What I’m Thankful For: My Cross by Alisha Wolpert

When thinking about what I have the most gratitude for in my life, my cross immediately came to mind. By picking up my cross each day, I draw closer to my Creator, I learn to grow and be more like my Savior, and gain trust and reliance on the Holy Spirit. I have the choice and free will, gifted to me by God, to either take up my cross and offer my day to Him or I can try to make a go of my day on my own. The days I choose God are always on a different level and trajectory than the days when I rely on me and my own strength. I'm full of gratitude for having a cross to bear, because it shows me that God is still at work in my life and is standing beside me each step of the way. If I feel [...]

What I’m Thankful For: My Cross by Alisha Wolpert2024-06-18T14:27:00-04:00

The Thanksgiving Project: Family by Moriah Couch

Many moons ago, I (Tony) asked readers to submit brief devotions of what they were most thankful for. Life sent me many distractions that turned out to be blessings. One thing I am grateful for is I saved submissions and can publish them now. Like this one from Moriah Couch — There are many things in this life that I am grateful for, but the thing I am most grateful for is my family. My husband and my children. Growing up all I ever wanted was a family of my own someday. A caring spouse, beautiful children, and a home that overflows with love. Both my husband and myself come from broken homes and we vowed to never put our own children through that pain. I'm thankful God gave me a husband who felt the same way I did in that regard. I'm thankful for our relationship. For his love [...]

The Thanksgiving Project: Family by Moriah Couch2024-06-18T14:27:00-04:00

My Biggest Thanks is Grace by Ray Lehman

My biggest thanks is the Grace that God provides. This Grace can only be given as a gift and it is undeserving. If I were to be aware of the awesomeness of God but had no Grace that was available to me, I would go mad, or more mad than I already am, as I have been diagnosed with schizoaffective type bipolar disorder. Jesus provided a way where there was no way. God had showed us that blood must be shed for the forgiveness of our sins. All the way back to Cain and Abel and the sacrifices they provided to God. Jesus was the Lamb of God to be the final and ultimate sacrifice for the sins of those that would believe and receive His gift of ultimate redemption with the Father and indwelling of Their Spirit, the Holy Spirit. We see with Abraham and Isaac the story being [...]

My Biggest Thanks is Grace by Ray Lehman2024-06-18T14:27:00-04:00

A Glass Half-Full/Half-Empty: An Interview with Laura Riordan

Laura Riordan is a Business Development Manager for a successful, renowned IT staffing and consulting firm and lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her significant other and biggest supporter, Chris, and their blended family of 5 kids - and a dog! Laura has faced the battles of bipolar since early childhood and was diagnosed in college after her first full blown mania. She loves being a mental health advocate and sharing her story with those suffering with mental health challenges to remind them that they are NOT alone. She has facilitated meetings and participated on the board of a local DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) peer led support group for 20 years. Laura’s blog is https://tamingthebipolarbeast.com and you can find more of her work athttps://oc87recoverydiaries.org/bipolar-support-groups/ and https://betterbecausecollective.org/stories/ After years of listening and learning from others in support groups, Laura developed an analogy for bipolar and depression based on the cliched "You [...]

A Glass Half-Full/Half-Empty: An Interview with Laura Riordan2024-06-18T14:27:00-04:00

When God Sends a Cardinal by Helen Sarver

There is an old folklore saying that, “When God sends a cardinal, it’s a visitor from heaven.” My mother was a collector of cardinal figurines and placed them in pairs throughout the house. For the most part, I paid little credence to her red-feathered friends until after her death in 1999. A week following her service, I was walking from the mailbox and a female cardinal landed on the front porch. She began chirping wildly, as if she was saying, “Good morning, Helen!” Another amazing appearance of my “cardinal family” happened in March of 2001, two months after my father passed away. My sister and I were in Florida facing the task of taking care of our parents’ house. I stayed at the house alone the final two days. As I left their house that final time, two cardinals were perched on the front porch railing. My eyes filled with [...]

When God Sends a Cardinal by Helen Sarver2024-06-18T14:27:00-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Tribute to James Mark Rippee from his “Twisted” Twin Sisters

As an American Curbside Caregiver and SMI/SBD Advocate Linda Rippee Privatte supports her disabled blind brother with a serious brain disorder who has gone untreated for 34 years.  Since then, he has been homeless for 14 years.  She is one of two twin sisters who advocates for change in the United States, also known as 'Twin Tag Team' and more recently as Twisted Sisters Advocacy & Activism for Serious Brain Disorders. They each do things the other cannot.  Her twin, Catherine, is skilled at social media awareness, advocacy, and education, but Linda is the last family member capable of reaching Mark on the streets and providing him with the necessities of life.   To my younger and only brother, Mark; I grew up believing that love could fix anything…that love conquers all. That love would carry us through any situation.  I believed that family never gives up on family.  I [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Tribute to James Mark Rippee from his “Twisted” Twin Sisters2024-06-18T14:27:26-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Ripples, Waves, and Heroic Measures

Diane has been a pioneer in sharing her story publicly to a wide variety of audiences including health professionals, students, city councils, church members peers and law enforcement since 2013. "In Sickness and in Mental Health" was one of a handful of biographies on bipolar disorder and is now on the top 100 Bipolar Books on BookAuthority.com. This is her letter to her husband and life partner Greg.     Lover, our life together has been like no other and we went through fires before we even met. We have had many challenges, yet so many victories and blessings along the way.  I thought that I finally had a grasp on our mental health conditions back in 2013 since it took me seven years of observing our recovery road to write our story In Sickness and in Mental Health: Living with and Loving Someone with Mental Illness. Since then, there [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Ripples, Waves, and Heroic Measures2024-06-18T14:27:26-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom

Jonna Terhune is a social worker living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She writes, "... [my diagnosis] does not define me.  By the grace of God, I am still alive and blessed to have the support of my best friend/mother.  I know this letter cannot show the extent of sacrifice and love that my mother has given to help me live but I do hope that it gives a glimpse into our experience.  I pray that one day I can give back as well as pay it forward.  Thank you for spending a few moments to read my letter to my mom."   To my best friend, I call you mom, I never thought I would make it this far.  You stood by me through all the sleepless nights, not just as an infant but as a teenager and adult when mania engulfed me or depression strangled my heart [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom2022-04-13T14:32:55-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To My Dearest Ann from Your Honey Bunches of Oats

Kwee Ann Yap was born on March 31, 1963, in Selangor, Malaysia.  She is the youngest of 3 siblings.  Growing up, Ann was not keen on socializing, she mostly kept to herself to avoid any kind of social activity.  She loved reading and spending time with her family.   Steve was born Steven Nonaka on August 25, 1949, in a Sugar Plantation Hospital in Waipahu, Hawaii.  He is the oldest of 4 children, a brother and two sisters.  His stepfather adopted him and his younger sister, changing their last name to Fukunaga.  The family moved several times before finally settling in at Pauoa Valley located in Honolulu, Hawaii.   In late 1997 Steve decided to explore a forum for pen pals, and it was there he found Ann’s bio and started to correspond with her.  Steve felt Ann was a good and loving person in working with children with developmental disabilities.  They [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To My Dearest Ann from Your Honey Bunches of Oats2022-04-02T15:37:20-04:00
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