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172.


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When they got together to celebrate the Minnesota Twins pennant clinching, wrestler Vern Gagne seems in best attire for the sport as he loads a pocket of the suit of Joseph Duffy with champagne, Sept. 28, 1965, Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Gene Herrick)

Morning & Evening- Charles Spurgeon, February 22nd

An Angel Of The Lord Wrestles With Jacob

An Angel Of The Lord Wrestles With Jacob

“His bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” — Genesis 49:24

That strength which God gives to His Josephs is real strength; it is not a boasted valour, a fiction, a thing of which men talk, but which ends in smoke; it is true–divine strength. Why does Joseph stand against temptation? Because God gives him aid. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. All true strength comes from “the mighty God of Jacob.” Notice in what a blessedly familiar way God gives this strength to Joseph–“The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Thus God is represented as putting His hands on Joseph’s hands, placing His arms on Joseph’s arms. Like as a father teaches his children, so the Lord teaches them that fear Him. He puts His arms upon them. Marvellous condescension! God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from His throne and lays His hand upon the child’s hand, stretching His arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may be made strong! This strength was also covenant strength, for it is ascribed to “the mighty God of Jacob.” Now, wherever you read of the God of Jacob in the Bible, you should remember the covenant with Jacob. Christians love to think of God’s covenant. All the power, all the grace, all the blessings, all the mercies, all the comforts, all the things we have, flow to us from the well-head, through the covenant. If there were no covenant, then we should fail indeed; for all grace proceeds from it, as light and heat from the sun. No angels ascend or descend, save upon that ladder which Jacob saw, at the top of which stood a covenant God. Christian, it may be that the archers have sorely grieved you, and shot at you, and wounded you, but still your bow abides in strength; be sure, then, to ascribe all the glory to Jacob’s God.