Fact Vs. Fiction: Mental Illness

Taken from Bring Change 2 Mind whose website is located   HERE.

FICTION: People with a mental illness are often violent.

FACT: Actually, the vast majority of people with mental health conditions are no more violent than anyone else. People with mental illness are much more likely to be the victims of crime.

FICTION: Mental illness is a sign of weakness.

FACT: A mental illness is not caused by personal weakness—nor can it be cured by positive thinking or willpower – proper treatment is needed.

FICTION: Only military personnel who have been in combat can suffer from PTSD.

FACT: While PTSD is prevalent in men and women who have seen combat, experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event can trigger PTSD, including violent personal assaults such as rape or robbery, natural or human-caused disasters, or accidents.

FICTION: People with a mental illness will never get better.

FACT: For some people, a mental illness may be a lifelong condition, like diabetes. But as with diabetes, proper treatment enables many people with a mental illness to lead fulfilling and productive lives.

FICTION: Children don’t suffer from mental illness.

FACT: Millions of children are affected by depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. As a matter of fact, 1 in 10 children suffer from a diagnosable mental illness. Getting treatment is essential.

FICTION: “Mental illness can’t affect me!”

FACT: Mental illness can affect anyone. While some illnesses have a genetic risk, mental illness can affect people of all ages, races and income levels, whether or not there is a family history.

Fifty Hours: A New Resource For You

There is a new blog titled “Fifty Hours” that recently began that is seeking to reach out to Christians who have been hurt along the way.  It is not the same type of blog that I operate as my focus is pretty narrow.

It is operated by Esther and Matt DeWitt and has been described as “finding grace, and healing from wounds, after experiencing an unhealthy Christian relationship or culture.”

Their blog is not a place to come and bash individuals but a place to possibly share your story as you seek to find healing for an open wound.  It’s a sad reality that blogs like theirs and mine are necessary but at the same time God can use them as a vehicle to see His will done in your life.

I encourage you to pay their blog a visit.  If you are a person who God is directing there PLEASE take advantage of this opportunity and continue visiting.  There are people in various stages in their walks who are there to be a blessing to you.  I would also encourage you to post a question or whatever is on your mind.  You will not regret it.

Fifty Hours will now be a new resource here at MTC.   Allan

Click    HERE to visit the blog.

Joni Earecksen Tada Battling Breast Cancer

I’m late in posting this news but there may be some who are unaware or others who are looking for updates.  Joni has posted a video on her site you can view by clicking   HERE.  This same link is where you can check for updates on Joni.  Her surgery was yesterday and her treatment will be determined by what the doctors find.  As you view the video and read this article you will understand why Joni is a treasure to the body of Christ.  Allan

“I want to assure you that I am genuinely content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me even if it is from His left hand because better something from His left hand than no hand at all, right?” the beloved disability advocate and quadriplegic said in a video message to supporters.

Tada, 60, was diagnosed with cancer early last week and it was confirmed on Tuesday that it is malignant. She is scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday when doctors will better understand what stage the cancer is at.

For decades, Tada has assisted and given hope to those affected by disabilities through her Joni and Friends ministry. Paralyzed since 17 after a diving accident, Tada dedicated the rest of her life to God and has, in the process, inspired countless people around the world.

The cancer news came as a shock to many of her supporters.

Since the announcement on Wednesday about Tada’s new challenge, numerous comments went up on the ministry’s Facebook page, letting her know that she is in their prayers.

Over at the Joni and Friends International Disability Center in Agoura Hills, Calif., the staff, while concerned, reflected the same hope and trust that Tada had.

“One of the things we know here at Joni and Friends, because we minister everyday to people affected by disability and affected by life-challenging trauma, is that ultimately we rely upon God, we are in His hands, He holds our future, and that nothing that comes to us is a surprise to Him,” said Steve Bundy, managing director of the Christian Institute on Disability as well as International Outreach at Joni and Friends International Disability Center, in an interview.

“Obviously, we do not desire to see her suffer anymore than she has, [but] we recognize that God is at work, He’s doing something and He’s going to use cancer to bring that about.”

Bundy has known Tada personally for seven years and has been serving at the ministry for over four years. And when he sees her expressing optimism and full trust in God even in the midst of suffering, he knows she’s not putting up a front for the sake of staying strong before her supporters and the disabled.

“What you hear from Joni is truly Joni,” he told The Christian Post. “This is a woman of great faith who has spent 43 years in a wheelchair. This is not a woman who is going to pretend about things. You are seeing a woman who is truly communicating her very deep and personal thoughts and feelings and trust and faith in God, not to perform or not to display anything for people but it’s because it’s who she is.”

“It’s who God has molded her to be after 43 years of suffering and 43 years of her surrendering to the will and call of God,” he continued. “You’re seeing a woman surrendered to God, saying ‘Lord, here’s my life, take it and use it. I trust in You and if that’s quadriplegia and it’s a wheelchair, I surrender to that. If it’s cancer and whatever the outcome might be, I surrender to that.'”

Tada and those at Joni and Friends view trauma and suffering from a biblical worldview, Bundy noted. There is an understanding that God is “very much involved with the suffering that we encounter and His intention is to work it out for the good of ourselves and for the good of those around us,” he said, citing the Bible passage Romans 8:28.
People may not define “good” the same way God defines it, he added. Though they may not completely understand what God is doing, they trust in His word and believe that ultimately everything is for His glory.

“It is an attitude of surrender,” Bundy explained. “It is also an attitude of trust in the character of God and the goodness of God.”

And it’s the attitude that Tada takes.

She stated in her video message that she and her husband, Ken Tada, are “utterly convinced” that God is going to use the cancer to “do something big” through the Joni and Friends ministry. Moreover, she is now able to empathize and journey alongside people who are not only struggling with a disability but also with cancer.

Tada assured that she will not be “shaken” by the cancer but will continue to trust in God as her rock and fortress.

“I mean I haven’t gone through 43 years of quadriplegia to be shaken by this news, right?” she said.

Nevertheless, she has asked for prayers that she will be rid of the cancer and fully healed.

Joni and Friends offers various ministries to people with disabilities around the world. Wheels for the World is the flagship ministry in which some 8,000 people are fitted with a wheelchair and presented with the Gospel. Inspirational stories are broadcast through international radio and television programs.

Also, through its Christian Institute on Disability, the ministry has developed a university level course on “A Theology of Suffering and Disability.” The course – currently offered at such schools as Biola University in Southern California, Dallas Theological Seminary and Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va. – prepares students to have biblical view of the issues of suffering and disability and equips them to be able to minister to people affected by disability whether it’s in the marketplace or in the church, Bundy explained.

Updates regarding Tada’s health and progress will be posted to the “Joni’s Corner” section of the Joni and Friends ministry website at http://www.joniandfriends.org.

Doctor Who Pays Homage to Vincent VanGogh

A television show I view regularly is Doctor Who.  It’s a science fiction show about a “Time Lord” who travels through time and space with a companion from earth.

This past episode finds them traveling to the time of Vincent VanGogh as they seek to unravel a mystery.  As you may be aware of many believe that VanGogh suffered with bipolar disorder and his melancholy is depicted in this episode.

What struck me about this episode was a scene towards the end that has a museum guide talking about VanGogh.  As I listened I thought of every person who battles a mental illness.  That speech elevated the episode to a gotta see again status for me.  I also hope you have BBC America on your cable system as they’ll be repeating it often.

The website for BBC America is found  HERE.

A short clip is available   HERE.

Below is the song “Vincent” by Don McLean that includes some video from the Doctor Who episode.

Boat Captain’s Suicide Shows Human Toll Of Gulf Oil Disaster

News of the Gulf Oil Disaster has dominated the news for almost two months.  Currently there is no solution.  Lost so often in tragedies like this is the emotional toll that is endured by those impacted.  This story illustrates that reality.  Allan

Allen Kruse beside his boat.

FOLEY, Ala. — Allen Kruse tenderly kissed his wife goodbye just after sunrise Wednesday and headed to the docks in Gulf Shores, Ala., where his boat, The Rookie, was moored.

A charter boat captain for 25 years, Kruse had signed on as a BP contractor to spot oil, deploy boom and eventually learn how to skim oil. His business had come to a screeching halt after the April 20 oil spill.

About an hour later, Kruse was dead. He was 55, the father of 11- and 12-year-old boys, Cory and Ryan, and daughter Kelli, 26.

About 7 a.m., after a BP training meeting, he climbed into the wheelhouse of his 46-foot charter boat and ended his worry, his frustration and his anger with a single bullet to the head.

“Nothing was easy working with BP. Everything was hard, and it consumed him. He wasn’t crazy,” said his wife, Tracy, 41, sitting outside the couple’s home in Foley on Thursday.

“He’d been a charter boat captain for 25 years, and all of the sudden he had people barking orders at him who didn’t know how to tie up a boat to a pier. I think he thought, ‘I’ve got to get out of this. I can’t take it.’ ”

The spill also left Kruse emotionally devastated. It robbed him of his passion for taking customers out to the Gulf to fish for red snapper and grouper, his wife said.

“Our whole lives surround this, this oil, everything is oil,” he told her a few days ago.

Consumed by worry

From the beginning, Kruse was unhappy with the glacially slow process of working for BP.

“He couldn’t believe they were sitting there at Zeke’s Marina doing nothing,” Tracy said. “He wanted to get out there and work and help clean up the oil.”

But once the work finally began, Kruse was overwhelmed with the paperwork to get an assignment and get paid.

In particular, one invoice required 52 pages to fill out, and there were problems getting the paperwork to BP, Tracy said.

Several days ago, Kruse finally completed the invoice and sent it to BP, but he still was unsettled.

“Things changed in our marriage,” Tracy said. “Usually, I was the worrier, but now Allen worried. He worried that BP wouldn’t get the invoices. He worried about the whole situation.”

Tuesday morning, black skies loomed over The Rookie, but Kruse and his crew of three still went out to look for oil.

“They went out, but Allen called me and said, ‘This is bad. Someone’s going to get hurt,’ ” Tracy said. “So they came in at the request of the task force leader.”

With the ominous weather and rain, Kruse’s mood turned darker.

By Tuesday night, he again was focused on the 52-page invoice.

“I said, ‘Allen, honey, please let’s just give this a break,’ ” Tracy said. “He said to me, ‘I just got this fog in my head I can’t shake, and it’s driving me crazy.’ ”

Kruse took a bath. He felt better. He ate. At 9 p.m., he and his wife went to bed.

‘Last time I saw him’

Wednesday morning, Kruse rose first and dressed. Tracy got up for a few minutes, meeting her husband in the kitchen.

“He was just standing there, bent over the counter with his face in his hands,” she said. “He was just leaning on the counter, and I could see the wheels of worry turning in his head.”

Tracy said little, then returned to bed to catch up on sleep. Minutes later, her husband was at her bedside.

“He was just patting my head, and he said, ‘I’m about to leave,’ and then Allen said, ‘It’s just all madness, Tracy.'”

Those were the last words she’d hear him say.

“I told him everything would be all right. I said, ‘Don’t worry, Allen. It will all work out, honey.’ ”

Kruse kissed his wife, looked in on the boys, and climbed into his Ford F-250.

“That was the last time I saw him,” she said.

She had no thought that he would take his own life.

The shot

A few minutes later, Kruse picked up Ronnie Doyle, a loyal deckhand, at the Burger King at Gulf Shores Parkway and Fort Morgan Road in Gulf Shores.

They drove to Gulf Shores Yacht and Marina and the BP staging area and went about their normal duties of fueling up The Rookie.

Then, the captains met with BP officials at a nearby building. It was hot inside, and many of the captains were angry and frustrated.

Deckhand Joe Resmondo said something happened to Kruse at the meeting. What, he didn’t know, but Kruse had a look of horror on his face.

The co-owner of the marina, Billy Parks, passed Kruse and playfully punched him in the shoulder. Using his nickname, Parks cajoled him, “Cheer up, Rookie. It’ll be OK.”

But something was very wrong. Then Kruse went missing.

“It was a normal morning, but at one point, we couldn’t find Rookie,” Resmondo said. “I asked around if anyone had seen him.”

No one had.

Then, there was a clap, what Resmondo assumed was a backfire or firecracker.

“I didn’t give it any thought,” he said. “It was a muffled sort of crack. Then, I climbed the ladder to the wheelhouse and saw Allen on the floor, sitting in the corner. He had shot himself. I turned, screamed for help and dialed 911.”

‘He wanted out’

Tracy got the call from Parks. There had been an accident, Parks said.

“What kind of accident?” Tracy frantically asked. “Is it Allen? Did he fall off the boat?” Her husband was notoriously clumsy.

“You need to come to the marina,” Parks said. “Don’t speed. Just come right now. Right now.”

“And I was just screaming ‘Tell me, tell me, tell me,’ ” Tracy said.

Parks wouldn’t.

So Tracy called Resmondo. He wouldn’t say either.

She hung up and called her sister, who’d found out about the shooting just minutes before and told her.

“You know, I don’t think he was even thinking about his family,” Tracy said. “I think he wanted out of the chaos and what he called ‘madness’ of the whole thing.”

Be Still: Streams In The Desert, June 27th

“And the Lord appeared unto Isaac the same night” Genesis 26:24

“Appeared the same night,” the night on which he went to Beer-sheba. Do you think this revelation was an accident? Do you think the time of it was an accident? Do you think it could have happened on any other night as well as this? If so, you are grievously mistaken. Why did it come to Isaac in the night on which he reached Beer-sheba? Because that was the night on which he reached rest. In his old locality, he had been tormented. There had been a whole series of petty quarrels about the possession of paltry wells. There are no worries like little worries, particularly if there is an accumulation of them. Isaac felt this. Even after the strife was past, the place retained a disagreeable association. He determined to leave. He sought change of scene. He pitched his tent away from the place of former strife. That very night the revelation came. God spoke when there was no inward storm. He could not speak when the mind was fretted; His voice demands the silence of the soul. Only in the hush of the spirit could Isaac hear the garments of his God sweep by. His still night was his starry night.

My soul, hast thou pondered these words, “Be still, and know”? In the hour of perturbation, thou canst not hear the answer to thy prayers. How often has the answer seemed to come long after I The heart got no response in the moment of its crying — in its thunder, its earthquake, and its fire. But when the crying ceased, when the stillness fell, when thy hand desisted from knocking on the iron gate, when the interest of other lives broke the tragedy of thine own, then appeared the long-delayed reply. Thou must rest, O soul, if thou wouldst have thy heart’s desire. Still the beating of thy pulse of personal care. Hide thy tempest of individual trouble behind the altar of a common tribulation and, that same night, the Lord shall appear to thee. The rainbow shall span the place of the subsiding flood, and in thy stillness thou shalt hear the everlasting music. –George Matheson

Tread in solitude thy pathway,
Quiet heart and undismayed.
Thou shalt know things strange, mysterious,
Which to thee no voice has said.
While the crowd of petty hustlers
Grasps at vain and paltry things,
Thou wilt see a great world rising
Where soft mystic music rings.
Leave the dusty road to others,
Spotless keep thy soul and bright,
As the radiant ocean’s surface
When the sun is taking flight.
–(From the German of V. Schoffel) H. F.

Praise & Worship, June 26th, 2010

Song List

1.  You’re Beautiful-  Phil Wickham

2.  My Redeemer Lives-  Nicole C. Mullen

3.  Light The Fire Again-  Brian Doerksen

4.  He Knows My Name-  Maranatha Singers

5.  Power Of Your Love-  Hillsong

6.  Child Of God-  Vineyard UK

7.  Our God Saves-  Paul Baloche

8.  Just One Touch From The King-  Godfrey Birtill

9.  All My Praise-  Selah

10.  You Won’t Relent-  Kim Walker & Chris Quilala

11.  Soli Deo Gloria-  Annie Moses Band