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Obstacles to Healing

Text: Luke 10:25-37 Often when I re-visit a familiar biblical story, something new emerges. Sometimes that new thing is a simple truth, other times it’s a detail that I simply overlooked as if it wasn’t important. This happened when I re-read the story that Jesus told to explain to a lawyer exactly what a “neighbor”…

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Skills for Making Life Less Difficult

Dialectical Behavior Therapy – what in the world is that? DBT, as we call it, is a cognitive behavioral therapy developed by psychologist Dr. Marsha Linehan in the late 1980s. Originally designed to treat people who struggle with chronic thoughts of suicide and self-harm, it has now become the premier evidenced-based treatment for addressing these…

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Guilt & Shame: How you can break through the toxicity and find freedom

I have the privilege of working in a treatment center with young people who have mental illness and to hear their stories. Many of them have a history of traumatic experiences or other difficult situations that cause them to doubt themselves or others. Most of these young people have parents or guardians in their lives…

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Don’t Be Afraid

When our family lived in Kansas City, my mother once asked me, “Aren’t you afraid?” Her farm seemed so different than our busy inner-city street. “It’s just so noisy. How can you sleep?” And I had to think in my mind, “How do you sleep, Mother, in the absolute silence of a star-lit country night?”…

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Honoring Hoarding Disorder

It wasn’t a fire, actually. The newspapers, stacked tightly, had been shoved against a floor furnace. They didn’t burn; they smoldered. Cause of death: smoke inhalation. This shouldn’t have happened. Friends and family had loved the dear woman who suffered. Many knew of her hoarding but didn’t know what to say or how to help.…

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Water of Life: Genesis 1 and 2

Story 1:  We traveled nearly 2000 miles in early May, from Kansas to Illinois, to Indiana, to Ohio, and back again.  It was 10 days of thunderstorms, showers, blustery wind, cloudiness, and driving in windshield wiper mania! Everywhere we went, the creeks and rivers were swollen, puddles filled every rut, and we shivered with temperatures…

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Waking Up To Life

If You Are An Attempt Survivor For every one person that dies by suicide, 280 people think seriously about suicide but do not die. Recovery is possible, but it will take time to heal both physically and emotionally. Follow these recommendations from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Find an activity you enjoy. Self-care is important…

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Understanding the Warning Signs of Suicide

While suicide may be uncomfortable to discuss, recent information disclosed by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) makes it evident that there needs to be ongoing and increased dialogue about suicide. In June 2018, the CDC released findings that showed that the overall rate of suicide in the United States increased 25.4 percent…

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A Fish Story: Revisiting the Book of Jonah

Late in May this year, I was teaching Vacation Bible School at our congregation to fifth and sixth graders.  All 11 were typical squirmy, spontaneous, goofy, yet endearing students whose energy was ever present. One of the week’s lessons was the book of Jonah where we correctly discerned there was no whale, just a “great…

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Mental Health Needs Medicaid Expansion in Kansas

The people of Kansas need Medicaid Expansion to increase access to care to mental health or substance use treatment.  Not only for economic development; not only for delaying inevitable closures or consolidations of health care organizations like community mental health centers or hospitals; and not only for the purpose of becoming part of the large…

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