Michael Newnham: The Parable Of The Broken Elbow

My good friend Michael Newnham over at the Phoenix Preacher shared an amazing story on his blog today.  It really hit home.  Michael’s blog is located  HERE.    Allan

I was just getting ready to lay down for the night when his mom called.

“We’re at the ER…it looks like he broke his elbow. He’s fine though and he doesn’t want you to come”.


Of course, I threw on my clothes and flew to the hospital.

“He thinks you’re going to be angry”.

I had lectured constantly on the importance of wearing his pads…how I didn’t want to see him hurt and how I couldn’t afford the hospital bills if he was.

The last thing I was at the moment was angry… I was scared and hurt for him…and hurt that he would think my rules were more important than his pain.

We resolved that, but it brought to mind how we are much the same way with our Father.

We blow it…and then we hide from Him because we fear His anger and rejection.

So we keep blowing it and keep hiding and we drown under the weight of unconfessed sin and fear.

He’s not angry…all His anger was poured out on your Savior and He waits for you to come and receive grace and forgiveness and comfort.

If you have been hiding from Dad go…go now…He loves you…no matter what you’ve done.

2010 Emmy Awards Serve As A Platform for Autism And Temple Grandin

About four months ago I ran an article about an amazing woman named Temple Grandin.  You can read that article   HERE.  The movie is now available for rental or purchase.  Here is a trailer for the movie.  Allan

Yesterday a movie made about her life won several Emmy awards including best actress for a made for TV movie and for the best TV movie of the year beating out stiff competition.

The following is an article from the Los Angeles Times discussing who Temple Grandin is.

HBO‘s critically acclaimed “Temple Grandin” told the remarkable real-life story of the bestselling author and groundbreaking agricultural scientist who struggled early in life to learn to cope with autism before the disease was widely known.

On Sunday, the biopic, which had to overcome what was widely perceived in the industry as challenging subject matter to make its way to the screen, claimed five Emmy prizes, including outstanding made for TV movie.

Attired in red and black rodeo gear, Grandin herself became a palpable presence at the ceremony, at one point, rising and excitedly swinging her hand lasso style from the audience. And while standing on stage after the movie had won its top award, she warmly embraced a sobbing executive producer Emily Gerson Saines, who said she found inspiration in Grandin’s life story as her own child had been diagnosed with autism.

“I hope this movie is going to educate a lot of people about autism because there’s a lot of people who don’t understand it,” Grandin said backstage. “Somebody [with autism] might be a Silicon Valley genius, and somebody might be handicapped and non-verbal.”

The biopic turned out to be one of the biggest winners at this year’s Emmys, taking home prizes as well for actress Claire Danes, who portrayed Grandin; supporting actress (Julia Ormond); supporting actor (David Strathairn); and director (Mick Jackson).

During their acceptance speeches, all of the winners paid tribute to Grandin. Danes described her as “the most brave woman I’ve known.” Jackson called her “spunky, smart and vivid,” saying he wanted to make a movie that was “never sentimental.”

The movie spotlights Grandin’s school years, focusing on her relationship with one special science teacher, played by Strathairn, and how she went on to shake up the male-dominated livestock industry by developing a more humane system to slaughter cattle.

In an interview on the red carpet, Grandin praised Danes’ performance, saying “she became me. It took a lot of practice.”

Asked whether Grandin has overcome her fear of human touching and contact, Danes said backstage, “Yes, she’s overcome a lot of fears. And she’s quite polished now in relating to people in a more normal and socially acceptable way. She’s very different from who she was as a teenager.”

Grandin herself appeared to be awed by the red carpet and spectacle of the ceremony. “I feel like a kid inDisneyland,” she said.

When Battlefield Humor Backfires: Doctors Who Are Callous Towards Their Patients

Taken from the newyorktimes.com which is located   HERE.

“I saw the Whale in clinic this week. Her incision looks great!”

Thus spoke a surgeon to a wide-eyed medical student here at Harvard who related the comment to her peers (and me) in a group discussion about professional development. The Whale’s condition was morbid obesity, and her incision was from weight-loss surgery.

The student was appalled at her mentor’s seeming callousness, and so were others, who eagerly shared similar experiences. They allowed that this kind of battlefield humor (out of patients’ earshot, of course) was a way of dealing with stress. But they were astonished at the pervasiveness of such language and the apparent relish with which even senior physicians participated.

One student demurred: he noticed that these same patients felt they were getting excellent care. What difference did it make how doctors talked about them in private?

It reminded me of a moment in my own training, when a patrician psychiatrist of the old school — much beloved by his patients — was told by a nurse that an elderly hospitalized patient wanted to speak with him. “What does that old cow want now?” he replied. We laughed nervously, a bit shocked but reassured that at least the old cow loved her doctor, who gave her excellent care.

But there is a slippery slope here. If we can make backstage fun of obese and elderly patients, should we feel free to do the same about those whose behavior — as opposed to appearance — is unsettling or off-putting?

Volatile, melodramatic, angry, manipulative, unpredictable, untruthful — such patients strike dread into their caregivers, who hope for their earliest possible discharge. They are sand in the gears of the clinical machine, and psychiatrists like me are often called to prevent (or, worse, mop up) the havoc they can create in the hospital.

Out of their hearing, these difficult patients are typically called borderlines, narcissists or sociopaths, whether or not such descriptions are really accurate. There seems little or nothing to like about them. While a “whale” can still elicit sympathy at the bedside, the borderline or sociopath elicits anger, anxiety and fear.

There is no doubt that such patients present a huge challenge. But surely we are not making it any easier for ourselves by referring to them as “raging borderlines” or “malignant narcissists.” I submit that when we do, they become the “other”; their humanity is obscured by their psychopathology.

Consider an emotionally volatile patient whom the doctors pigeonhole as borderline. Curiosity about her behavior vanishes, replaced by a pseudo-certainty about “how to handle” her. Clinicians assume that all borderlines cut themselves and “split” others (that is, pit one caregiver against another), that they violate established boundaries and need firm limits.

But this is more a composite caricature than a real person, a patient who obediently lives up to the very low expectations held by her caregivers. The defiant or untrustworthy patient — the alleged sociopath — suffers a similar fate. Everyone “knows” that sociopaths are liars and manipulators, cannot be trusted and need to be treated with an iron fist. The fact that lying and manipulating exist on a continuum of severity and can at least have semiproductive uses (Congress, are you listening?) is obscured by moral outrage.

And so the doctor’s determination not to lose a contest of wills undermines the opportunity to have successful discussions about treatment. The patient instantly senses that the doctor distrusts and dislikes him, and this, coupled with the patient’s lack of respect toward authority figures, leads to a rapidly deteriorating situation, often ending in a discharge against medical advice — much to the team’s relief.

Of course it is possible to chuckle about “whales” and “cows” in private and still be respectful at the bedside. But in stereotyping obese or elderly patients, we may be diminishing them in the same way we diminish (or dismiss) the alleged borderlines and sociopaths.

We could stand to recognize more of what we have in common with our patients. All of us are going to get older, and many of us could stand to lose a few pounds. Similarly, rather than condemn Ms. Jones to the land of “borderline” psychopathology, it may be less harmful to say she can be a royal pain; after all, most of us can be a royal pain under enough stress, and we may have more sympathy for royal pains than for borderlines.

Angry or difficult people are rarely that way all the time, and later they are often ashamed of their behavior. Even those patients with bona fide personality disorders do better when the clinician “aims high” by engaging their strengths rather than highlighting their vulnerabilities. We all respond to incentives, and that goes for whales, cows, pit bulls, snakes and the occasional birdbrain — the whole animal kingdom known as the human race.

Dr. Michael W. Kahn is a psychiatrist in Boston.

According To Our Faith: Streams In The Desert, August 29th, 2010

“According to your faith be it unto you” Matthew 9:29

“Praying through” might be defined as praying one’s way into full faith, emerging while yet praying into the assurance that one has been accepted and heard, so that one becomes actually aware of receiving, by firmest anticipation and in advance of the event, the thing for which he asks.

Let us remember that no earthly circumstances can hinder the fulfillment of His Word if we look steadfastly at the immutability of that Word and not at the uncertainty of this ever-changing world. God would have us believe His Word without other confirmation, and then He is ready to give us “according to our faith.”

“When once His Word is past,
When He hath said , ‘I will,’ Hebrews 13:5
The thing shall come at last;
God keeps His promise still.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

The prayer of the Pentecostal age was like a cheque to be paid in coin over the counter. –Sir R. Anderson

“And God said…and it was so.” Genesis 1:9

Praise & Worship: August 28th, 2010

Song List

1.  Jesus Saw Her-  Sherri Youngward

2.  Number Me In Your Prayers-  Annie Herring

3.  Happy Day-  Kim Walker

4.  Your Love Oh Lord (Psalm 36)-  Third Day

5.  The Wonderful Cross-  Matt Redman & Chris Tomlin

6.  In Christ Alone-  Adrienne Liesching & Jeff Moore

7.  He Is Able-   Maranatha Singers

8.  In His Time-   Maranatha Singers

9.  What Faith Can Do-  Kutless

10.  To God Alone-  Aaron Shust

11.  God Of Wonders-  City On A Hill

Prayer Requests & Praise Reports, August 27th, 2010

Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.  Charles Spurgeon

1Peter 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he has given us a new birth to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
1Peter 1:4  and to an inheritance kept in heaven for you that can’t be destroyed, corrupted, or changed.
1Peter 1:5  Through faith you are being protected by God’s power for a salvation that is ready to be revealed at the end of time.
1Peter 1:6  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you have to suffer various kinds of trials,
1Peter 1:7  so that the genuineness of your faith, which is more valuable than gold that perishes when it is tested by fire, may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1Peter 1:8  Though you have not seen him, you love him. And even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
1Peter 1:9  because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

New Prayer Requests

Shaun Sells- Hi E – Thought I would give you a quick update. The group has slowly shrunk over the summer, last time we met there were only 5 of us. We are trying to regroup and refocus. Looking for good ideas and praying for someone else to lead it so the group can meet more than once a month.

Allan–  A woman e-mailed me tonight asking for prayer. She is struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts. She will be seeing someone tomorrow to apply for emergency Medicaid. She has been without insurance for two years. Please pray for her.

Past Prayer Requests

Rachel-  would you please add my friends dave and jen to your list? their baby daughter (first baby) Danae was born on the 22nd, 14 weeks premature. she went to be with Jesus last night.

her parent’s don’t know the Lord and i am hoping that this does not turn them away from him. they are devastated, and so am i.

i also need wisdom to know how to be their friend right now. i want to be a blessing to them so badly.

thank you.

denise–  pray for me, my senior pastor & the members of my church. lately there has been conflict & misunderstandings & hurt feelings in the church. this is taking its toll on me & has caused depression in my soul to the point where i want to leave, go home & ask God to let me die of cancer. my thoughts are wrong, but I feel like a failure & a reject in the eyes of the church & in the eyes of my Lord.

denise–  thank you erunner for your comforting words. although i am still depressed & i still am praying that the Lord will kill me with cancer, things have just gotten unbearable living with mental illness & church rejection for most of my life. i wouldnt wish this illness on anyone. all it does is cause isolation, loneliness, rejection & ridicule. even as a person who is indwelt with the spirit of the Lord God can be crushed & devestated by the pain & despair of mental illness. i thank God for you & your ministry in these last days. i would rather suffer the pain of having cancer than to live another day with mental illness. its too much. if only more born again believers would be more compassionate & less judgemental towards the mentally ill, there would be less suicides & homicides. Gods blessings on you all!

Set Free–  I appreciate that you still have our request for a building. Some opportunities have been presented to us but nothing yet. We did move out from our previous location but we are trusting and believing God for a place of our own hopefully before the year is out.

Mom–  Thank you for keeping my request on your prayer list. Our son is doing better and is now able to work and is hoping to return to school next semester.

He’s been through different combinations of medications and we are hopeful that the current combinations will work for him in the long term.

He is still discouraged and is beating himself up for disenrolling from school. We try to encourage him, but he doesn’t receive it.. We are praying that God would allow him to live a rewarding life and that he see God’s hand in all this the last 5 months. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Allan- My sister’s husband is improving although still in a coma after two months.  Please pray that he will soon be weaned from his respirator and that he will have a miraculous recovery. Pray also for my sister and three adult children.

Allan–  Dorci has had surgery to remove a cyst from her spine.  Please pray that God would allow her to heal quickly and completely.

Long Term Prayer Requests

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

Okie Preacher–  Battling unknown physical problems and depression.  “I have a physical problem that the doctors have not been able to identify. It has been characterized by severe muscle pain and weakness, joint pain, fatigue, shortage of breath, dizziness, difficulty swallowing, and coughing fits that almost cause me to pass out.”

White Horses- Prayer for anxious thoughts and worrying.

Shaun Sells–  Keep Shaun in prayer for wisdom as he seeks to continue his ministry to those with mental illness in his church.

Rachel–  Continued prayer as she struggles with bi-polar disorder.

Natalie Tan–   Keep Natalie in prayer as she moves further away from her battle with Anorexia.

Allan–  Our nephew’s wife has M.S.

PK Sweet–  please pray for a bipolar son with brain damage also…that he may know and love and follow Christ, be free of all addictions and self destructive behavior, get the help he needs and be @ peace…also that God help us all in the family to be filled with the Spirit and bear luscious fruit, and be filled with joy rather than despair

Praise Report

Denise –  Hi Mr. Erunner. This is Denise. First of all, God is so good. Hes awesome. Yesterday, I got rebaptised in the name of Jesus Christ Acts 2:38, & then I was filled with the gift of the Holy Spirit! It was phenominal! Even during service, I felt the touch of Jesus as I spoke in tongues! God is faithful to his word that is a guarantee. All other ground is sinking sand. I thank God for you erunner & your ministry & your prayers & words of wisdom. I continue to solicit your prayers for my Pastors at New Abundant Life Church & the church family as God is restoring & reconciling us back to our first love. May God continue to bless & keep you in these last days. Love ya.

Ramblin’ Man

I am a big science fiction fan and so I was quite happy when “Stargate Atlantis” was made available for free viewing on Netflix.  Having been a huge fan of SG1 I wondered if this spinoff would be any good.  Well I am enjoying it a lot so I’m a happy camper!

If you want to try something for free on Netflix there is a quirky show titled “Pushing Daisies” that is enjoyable and very unique.  You’ll know after the first episode if it’s your cup of tea.

Now that LOST and 24 are off the air it seems Netflix is the way to go and if you don’t have it there is another site that is totally free named HULU. You can find the site  HERE.

Sports wise it appears both the Dodgers and Angels should begin thinking about the future.  They are out of contention this year so I say build for the future.  Maybe the Yankees will let them sign a free agent or two!

Home runs are down a lot and they say it’s the year of the pitcher, especially in light of all the no hitters and near no hitters we’ve seen.  I say it’s the year of some of the pitchers.  These days if your ERA is under 4 and you can last six innings you’re a stud. I still recall four man rotations and complete games not being such a big deal.  Now we have five man rotations and set up men and closers which only requires a starter to go six or seven innings. Pitch counts were unheard of in the 60’s and now they are gospel.  Oh well….

The NBA will be interesting with only a few teams with a real shot at winning the title.  Some think for the foreseeable future Miami will dominate like the Celtics of old.  Should be interesting.

I’m giving it a real effort to try and lose weight.  I’ve discovered some new foods and drinks that are very beneficial for someone who is diabetic.  I’ve lost maybe eight pounds.  Hopefully I can make this a lifestyle change.

I’ll tell you what’s a drag is being diabetic and craving the wrong things.  What’s worse is giving in to those cravings.  They say everything in moderation so I’m giving it a go.

Being a Grandparent is more awesome than I could have ever imagined.  I never got how Grandparents could be so giddy about their Grandchildren but I get it now.  There’s nothing like looking down and having them smile at you or to have them fall asleep in your arms.

Something I have become more aware of is the national tragedy that is Mexico.  More and more we’re seeing the results of what the drug cartels are doing as they seem to have absolutely no regard for human life.  Try googling Juarez, Mexico and that should keep you busy.  The people of Mexico are caught between a rock and a hard place and need our prayers.  It is a heart wrenching situation.

Jesus saves!  That was a popular saying from the 70’s that I learned as a new believer.  It seems nowadays some Christians are looking to political solutions to save us.  I’m all for being involved but let’s not forget who hold are lives and futures in His hands.  If we do things can get out of balance quickly.

Having this blog has allowed me to see the schisms that exist in the church when it comes to the topic of mental illness.  It’s both sad and unfortunate.  From where I sit this is symptomatic of so many schisms in the church today.  Everybody seems bent on railing on or exposing somebody in the body of Christ.  It’s to the point that nobody is safe from criticism, some of it quite unfair and cruel.

We need to be discerning but when discernment without love reigns we are in big trouble.  Not only is it a bad thing to pass on to other believers but we need to remember our actions are being observed by those outside the church we are seeking to reach for Christ.  What a tragedy if our actions push people away.

In closing I’m going to extend an offer that might resonate with a reader.  If you are a person who has experienced mental illness and would like to share your story I would like to publish it as an encouragement to others.

There are scores of people who live with mental illness that need to know there’s hope for something more.  They need to know that their faith in Christ is not in ruins because of depression or PTSD.

I’m not looking for the Hollywood story with the Hollywood ending.  I’m looking for believers who are comfortable with letting their guard down and sharing what they’ve learned along the way.  If you are interested please contact me at   erunner54@gmail.com  God bless!  Allan

2Corinthians 1:2  May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.
2Corinthians 1:3  Let us give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the merciful Father, the God from whom all help comes!
2Corinthians 1:4  He helps us in all our troubles, so that we are able to help others who have all kinds of troubles, using the same help that we ourselves have received from God.
2Corinthians 1:5  Just as we have a share in Christ’s many sufferings, so also through Christ we share in God’s great help.
2Corinthians 1:6  If we suffer, it is for your help and salvation; if we are helped, then you too are helped and given the strength to endure with patience the same sufferings that we also endure.
2Corinthians 1:7  So our hope in you is never shaken; we know that just as you share in our sufferings, you also share in the help we receive.