Archive for Dangerous situations
Zambian nurses graduate: Away with stress and sickness!
Here are some thoughts on two important health topics, stress and spirituality. Specifically, getting rid of stress in crises and the specific spiritual qualities that get us out of the sickbed. Feeling better already, you say? Well, read on!
From guest blogger Don Ingwerson, former school superintendent in California, writing in “The Way Up and Out of Stress..’
“Years ago, I had my office and car windows shot out because of community resistance to a school that I was closing. This created a fearful condition for me and for my family. As I tried to resolve this stressful situation, a painful and unbearable thumping in my head developed. I was able to handle it, as I’ll explain in a minute…” Read more.
And from guest blogger Tony Lobl of England who writes in “Nurses and the Spiritual Need: Is it Time to Make Time for Spiritual Care?”
“What do prayer, unconditional love, forgiveness, life’s meaning and purpose, and spiritual practice have in common?
“They are five “Spiritual Concepts Western Medicine Must Embrace” according to Karen Wyatt MD writing on the [allnurses.com] website.
“Perhaps not surprisingly, in the comments section a number of detractors are energi[z]ed by the presence of the word “must” in the article’s title…”
[Later in the article Dr. Wyatt concludes, "It is time for the medical profession to wake up and recognize that the new frontier of medicine in this century lies in spirituality and spiritual energy."] Read more.
Some are continuing to observe our National Day of Prayer for the whole month of May. So here’s another thought on that.
Today’s Guest Blogger Dave Horn writes:
In light of the school tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last December, should official, organized prayer be returned to public schools?
Dennis Kruse thinks so. As chairman of the Indiana Senate education committee, he made national headlines in January when he filed a bill allowing Hoosier school districts to require recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, with exceptions for parents or children who don’t want to.
In 1962 and 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court removed both official prayer and devotional Bible reading from public schools, but many senior citizens remember when reciting a particular prayer was a morning exercise in school, along with saluting the flag and collecting lunch money. For some this prayer was the Christian “Lord’s Prayer,” while for others in communities with many Jewish families, like New York State, the prayer was written to be more inclusive.
Today’s opponents of that Court decision claim most of America’s problems are moral, and school children need at least a few moments of spiritual education each day. Proponents of the ban point out that prayer in school is already legal. Since students can already pray on a voluntary basis (silently and/or in a non-disruptive way), formal recitations are unnecessary.
The Bible reminds us Jesus loved little children, and many religions point to childlike simplicity, innocence and purity as a gateway to heaven. Whether school prayers are official or voluntary, childlike prayer is almost always trustful, expecting only good.
Before we grown-ups resume debate over school prayer, let’s turn back to the freshness of our own childhood mornings. Let our own prayers be childlike, unwavering, spontaneous and reliant, until we feel certain that “…that hand which bears creation up shall guard His children well.” (Poem by Philip Doddridge, adapted for hymnals)
Prayer was the most prominent word in Matt Lauer’s headline introduction of the Pat Boone family on the Today Show. Prayer featured mightily in the story of a grandson’s gradual recovery from a serious accident twelve years ago.
Some of us remember Pat Boone and his second-only-to-Elvis popularity during the 50s and 60s. Many also may recall the stirring singing of daughter Debby in “You Light up my Life” a couple of decades later. Always a deeply religious family, the Boones now take up their prayers on behalf of Pat’s grandson Ryan and invite others to join them. They shared details of their prayer journey with Matt.
In part, the online piece reads:
“[Pat Boone’s other daughter Lindy Boone] Michaelis said her faith played a key role when she learned about her son’s accident. She was vacationing in Spain in 2001 when sister Debby called with devastating news: Michaelis’ son Ryan Corbin, then 24, had gone to sunbathe on the roof of his apartment building when he accidentally stepped through a skylight.
“We were, like, heavily on prayer. When I was in Spain, I was so grateful for the gift of prayer. I couldn’t get to my son for 24 hours, so the prayer was vital,” said Michaelis, who wrote about the experience in her book, “Heaven Hears.”
“A turning point for the family came when Michaelis’ father Pat was invited by longtime friend Larry King to appear on his popular CNN talk show. With Ryan in a coma and on life support, Pat and Michaelis appeared on King’s show to appeal for prayers and support. “We wanted everybody, anywhere, to pray with us,” Pat Boone told Lauer on Wednesday.”
The young man has received good medical care and is showing cognition, a sense of humor, improved movement, and other normal skills. While his prescription for medical marijuana may be the more dramatic headline to some, it is the faith factor that the Boone family seems most grateful for, and they’re not afraid to say so.
Have you noticed people are dropping their shyness these days about their reliance on prayer? And that the media are taking notice?Perhaps prayer that is more inclusive and less denominational is appealing. People who pray humbly and proclaim with grace the good it has done for them may help countless others by this admission.
Prayer in times of need seems natural. It’s good to remind each other how effective it can be on May 2, our National Day of Prayer—and everyday.
What do we make of the child who grows up to be a terrorist? What do we do with the memory of two young men, Americans really, who bombed and killed their own innocent countrymen?
We can pray to support them as God originally made them, innocent children. We can pray that they come to their senses, whether on this earth or beyond. We can pray, as the father of the Prodigal Son must have: that after waste and weariness, sorrow and repentance, they come to themselves and come home.
When they do, we’ll be waiting as he did, with open arms.
*”Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”(Proverbs 22:6, attributed to Israel’s wise King Solomon who had many, many children)
For the residents and runners of Boston perhaps the most important marathon now is the marathon of prayers offered up from across the world. May our Boston friends find comfort and recovery from the unspeakable events of April 15.
I came across this uplifting piece by a colleague, herself a runner.
From Georgia’s Stormy Becker Falso:
“May each one stand, walk and run again with God as their strength, courage and joy…” Read more
With all the shock and misery each shooting brings with it, let’s never forget the remarkable responses some are capable of. We can only call it Amazing Grace.
This piece by guest blogger Dave Horn reminds us. He writes:
On October 2, 2006, a shooting occurred at a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, PA. Gunman Charles Roberts IV took hostages and shot ten girls aged 6–13, killing five, before committing suicide. That same evening, a local Amish man visited Roberts’ parents and wife to assure them of forgiveness. The following week, when the killer was buried, several Amish attended the service, including parents of some of the slain children. For a few days, forgiveness was national news.
Forgiving is part of the rhythm of Amish life. Many of their European ancestors died at the stake or were beheaded for practicing adult baptism. So it’s in their DNA to forgive opponents.
But what about the rest of us? How should we cope with anger, resentment or a desire for revenge?
Many psychotherapists discuss forgiveness with patients only in a religious context, and that’s not surprising. A survey* conducted by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan found that “Protestant and Catholic groups showed higher levels of forgiveness…compared to the non-religious group,” and “personal religiousness and spirituality explain some of these differences.”
But forgiveness may do more than get you into heaven. It may improve your life here on earth. Many studies available on the Internet conclude that hatred is bad for health; forgiveness relieves hatred, and spirituality enables greater forgiveness.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered a link between Christianity and science, agrees that health and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. “If you have been badly wronged, forgive and forget,” she writes. “God will recompense this wrong, and punish, more severely than you could, him who has striven to injure you. Never return evil for evil; and, above all, do not fancy that you have been wronged when you have not been.”
*National Survey Results for Protestant, Catholic, and Nonreligious
Experiences of Seeking Forgiveness and Forgiveness of Self, of Others
and by God, by Loren Toussaint, David Williams
The jubilation of Louisville’s basketball victory over Duke was marred by a serious injury on Easter Sunday. Team member Kevin Ware sustained a broken leg, in two places as it turns out, and horrified NCAA fans could be seen gasping for several awful moments.
What happened next began to lift the pall. As Ware was being attended to, teammates fell to their knees, presumably seeking comfort and help from a higher power. Some Duke players clapped in respect for Kevin’s efforts. And Ware himself? His only words to Coach Rick Pitino were, “Just win the game!” (Which they did). According to the tearful Coach, Ware thought of his team before himself. Coaches and commentators asked for thoughts and prayers in support of Kevin Ware as he was whisked to a local hospital.
Does prayer help when bones break? The Bible writers believe it does. “The righteous person faces many troubles, but the Lord comes to the rescue each time. For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous.” (Psalms 34:19-20)
Some years ago I broke a small bone in my foot. It could not be set, so I was given crutches and a boot from the kind hospital team. They made me as comfortable as possible and then released me with no drugs or medical interventions. I was so grateful for their help.
I also prayed; the break healed and I recovered. But I had to pray again a few weeks later when I was with my husband on a business trip in Orlando, Florida and decided to tour Disneyworld’s Epcot alone one afternoon. Having long ago shed the boot and crutches, I suddenly found myself in pain. The old injury acted up with great soreness, and I realized fearfully that I had a long distance to walk to get back to my car.
How did I pray? I asked God, who is infinite, ever present Love to me, to show me that very love in some tangible way. I needed help– and there was no one with me to give it. But Love was there, and I suddenly saw a nearby bench beside a lake where I could rest. After resting a bit, I saw a little boat pulling up right where the bench was. It was a launch to take tourists to the parking lot! I boarded the boat, crossed the lake, found my car next to the dock, and drove back to the hotel relieved and refreshed. I don’t remember the injury acting up ever again, and I had felt proof of the caring Love that I prayed for. Love had teamed up with me big time.
Many people face broken bones besides Kevin Ware. In these instances, we might consider if our relationship with Love could ever be broken. Love’s compassion and practical help may be as near as our thoughts and prayers. We can lovingly include Kevin Ware in our thoughts and be on his prayer team today.
A visit with old friends from Raleigh in their new St. Augustine, Florida home was a very happy one. This creative couple has begun a business making short videos for corporations and the state’s tourism division, and it’s going well. Our friends’ path to success was never from “nothing” to “something,” because the two already had plenty of talent and experience. He’d been a local TV news anchor, and she’d been the weather reporter. As well, they were experienced in camera work, writing and editing—all perfect for their new business. They had some savings to finance their venture. Oh, and they love to bicycle.
The name of their business? You’ll love it.
This couple is spiritually minded and knew enough to draw on the well of good qualities and experiences God has already given them for their new purpose and supply. They are grateful for today’s blessings and grateful in advance for future blessings. They have what it takes!
Centuries ago a woman needed to know she had what it takes. This woman faced economic ruin. A widow with two sons and no means of support, she feared her sons would be taken as bondmen by the creditor in payment for her debt. The widow sought help from a spiritually minded friend, a person of prayerful trust in God named Elisha. He asked her first, “What do you have in the house?”
The widow pointed out the only pot of oil that remained. He told her to borrow containers from her neighbors and then pour out the oil she had into them. The oil poured and poured into the new containers until she saw she had more than enough to pay her debt and live off the rest. (II Kings 4)
What did this woman “have in the house?” Plenty. But only a spiritual sense– a trust in God– revealed it.
What do you have in the house? Plenty. May you discover all the good you have to work with and so prosper like my friends from Florida and the Bible did. You too have what it takes!
Here’s another thoughtful post by syndicated columnist Keith Wommack. On January 7, he writes in part:
“After a disturbing event, the warning signs of a troubled gunman are often recognized. But even though a certain number of the mentally ill do commit crimes, studies suggest that the mentally ill are not generally predisposed to perpetrating violent acts. More often than not, they are victims of violence, not the ones usually responsible for criminal acts.
Although the number of crimes committed by the mentally ill may be lower than the rest of the population, every violent episode should be stopped, if at all possible. And high on the list of steps to be taken to improve the mental health that can keep our families safer should be the education of everyone about elementary principles, standards as simple as caring for others.
This is why, one theme at the September 2011 Wave III Baylor Religion Survey news briefing I attended in Durham, North Carolina, grabbed my attention. And why the loss of life in Newtown, Connecticut, motivated me to reexamine it: Mental health can be improved through greater spiritual awareness.” Read More…