Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Wish

The Holidays bring much joy to many- spending time with family, friends, exchanging gifts, and festive get-togethers. But for many, the holidays bring reminders of tragedy, depression, and anxiety.
We at Cross Connection Ministries and on behalf of our founded Linda M. Brown, we want each and every one of you to remember that Jesus truly is the reason for this season.

 
 
"For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder:
and His name shall be called:
Wonderful,
Counselor,
The Mighty God,
The Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)
 
 
 
You are not alone. Jesus came so that we may have peace that surpasses all of our understanding. I should know. I was diagnosed with depression and given many types of medication. Today, I am medication free because of the I AM - Jesus the Christ. There is healing for whatever you are dealing with and it's in Jesus.
 
 
 
 
We are praying for you. Need someone to speak to? Email us today. Someone will contact you.
 
 
"Beloved, I wish above all things that you prosper and be in (good) health
even as your soul prospers." (3 John 2)
 


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It would really be nice if I could get to you more than just once a month. But here I am on the cusp of Thanksgiving. It's 2:00 a.m. and I'm listening to Pandora Radio and reflecting on "Things I'm Thankful For". This is something my family discusses every Thanksgiving just before we eat our formal dinner. This year there will not be the formal dinner, but there will be a time of reflection on our attitude of gratitude.

As I reflect I think of the many changes my life has recently encountered: a new job, going back into counseling (as the patient), a blossoming relationship, and a new ministry starting in December. My new job was one I didn't think I would get. What is it? I'm working as an office manager (leader) for a company. I actually turned down a position at a college and two days later I was offered this position. Amazing!

I've noticed my grand children growing and maturing, even as they struggle to find their own way at ages 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8. They're testing boundaries, understanding consequences and rewards, and responsibility. Yes, I'm very thankful. Just living life is enough to have an attitude of gratitude.

So, as I conclude this post my prayer is that you too will be able to look and realize just how special and valuable your life is. And just in case I haven't told you... I appreciate you. Yes, you! You are important to me and I realize your time is valuable. Thank you for sharing this time with me. Thank you for the feed backs and the words of encouragement. You're awesome!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Below is something humorous shared by a pastoral friend through his weekly Monday Morning Mailer newsletter. It made me chuckle, hopefully it will do the same for you. ~Blessings~ 

PLACES I HAVE AND HAVE NOT BEEN

o     I was in Credulous when I got this. I know it is hard to believe.
o     I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
o     I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
o     I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.
o     I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.
o     I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.
o     I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.
o     Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.
o     One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!
o     And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not!
o     I have been in Deep Doo Doo many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A New Day

I made a big step in my life recently. I sought out a new MH practitioner. Yea me! I've made it up in my mind that I desire more in my life and that I'm willing to make whatever changes needed. But there was one thing: the current counselor was good, but not the best for me. After some prayer and supplication (with thanksgiving) I met a Christian psychotherapist. Wow, that sounds like an oxymoron!

My first session was last week and the first thing during my assessment was one word ... BOUNDARIES. It was suggested that I journal on a more regular basis ... ok, daily. (LOL) So, from time to time I will post my learning experience here. Since today is the first day I want to invite you into my world. This is going to be challenging, liberating and oh so healing. Hopefully as I share my experience(s) you too will learn new things about how to handle things effectively.

One of the things I've been assigned is to chose one Realistic Self-talk a day and focus on it. Today's Realistic Self-Talk is:
 I cannot control the behaviors of others, I can only control my own behaviors.

That's something to think about isn't it? Not only do we not have control we don't even have to take responsibility for their actions. This is all a part of understanding our boundaries. Now you've noticed that I didn't place the definition of boundaries here. This is where your homework begins. Look it up for yourself. Study the definition and begin to ask God to show you where you are overstepping or allowing others to overstep your boundaries.

Be blessed.

Scripture reading for today: Exodus 18:13-24

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Reflection

Originally written August 9, 2011
 
It's 4:45 a.m. and I want to share this personal reflection time with you.  Hopefully you will gather nuggets that will help you on your road to healing and deliverance. Here's one example of my journey:

I recently experienced a financial hardship that I never thought I would find myself in again. Now, you know it is said, "Never say, 'Never'" Well, I did. And because I said this when the situation hit I was devastated. How could I have allowed this to happen ... AGAIN? Frustration, anxiety, and guilt made my heart heavy and troubled my mind. I was consumed. Not only would this effect me, but it will effect everyone in my household. OMG! As I finally got to a point to where I could sincerely pray, the Holy Spirit quickly but softly spoke to me, "Not again." Of course I froze. I'm rarely cut off in the midst of my prayer, especially in the beginning. But He shut me down with a quickness. 
Why would He do that? I was about to confess and just pour my heart out! Actually what I was about to do was relive my past as if it was a movie in HD, as if God needed a reminder of how I got there and why. Guilt, fear, anxiety had quickly become a force in my heart and mind. These things cannot be present when you are in need of answers and need to make decisions. You will find yourself, as I did, acting in desperation and not faith. Even my prayer was that of desperation. So, He had to shut that down in order to deal with me, my issue, and bring healing. Oh, and just a side note, it didn't happen all at once.

UPDATE: I'm out! Not only did God bless me to come out of Egypt, He gave me what I needed to sustain my family and take care of the need. In addition, He gave me a job (full time); something I was doubtful that I could get let alone handle. When you begin to sit at the feet of the Wonderful Counselor and hear what the Spirit is saying to you, and be obedient, He truly leads in the path of righteousness for His name sake.

I start my training tomorrow. So, if you're looking for a job or way of escape from your situation please settle your mind and spirit, thank God for the answer, and believe that you will receive it ... even when you don't understand the particulars. Hey, that's when you really know that God is in it. Watch God move in you and your situation.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What do you do...

...when things don't look like they're coming together? For many of us the first reaction is disgust, fear, anxiety, etc. Some of us even fall into various states of depression. It's something that people deal with on a regular basis. We are forever gauging ourselves by others(their thoughts about us, their ideas, and even their accomplishments). One thing that I have to remind myself about is that I'm not them.

So, what do you do when things don't go just right?

  • Step back from the situation
  • Breathe deeply
  • Examine your expectations, that is, what you are expecting as an outcome
  • Examine your intent, that is, why are you doing whatever you are doing
  • Detach from the outcome
  • Call on God for strength, support and guidance
  • Remind yourself of everything you can be grateful about
Here are a few other things I personally find helpful
  • Find someone to talk to - it's ok to vent. And if you don't have someone you can confide in then ...
  • Journal - very therapeutic. When we write things down we find that there is a release that takes place in our hearts and minds.
Blogging for me is very helpful. Working through things (hands-on) helps me to see things in a different perspective. The hardest thing for me to do is to step back. I like manipulation. No, not in manipulating people but actually taking a hands-on approach to things. That's not always a good thing for me. So, I'm learning to step back, reevaluate, and then get back to work at the appropriate time.

It's when I don't get right back to work that I find myself falling into discouragement and even procrastination.  So listen, though you may be feeling some type of way about a situation, take control of your emotions and don't let them rule you. Remember that this is only temporary. And don't forget that God already knew that you were going to face this obstacle, so go to Him and get your answer. He will answer you - even if you have to wait for it.

Blessings~

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Did you know?

I just received the Spring 2011 edition of Christian Counseling Connection. There is a section called News & Notes that highlights trends, facts and other things that influence us. Here are some examples:

Sobering Effect

Since 2006, the percentage of incoming freshmen who abstain from alcohol has jumped from 38% to 62%. Though it's not clear why it is suggested in the 2/7/11 USA Today article that students are taking their education more seriously.

Worth Waiting

Couples who reserve sex for for marriage enjoy greater stability and communication. Relationship stability was ranked 22% higher than those who started having sex in the early part of their relationships. (Journal of Family Psychology. 2010.Vol. 24, Iss. 6)

These findings were reported by Gary D. Foster, president of Gary D. Foster Consulting. There are other similar findings by Christian researchers the Barna Group. I find it refreshing that faith and morality still play major roles in mental health in a season where many are attempting to take faith, spirituality, and morality out of the marketplace. It's imperative that practitioners and clients alike understand their triggers and coping mechanisms. Also important is the understanding of one's society.

You can find more trends and facts from this report on our For Families page later this week.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Exercise for Mental Health

We all gain weight; both physical and emotional. We always talk about losing the physical weight for optimum physical health, but what about losing it for optimum mental health? Exercise is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. According to a study from Fitness.gov, "We now have evidence to support the claim that exercise is related to positive mental health as indicated by relief in sympotoms of depression and anxiety." It continues to state the following:

Mental Health Benefits of Physical Activity

Reduced anxiety
Best results with “aerobic exercise”
Best after weeks of regular exercise
Best benefits to those who are low fit to begin with
Best benefits for those high in anxiety to begin with

Reduced depression
Best after weeks of regular exercise
Best when done several times a week
Best with more vigorous exercise
Best for those who are more depressed (needs more research)

Benefits (anxiety and depression) similar to those for other treatments

Activity associated with positive self-esteem

Activity associated with restful sleep Activity associated with ability to respond to stress.

I know from personal experience that exercise and good nutrition helps in my own battle with stress and anxiety. My good friend Emilio Roman is a fitness coach and nutritionist. He's also my coach. I speak with him often about these issues and he has always given me good advise. One of my favorite things to do is walk. A nice brisk walk in the morning gets the adrenaline going. It also boosts the metabolism.

Check out Emilio's website http://www.fitnessontheriver.com/ for information. He can also be found on Facebook.