Kicked to the Curb by Susan Lockwood Roberts Relaunch

In 2018, a wonderful thing happened that almost slid under the radar. Susan's book, Kicked to the Curb was released. But we were in no position for a party. Susan was at St. Vincent's hospital with countless leads going to her brain. She had been having seizures and they were trying to determine a cause. I tried to celebrate this momentous occasion with her and carry out a modest campaign with the help of her publisher Paper Raven Books, but things were more than a little subdued. Fast forward three years, much has happened. We got engaged, married, and bought our first (hopefully) forever home. Professionally, Susan contracted with American Prison Data Systems (APDS) as Director of Education, she is a court appointed expert consultant for a case involving the provision of Special Education services to individuals incarcerated in the New Jersey Department of Correction, she just completed a two-year term [...]

Kicked to the Curb by Susan Lockwood Roberts Relaunch2021-09-26T21:48:32-04:00

Faith Grows in Community by Lisa Jamieson

My growing up could read like a mashup novel from National Geographic, Little House on the Prairie and Epicurious magazine. Before kindergarten, I was riding my bike to a Minneapolis candy store several blocks from home. Later, I ice skated to elementary school on the James River in North Dakota. By the time I was 9 years old, we had moved to Canada where I was collecting sap from maple trees every spring, catching smelt in Thirty Mile Creek, building blanket forts surrounded by peach and cherry orchards in the summer, swimming to a rocky pier off the southern shore of Lake Ontario and stomping Niagara grapes with the neighbors every fall.   Woven between the lines of that idyllic childhood were some dark days too. I carried the grief of good-byes and struggled to make friends.    Attending weekly church developed my sense of God’s presence but I perceived him to be [...]

Faith Grows in Community by Lisa Jamieson2021-05-21T05:37:00-04:00

Book Launch: Disability and the Church by Lamar Hardwick

    Lamar Hardwick was thirty-six years old when he found out he was on the autism spectrum. While this revelation helped him understand and process his own experience, it also prompted a difficult re-evaluation of who he was as a person. And as a pastor, it started him on a new path of considering the way disabled people are treated in the church. Disability and the Church is a practical and theological reconsideration of the church's responsibilities to the disabled community. Too often disabled persons are pushed away from the church or made to feel unwelcome in any number of ways. As Hardwick writes, "This should not be." He insists that the good news of Jesus affirms God's image in all people, and he offers practical steps and strategies to build stronger, truly inclusive communities of faith. Editorial Reviews Review "In a time when first-person disability narratives remain hard to come by, Disability [...]

Book Launch: Disability and the Church by Lamar Hardwick2021-04-21T19:03:00-04:00

The Pursuit of Happiness — Monica’s Call, chapter two

Suddenly, the phone rang. Had he been sleeping? “Hello?” “Dad, this is Monica. Are you okay?” “Yes. I’m fine. Why do you ask?” “Dad! Of course you’re not fine. Mom has just left you! But it’s going to be okay. You’re going to make it through this. Just have faith. One step at a time.” He tried to think of a response. His mind was blank. “Can I help you with something?” “Dad! I’m the one who should be helping you. Listen, I’m picking Philip up from soccer at noon. We’ll come right over and I’ll bring you back to our place. You’ll stay with us for a while, at least until we get this sorted out.” “Thank you, Monica. But, I really don’t think that’s necessary.” “Dad! You’ve been together for over 40 years. Do you even know where the can opener is?” He thought about it for a [...]

The Pursuit of Happiness — Monica’s Call, chapter two2021-04-14T16:22:06-04:00

Two Books to Get, that Get It: Companions in the Darkness & Unravel.

Read, read, read. Read everything -- trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window. ― William Faulkner One of the perks of being a writer is fellow authors send me their books. This week I've been blessed to read two books that have helped me expand my literary companionships. Diana Gruver and Greg Ralls "get" the experience of living with mental health challenges and their stories depict this so well.   Companions in the Darkness: Seven Saints Who Struggled with Depression and Doubt by Diana Gruver, Chuck DeGroat (Foreword) The church's relationship with depression has been fraught: for centuries, depression was assumed to be evidence of personal sin or even demonic influence. The depressed [...]

Two Books to Get, that Get It: Companions in the Darkness & Unravel.2021-02-24T19:28:00-05:00

When 100% is 100% Too Much, Less Becomes Much Better

It's been two weeks now since I returned home from an inpatient stay at the local psychiatric hospital. I can't say I feel 100%, but my improvement is really quite remarkable. In fact, it may be best that I'm not 100% the way I was before going in because that 100% was about 100% too much. I wasn't living well within my limits. I was trying to be everyone for everybody, including myself. In one 15 day stretch, I slept a total of 30 hours. Thank God I had so many people praying for me and ready to intervene when I was willing to ask for help. Being on a psych unit at any time can be a bit unnerving. Being on one during a pandemic is downright frightening. At least it was for me. But the staff did a tremendous job allaying my fears. More than anything, they modeled [...]

When 100% is 100% Too Much, Less Becomes Much Better2021-02-18T20:22:21-05:00

Hear the Good News: When Despair Meets Delight Audiobook Launches Ash Wednesday

Most pastors would be shocked to know how many people in their church family live with or are directly impacted by mental illness. Stigma continues to keep mental illness silent in the church. Parents who sit in church pews week after week feel completely alone in bearing the pain of their son’s or daughter’s mental illness because they are embarrassed or afraid to say anything. The person sitting next to them may be carrying the same burden but who would know. And they will continue to carry these burdens alone until the church is willing to talk about it. -- Mark Teike, Pastor; St. Peter's Lutheran LCMS (Columbus, IN), from the Foreword of When Despair Meets Delight. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent. This year it lands on February 17 -- this week! Lent is a season to take spiritual inventory of our relationship with God, others, and self. [...]

Hear the Good News: When Despair Meets Delight Audiobook Launches Ash Wednesday2021-02-16T17:17:32-05:00

Rooted in Scripture: The Intersection Bible Study Method by Paul Dazet

Paul Dazet is Senior Pastor of Sandy Hook United Methodist Church in Columbus, Indiana. Paul has a Bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Cincinnati, a Master’s degree in ministry from Golden State School of Theology, and is ordained in the Church of the Nazarene. Paul and his wife Stacy have been married since 1992 and have three children: Rebecca (and Jacob), Jake, and Micah. Paul loves coffee, books, and conversations. This past year was crazy for everyone.  For my family, we are dealing with the loss of our first grandchild, God calling us to a new church in a new denomination in a new city, and now we are providing care for a close family member who is in a fight against cancer.  And personally, I struggle with depression and anxiety.  It was 2020, enough said.  I’m sure you have your own stories of suffering and hardship during [...]

Rooted in Scripture: The Intersection Bible Study Method by Paul Dazet2021-02-09T13:33:43-05:00

Anxiety and Love by Anais Nin

“Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” ― Anaïs Nin; The Diary of Anais Nin vol. 4 (1944–7).

Anxiety and Love by Anais Nin2021-01-16T09:39:39-05:00
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