Praise & Worship: May 31st, 2013

Song List

1.  Deeper Still-  Alberto & Kimberly Rivera

2.  My Savior My God-  Aaron Shust

3.  You Are Good-  Bethel Church Live

4.  Give Me Your Eyes-  Brandon Heath

5.  A Mighty Fortress-  Christy Nockels

6.  Glory To God Forever-  Fee

7.  Undo Me-  Jennifer Knapp

8.  Always-  Kristian Stanfill

9.  What If We Were Real-  Mandisa

10.  Today Is The Day-  Paul Baloche

11.  My God Has Rescued Me-  The Violet Burning

The Light And Serious Sides Of Aging

Taken from  AACC  which is located    HERE.

Have you ever noticed that everyone wants to live a long time but no one wants to get old? For most of us, the thought of growing old is as dreaded as the plague. This is particularly true in our culture today, with its emphasis on youth and vitality. Antique cars and furniture seem to have more value than antique people.

My Aunt Swann, who lived well into her 90s, loved to make people laugh about aging. She offered her answers to the question:

How Do You Know You’re Growing Old?
• You get winded playing cards.
• You look forward to a dull evening.
• Your back goes out more than you do.
• Your knees buckle but your belt won’t.
• You need glasses to find your glasses.
• You sit in a rocking chair and can’t get it going.
• You sink your teeth into a steak … and they stay there.

While humor abounds around the topic of aging, I remember reading this thought-provoking statement: “Don’t regret growing older. It’s a privilege denied to many.” Think about it! Did you ever consider growing older to be a privilege? In the Bible, Job clearly states the advantage of living a long life: “Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” (Job 12:12). In truth, I’ve been asked to sing at many a young person’s funeral who, I’m sure, would have given anything to live even just one month longer.

Growing old gracefully doesn’t come easily for many people. In fact, Swiss philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel wrote, “To know how to grow old is the master work of wisdom and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living.”1

What are evidences of aging gracefully? Those who master this stage of life will have:

(1) A divine perspective on the seasons of aging
Our time is in His hands. Second Corinthians 4:16-17 tells us, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”

(2) A courage that accepts change and challenges
Isaiah 30:21 promises, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’”

(3) A personal commitment to godly values
Life is a series of choices – choosing right over wrong. Micah 6:8 sums it up concisely, “What does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

(4) An ability to laugh at personal mistakes
Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine …”

(5) A desire to serve others.
Asking, “What can I do that is most loving for others?” The admonition in 1 John 3:18 is fitting, “… let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”

(6) An ability to live one day at a time
Saying, “I will thank God for something each day.” Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts … And be thankful.”

(7) A deepening faith and hope for the future
Acknowledging that Isaiah 46:4 brings hope for their heart: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Caregiver FAQs2

Realistically, providing care for an elderly person may seem overwhelming at times. When making important decisions, seek the guidance and expertise of trustworthy professionals, such as doctors, legal experts and advocacy organizations specializing in senior care. Above all, seek to model God’s love and compassion in communicating with and caring for an aging loved one.

The following are questions regarding caring for the elderly that I’m most often asked on my live 2 hour call-in counseling program, Hope In The Night.

Question: “When aging loved ones are difficult to get along with, what can I do to prevent becoming bitter?”
Keep a sense of humor and a keen perspective on the source of their behavior, especially if they are faced with challenging and frightening declines in their physical and/or emotional health. Putting yourself in their place often helps you gain perspective on what they are struggling with, and having this insight will help you to “bear” with them a little easier. When loved ones are simply being ill-tempered and disagreeable and when sharp words or thoughtless actions leave you feeling wounded, offer forgiveness. If you are consistently being taken advantage of or being treated too harshly, set “boundaries” for what constitutes acceptable behavior in your relationship. Calmly explain how you feel about the negative behavior and what your boundaries are. Ask for understanding, respect and cooperation. Take a break if the situation gets too emotionally charged. Try to share caregiving duties with others so that you get a respite, which will help you exercise greater patience and will help in maintaining a positive perspective.

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
(Colossians 3:13)

Question: “How can I handle the time demands of elderly loved ones?”
Develop a realistic schedule, based on the time you can devote to caregiving. If they need more supervision and care than you can reasonably provide, ask other family members to help or arrange for a qualified caregiver. If you are providing care on a regular, long-term basis, remember to take care of yourself as well. Getting proper rest and emotional support from others will help you approach your care-giving tasks with more energy, patience and enthusiasm.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
(Philippians 4:13)

Question: “How should I work with aging loved ones who have become childish?”
Recognize that the roles of parent and child may become reversed. The death of their mate and other losses can cause the elderly to lose confidence and feel fearful and overwhelmed, which can lead to childlike, dependent behavior. Listen closely to their concerns and discuss possible solutions together. By offering encouragement and by sharing your knowledge and skills, you can help them regain confidence and reclaim independence. Assure them that they are not alone – that you’re in this thing together.

“Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you.
Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you
not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”
(I Thessalonians 2:7-8)

Question: “What should I do when elderly loved ones experience memory loss?”
As the aging process affects the brain, memory loss is common. Older people may find it more difficult to remember recently stored information (such as where they left their eyeglasses or wallet) than information stored in the brain years earlier (such as a favorite childhood memory). This is normal. If memory loss becomes serious enough that it disrupts daily life or seems to be getting progressively worse, arrange for a medical evaluation. Memory problems can be caused by a variety of health-care issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, depression, stroke, or even as a side effect of certain prescription medications. A medical checkup can help pinpoint the cause, and the physician can offer strategies for coping.
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak …”
(Romans 15:1)
Question: “How should I handle unrelenting stubbornness?”
Apply the Golden Rule, trying to see the issue from their perspective as you seek to understand their strong feelings. Be kind and respectful in the way you communicate with them. Try to determine what is behind the stubbornness. For example, fear, hurt or an unmet desire to be treated as a competent, independent adult may be at the core of your loved one’s defiance. Once identified, you can address these powerful underlying emotions. In applying the Golden Rule and as you strive to model God’s love and compassion with right actions and right attitudes, realize that you are silently teaching your own children about the biblical responsibility that we have to care for and provide for our aging loved ones.
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
(Luke 6:31)

Question: “Does the need for affection gradually diminish with age?”
No. Our need to feel loved, valued and accepted accompanies us throughout life. Hugs, kisses and loving touches communicate affection, concern and encouragement in a way that words alone cannot. That being said, we must respect the personal “comfort level” of all people, regardless of their age. If those you care about are not comfortable with physical affection, then try communicating your love in a non-physical way – with smiles, a gentle tone of voice and caring words. Remaining mindful of “love languages” – time, talk, tasks, tokens and touch – is wise at any age.

“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love …”
(Romans 12:10 NKJV)

Question: “Should I insist that elderly loved ones leave their home?”
For as long as possible, honor their desire to remain at home. However, if their physical, mental or emotional condition has deteriorated to the point that remaining home alone would endanger them, then you must speak the truth … in love. View the situation compassionately, understanding the deep sense of loss that giving up a home can bring. Assure them that they are not a burden, but a blessing, and that your desire is for them to remain safe and free from harm. Research housing options that would ensure the best possible care and treatment, such as an assisted-living facility, having a friend or family member move in with them or allowing them to move into the home of a family member. Lovingly present all options. Make decisions prayerfully and with input from all those who will be affected by a move, including your loved one. Ask God to grant you wisdom, discernment and peace.

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you.”
(James 1:5)

Question: “Should I direct the decision making of elderly loved ones?”
Allow them the dignity of making their own decisions for as long as possible. If they show signs of mental incompetence or confusion, help them schedule a medical evaluation and treatment. Openly discuss the situation with your siblings. If it does become necessary for you to handle their personal affairs, undertake the responsibility prayerfully. Serve as a godly steward and passionate advocate, always seeking to put their physical, financial and emotional welfare first.
“… show respect for the elderly …”
(Leviticus 19:32)
The way in which my own mother gracefully aged was an inspiration to me … and to all who knew her well. Before dying of cancer at age 82, she contributed numerous columns to our ministry newsletter, including one on the topic of aging. In it, she wrote:

Life is more precious to me than ever before, and time is my most valuable commodity. I haven’t the time to be critical, negative, unappreciative or bored. I don’t think in terms of “limited time.” My goal is to be in the center of His will – on His timetable – for the future belongs to the Lord.
Your treasures are your family and friends … and close behind are books with large print! A lifetime of loving and experience has given you wisdom. You relate to others so well because you have experienced so much and remember that, without pain, you would never know the true meaning of joy.
Sometimes, you may pass on your secret. The secret that helped you through it all … that God is your Rock, always there for you when the road is rough, always surrounding you with love when there’s no one else.
So grow old and delight in it – that way your heart will be forever young!3

—Ruth Ray Hunt
March 3, 1917 – September 25, 1999

1 Henri-Frederic Amiel, The Journal Intime of Henri-Frederic Amiel, translated by Mrs. Humphrey Ward (London: Macmillan, 1903), 177.
2 Questions and Answers adapted from June Hunt, Aging: Wisdom for the Winter Years, Biblical Counseling Keys (Dallas: Hope for the Heart, 2008), 13–14.
3 Ruth Ray Hunt, “Granny Ruth Recipes for Living,” Hope for the Heart newsletter, May/June, 1993.

Former Pastor Randall Slack Talks About Life Living With Depression

This article originally ran in 2011. Randall has recently been through a very difficult surgery and is on the mend. Please keep him in your prayers.  Allan

There is a secret in the church that nobody wants to admit to or talk about.  That secret is depression.  The truth is that many in the church suffer from depression but are afraid to talk about it.  Many in the pulpit suffer from depression but won’t talk about it.  There is a stigma attached to depression.  If you admit to suffering, there has got to be some secret sin in your life that you are not dealing with or you have a lack of faith.  Unfortunately, Job’s comforters are alive and well in the church.

I am not a “professional.”  I am not a psychologist, or a Psychiatrist, or a Psychoanalyst; I am a Christian of 38 years and a full time pastor of 10 years.  And I suffer from depression.

My depression started as an adolescent and even after becoming a believer at age 20, continued.  I have had times where I could “feel” my depression physically.  And yet it was only discovered in the last few years that depression can indeed affect you physically.  There were years where I rarely rejoiced.  Not because I did not want to, but because I simply could not.  As a pastor I felt great shame regarding my depression.  After all, pastors don’t get depressed.  They have arrived; they are above such things; God is using them!  In public, I hid it very well. In private, I could not hide it.

My depression manifested itself often in withdrawal, which is a common symptom of depression.  Also, agitation (which is a nice word for anger).  And yes, I often took my anger out on those who love me the most, my wife and children (a fact that still causes me great shame and regret to this day).  I never beat or abused them, but all of my interaction with them was colored in anger.

Now as a pastor, I believe that there are two sources of depression:  1) Spiritual, and 2), Physical.  Spiritual Depression is in the realm of the spiritual and its source is demonic.  There is an unseen warfare going on behind the scenes, a battle being waged between the forces of good and the forces of evil.  Paul the Apostle wrote of this, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”  (Ephesians 6:12, NKJV).  While the enemy of our faith cannot take us away from the Hand of God (John 10:28-29), what he tries to do is to take away the victory we have in Christ.  Jesus has overcome the devil and destroyed his works (I John 3:8).  We are victors because of our faith in Jesus (I John 5:4-5).  Satan seeks to take away our victory, often by accusing us of things we either have not done, or by things we have already been forgiven of (false guilt).  He seeks to temp us then condemns us for being tempted.  And really, there is no sin in being tempted (remember, Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4, and yet is without sin, II Corinthians 5:21).  The sin enters in when we act on that temptation.  Often he accuses God before us because of our circumstances.  How often have we heard, “If God really loved you, He wouldn’t…” (you can fill in the blank).  We give in to spiritual depression when we take our eyes off of Jesus and put them on our circumstances (Remember, Peter walked on the water; he didn’t sink until he took his eyes off of Jesus, Matthew 14:28-29).  The cure of spiritual depression is to put your eyes back on Jesus.  When we take our eyes off of Jesus we lose perspective; when we put our eyes back upon Jesus we regain a proper prospective.  Now, often that is not easy to do and I don’t mean to sound trite.  For me, depression is a daily struggle.  Sometimes I walk in victory, sometimes I don’t.  It is a daily struggle.

Physical depression is often referred to as “Mental Illness.”  Lest you think I have started from a preconceived position, let me explain that for years I refused to believe that people were “Mentally ill.”  I have read several books condemning the thought that someone could be mentally ill.  I could argue with the best of them.  However, physical depression is very real.  It has it source in a chemical imbalance in the brain that alters thinking patterns.  So, this physical illness affects the way we think.  In some it has led to harming themselves, even to the point of suicide.  Now I recognize that there are some who use the term “mental illness” as an excuse.  But isn’t that true of most things in life?  There are always those who use the legitimate legitimately.  But that does not discount the fact there are those who genuinely suffer from depression.

As a pastor I continued to suffer from guilt and shame about my depression until I read “Lectures to My Students,” by Charles Spurgeon.  Spurgeon is referred to often as, “The Prince of Preachers.”  God used him mightily during the 19th century to lead thousands to faith in Christ.  His influence continues to grow as newer generations of pastors read his sermons and writings.  Yet, this man used of God, suffered from debilitating depression.  In chapter 9 of his book we read, “Knowing by most painful experience what deep depression of spirit means, being visited therewith at seasons by no means few or far between, I thought it might be consolatory to some of my brethren if I gave my thoughts thereon, that younger men might not fancy that some strange thing had happened to them when they became for a season possessed by melancholy; and that sadder men might know that one upon whom the sun has shone right joyously did not always walk in the light.”  Spurgeon continues, “Excess of joy or excitement must be paid for by subsequent depressions.  While the trial lasts, the strength is equal to the emergency;  but when it is over, natural weakness claims the right to show itself.  Secretly sustained, Jacob can wrestle all night, but he must limp in the morning when the contest is over, lest he boast himself beyond measure.  Paul may be caught up to the third heaven, and hear unspeakable things, but a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet him, must be the inevitable sequel.”  (I could go on, but I would suggest that you read his book).  Having read this, a refreshing came over me.  I realized that if one such as Charles Spurgeon could suffer from depression and be used of God as he was, then perhaps there was hope for me.

Why is that that men (pastors) do not acknowledge their depression?  The simple answer is pride.  We want to be seen as having arrived, when in reality we are still a work in progress.  Instead of acknowledging it as Spurgeon did so that others may benefit, we hide it away.  And others see this pretense and suffer in silence.

Now there are always Job’s comforters, as I said earlier.  These are the “super-spiritual” who have all the answers, who are above the rest of us and are too busy trying to get the speck out of our eye to see the beam in their own.  Ignorance does not stop them from offering their opinion.  I once heard a man say to another, “I’m glad to see that your opinion on the subject is not prejudiced by any knowledge thereof.”  They leave a trial of blood wherever they go, condemning others for not being as “spiritual” as them.  Often I have had to clean up after them and it is never pretty.

Depression is very real.  I have suffered for years.  My daughter has been diagnosed bi-polar and I have witnessed her suffer with depression first hand.  I had a book in my personal library for a long time with the title, “Why am I afraid to tell you who I really am?”  The answer was, because I am afraid you will think less of me.  And sadly, that is often the case.  We condemn what we fear; we judge what we do not know; and so, many continue to suffer in silence.

I have hope that someday God will heal me.  I have prayed and until He does, His grace is sufficient for me.  And if you think less of me because I suffer from depression, that’s okay.  I’m not your judge and I don’t wish to argue with you.

A Hero’s Best Friend: Dogs Help Wounded Warriors Recover

Taken from  WTOP   which is located   HERE.

Throughout centuries of war, dogs have been by service members’ sides, whether they’re helping save lives in the battlefield or helping them heal.

And helping to heal is exactly what man’s best friend is doing in the D.C. area.

Since 1999, dogs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center — and now at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir and Fort Meade — have helped hundreds of wounded warriors in countless ways, and they continue to do so.

The U.S. Army program is unique. Wounded warriors receive help while they work to train dogs who will one day be full-service mobility dogs for other wounded veterans.

The dogs in training learn over 60 tasks, and when they are 2 years old, they pair up with a wounded veteran to assist in daily life activities.

Wounded soldiers are selected to work in the U.S. Army’s Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) Service Dog Training Program under the Northern Regional Medical Command during their recovery from catastrophic injuries, such as the loss of a limb.

“The dogs do have a fantastic way of being able to be a physical and emotional support for the soldiers,” says Maeve Carey, an occupational therapist and rehabilitation manager at the WTB at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Carey says the program helps soldiers overcome certain anxieties. It also helps them integrate into the community again.

“There’s a whole kind of array of benefits that come with the program,” Carey says.

The Army says the program has reduced anxiety, frustration, stress and anger in the soldiers who take part in the program. It also helps to improve their communication skills and sleep patterns, and even reduces their use of medication.

Carey has seen shy and reclusive soldiers come out of their shells during the training with the dogs.

“Dogs do not let you get away with anything, so if you’re on the periphery they’re going to come engage with you and kind of force that interaction upon you. And seeing the transformation of a soldier remain on a periphery to leading the group is just is more than heart-warming — it’s really inspiring,” she says.

The Soldiers

Sgt. Cory Doane, Sgt. Rex Tharp and Army Specialist Seth Pack, all with the 10th Mountain Division, out of Ft. Drum, N.Y., are in the WTB Service Dog Training Program.

Doane served in Afghanistan in 2011 when he was just 20 years old.

“In the Army, you’re always told that you’re invincible and when you find out you’re not invincible, it kind of takes you back a bit,” Doane says.

He quickly learned he is not invincible.

“I was walking along one day on a mission, and I saw it and turned around to tell my buddies to get back,” Doane says.

But it was too late.

It was an improvised explosive device (IED), and Doane was thrust to the ground by the blast. As a result, he lost his leg below the knee.

Along with the loss of his leg, Doane’s femur was fractured in six different places. He has 14 screws and a metal plate holding it all together. He says he couldn’t walk for about five months until he received his prosthetic leg.

“Not long after I got injured, I was in recovery stage, not doing a whole lot, and they wanted me out of my room so they told me I needed to do something. I was told my options and the dog program kind of interested me,” says Doane, explaining how he became involved in the WTB program.

Since the beginning of his involvement, there’s been no looking back.

“It’s helped me a lot because it got me out of my room and it got me to do something productive,” he says, adding that the recovery process is incredibly complex and life-changing.

“After you’re injured, it’s more than losing a leg or getting shot. You kind of lose like your perspective on life and then you kind of have to rebuild that, and I think this program was definitely helping me to kind of get out there and kind of rebuild who I was again.”

Sgt. Rex Tharp, 21, had a similar experience in Afghanistan.

“We were on a foot patrol and we had stopped. I actually took a knee on mine (IED) and once I got hit, it was several seconds later that my team leader actually stepped on another one coming to my aid,” Tharp says.

In the blast, he lost his right leg above the knee and muscle tissue in his left leg. He’s lost count, but says he’s had at least 10 surgeries on both legs.

Tharp has been in the WTB Service Dog Training Program for about eight months. He says he’s learned a lot about himself, and the dogs have helped him come out of his shell.

“They’ve taught me to be a lot more social, actually. You kind of get out of that hiding from people, you know, not wanting to talk to people and stuff like that, but they (dogs) kind of force you into it,” he explains.

Army Specialist Seth Pack joined the program after his injury that occurred in Afghanistan in the summer of 2011. He stepped on an IED pressure plate and lost his left leg below the knee, resulting in multiple fractures in his right leg and a pelvic fracture.

He says the program has helped him both physically and mentally.

“Just like these other guys will tell you, you’re secluded in your room a lot (after an injury),” says Pack, who adds that the program has made him a lot more social and that he’s made good friends with the other soldiers in the group.

“When I started, I was really unsure about it, I was really nervous about doing anything,” Pack says.

However, a few months after he began the program, he grew into it. Pack says it’s also rewarding knowing that the dogs he’s working with each day will one day help another wounded veteran, like him.

“That’s definitely something I think about all the time, is it’s actually something productive and helpful that I’m doing: helping these dogs who, in turn, will help somebody else down the line,” Pack says.

The Dogs

There are currently five dogs in the WTB Service Dog Training Program, including two lead service dogs — Justin, 7 years old, and Irvine, 8. Three other dogs who are also part of the group are training to become full-service mobility dogs, including Penny, Indy and Sam.

Penny is an exuberant 10-month-old golden retriever. She’s the “baby” of the group and has a lot of spunk, energy and likeability. She’s training with a pair of very smart black Labrador brothers, Indy and Sam, who are about 16 months old. The trainers joke that they are constantly competing against one another to succeed in the program.

All the dogs who enter the program are bred by a single owner. Since the standard is very high, some dogs may not make it through the 18-month program. The dogs must lack any anxiety-type issues, be non-aggressive and fight the urge to bark.

“The level of demand on these dogs is high, and the level of demand on the soldiers that train is very high, and I think that kind of breeds and cycles a level of responsibility and accountability in this program,” says Carey, the program’s rehabilitation manager.

That doesn’t mean there is no room for mistakes along the way.

“The dogs are still young and definitely hitting that point in their maturity where they test limits, get excited and have a mind of their own sometimes, but they’re definitely steady trainers and on the path of success,” Carey says.

Irvine and Justin are calm and obdedient golden retrievers. They teach the younger dogs the ropes.

“The lead trainers and the lead service dogs will go first, demonstrating new commands, new routines and new tasks so the other dogs who are learning get to learn observationally and see the dogs being successful,” Carey says.

The Training

There are three main service dog training instructors in the program: Carolyn Ford, Ann Spader and Heidi Bonorato, the lead trainer. These instructors work with the dogs each day on a variety of skills, mainly out of Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir.

Ford, Spader and Bonorato practice with the dogs using toys to simulate tasks, such as pulling open the refrigerator, pushing elevator buttons, bracing a soldier up and down the stairs, retrieving dropped items, opening up cabinets and pulling wheelchairs.

The lead service dog and trainer usually go first to demonstrate a skill to the younger dogs.

“The other dogs are actually watching very intently, watching what the lead trainers will do … and get excited … and when it comes their turn, they’re almost bubbling over in excitement to be able to try something that the other dogs were successful in doing,” Carey says.

The lead trainer also engages the soldiers training with the dogs on a regular basis. A key part of the training is allowing the soldiers to make decisions on which dog should go next strategically. This forces the soldiers to engage in the training and helps improve their social skills.

Commands to the dogs are kept short.

“Look, get it, bring it here, give,” is one of the series of commands taught at a lesson. It teaches the dogs to get and retrieve an item.

The dogs don’t always want to give up the toy, but it’s imperative they bring the item directly to the trainer since in the real world, the wounded veteran may not have the ability to reach for an item.

The dogs get and retrieve an item from on top of a table, then do the same underneath the table. They are then commanded to pull a dog toy that one of the trainers is holding. This simulates the motion of pulling open a fridge or a cabinet.

Then the dogs approach a trainer holding what looks like a big, round button, and are told to “touch” it with their noses. This simulates touching an elevator button. At the same time, they are tempted by the trainer holding the tug toy in their other hand. They must have the discipline to leave the dangling toy alone.

The trainers don’t give up easily. They work with each dog until every task is achieved. There is no shortage of patience and in the end, praise.

At the end of the training, the dogs are commanded to a “down” position. Trainers then tempt them with squeak toys and treats, and the dogs must remain in the down position.

Even though Penny’s ears are on full alert and some of the dogs look interested and tempted, the dogs remain in the down position.

The End Result

The dogs are in this rigorous training program until they are 2 years old. If they succeed, they will be paired with a wounded veteran somewhere in the U.S.

Dogs that don’t quite meet all of the requirements to become a full-service mobility dog may become therapy dogs. It will be their job to cheer up wounded warriors inside the local hospitals.

Since 1999, more than 500 wounded, ill and injured service members have participated and contributed to training the dogs.

“Emotionally, it’s just something to do that makes you feel good,” says Pack. “It’s always great to be around the dogs, it brings a certain joy to you every day.”

Watch two videos of the WTB service dogs train at Walter Reed.

Pediatricians Warned Children Of Military Personnel Face Mental Health Risks


Taken from CBS News  which is located    HERE.

Children of military personnel may be at an increased risk for social, emotional and behavioral problems, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Published May 27, Memorial Day, in the academy’s journal Pediatrics, the new clinical report aims to raise awareness among pediatricians for the mental health needs for military children.

Authored by Dr. Ben S. Siegel and Dr. Beth Ellen Davis, who serve as members on the Committee On Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health and Section on Uniformed Services, the report points out about 60 percent of U.S. service members have families while about 2.3 million military members have been deployed since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq about a decade ago.

“In the past 10 years, more than 2 million children in the U.S. have experienced the emotional and stressful event of being separated from a loved one deployed for active duty,” Davis said in a statement. “Most children cope and adapt quite well, but all children experience a heightened sense of fear and worry during a parent’s deployment. It’s important for pediatricians caring for these families to be aware of their family’s situation so they can guide them appropriately.”

To children, wartime deployment is a period that may signal separation from a loved one, an increased sense of danger and daily uncertainty, according to the authors.

Studies they reviewed showed that one in four children of active-duty service members experience symptoms of depression, one in two report trouble sleeping and about one in three children of active-duty military personnel experience excessive worrying.

The mental health effects appear to span all ages. Children and adolescents between ages 5 and 17 were at a higher risk for emotional and behavioral problems, with emotional issues being linked to longer parental deployments, the report showed. Preschool-aged kids meanwhile showed high levels of emotional reactivity, anxiety and withdrawal compared to kids of parents who have not been deployed.

Tours of duty might last up to 18 months, and parents can be deployed multiple times. This can add stress to the remaining parent or caregiver who stays at home, which too can affect a child’s mental health and well-being.

Some service members could return with a traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to the authors, and spouses and their children can also be affected by these changes.

The report’s authors are calling on pediatricians to be prepared to meaningfully address any wartime deployment issues.

“Asking ‘How are you doing with this deployment?’ may be the single most important family assessment question,” they wrote to pediatricians. The authors added that after childbirth especially is a time of heightened risk for depression among partners of deployed service members, and additional probing might be warranted.

“By understanding the military family and the stressful experiences of parental wartime deployment, all pediatricians, both active duty and civilian, and other health care providers, can be the ‘front line’ in caring for U.S. military children and their families,” Siege said in a statement. “Pediatricians play a critical role in identifying how well or poorly a child or family responds to a major stressor such as an extended deployment, and can provide the necessary education and support, including referral to a mental health professional when needed.”

Prayer Requests & Praise Reports: May 26th, 2013

Ephesians 3:14  For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father,
Ephesians 3:15  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
Ephesians 3:16  that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man;
Ephesians 3:17  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Ephesians 3:18  may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Ephesians 3:19  and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God.
Ephesians 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Ephesians 3:21  unto him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen.

Allan–  Jan’s surgery was again delayed due to an infection. She will be having her surgery this coming Tuesday, may 28th.

Allan–  A friend lost her husband a year ago. This not too long after she had a leg amputated. She has now moved out of state to be close to her daughters. She has lost 37 pounds and is battling deep depression. Her name is Jan.  Jan will be having a second bypass on her good leg due to circulation issues. In preparing for her surgery they found she has had a silent heart attack. Her surgery is in about a week.

Prayer Requests

lensgirl53– Please pray for Mariah, my granddaughter, who at the age of 11 yrs. has separation anxiety from her mother every single time they are apart. She is at a youth retreat…her very first time being away from our family and already they have called saying that she is very upset and wants her mother. Her mother (our daughter) has taken her to see a counselor for this….we believe it has a lot to do with what our family has suffered because of the passing of our son. Please pray for peace in Mariah’s heart and mind and that this youth retreat will be an uplifting spiritual experience instead of being remembered as a time of separation and anxiety. Thank you.

Allan–  Please pray for Owen who recently had open heart surgery.  He was taken back to the ER  as his heart was out of rhythm and it has been fixed.

lensgirl53–  Please pray for my daughter Vanessa who suffers from Misophonia (hearing sensitivity which causes rage and depression) and Borderline Personality Disorder. She has lost so much because of this…jobs, relationships….etc….we are at an all time low over this on top of losing our son to suicide. Thank you so much. God bless you.

Allan–  My cousin DeAnna is recovering from a double mastectomy. Please pray there will be no complications as she goes through treatments  and the cancer will be gone.

Allan–  I just received word that an old friend who helped me so much in my early years as a believer tried to commit suicide. Finances and health issues have been and are overwhelming. Please pray that Dick would regain hope and that God would move mightily in his life.