• Engage

    Life After Death, Grieving a Sister’s Suicide

    This week I am honored to feature the words and heart of a dear friend of mine who lost her beloved sister to suicide. Her pain is fresh, but her hope in the Lord is inspiring. Nina resides in Monticello, Georgia and is mom to three sweet children, a military wife, a medical professional, and a loving friend and sister. I know her prayer is that her words bring comfort and encouragement, especially to the brokenhearted and hopeless. Everyone loves a heroic ending. The masses pour into movie theaters to watch superheroes conquer the enemy and save the world at the brink of destruction. Our hearts soar when allied forces march in…

  • Engage

    On Suicide

    In the wake of two celebrity suicides last week (designer Kate Spade and foodie Anthony Bourdain), the topic of suicide is back in the limelight. I wrote this post in April 2013.  Over the weekend, Rick Warren (pastor of Saddleback Church in California, author of The Purpose Driven Life) and his wife Kay revealed that their son Matthew had taken his life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness. In an email to his church, Pastor Warren wrote, “[O]nly those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing,…

  • Heartprints

    STOP IDENTITY THEFT

    I was recently given a list of 301 things I am in Christ. I was blown away by all the things God says about those who follow Him. Then I was reading Lysa TerKeurst’s Blog. She mentioned her favorite gift from a friend was a box of Scriptures typed out with her name in them, things that God has done for each believer. It got me to thinking about many people I know both young and old who suffer from identity theft. I am not talking about the financial kind either. Spiritual identity theft! Satan attacks daily beating down the most vulnerable with his lies about who we are. If…

  • Heartprints

    Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me This Before?

    About 3 weeks ago I helped officiate a funeral for a 14-year-old girl that lived about 4 houses down from my home.  She had taken her own life on New Year’s Eve and was discovered by the girl’s mother on New Year’s Day morning in their own home.   An unbelievable tragedy to say the least! I knew the girl because her parents had attended our church for about a year and she was in 3rd grade at that time.  I remember that little girl as this sweet, bright-eyed girl who loved to talk about her animals that her family had.  One day at church, I had decided to present the…

  • Engage

    The Tapeworm Gallery: Freedom

                I see you signed up for another round of Celebrate Recovery at the church two towns over. Still angry and bruised, ha? I knew it. I think you should do CR again. It worked wonders the first time—especially for that anxiety and depression. So go ahead and rehash all your resentments, guilt, shame, anger and fear that stem from your wholesome childhood. Because I enjoy watching you run in circles. I meant to ask, how’s your narcissistic mother doing? Tell her hello for me. And that I said, “Thanks,” for leaving you emotionally emaciated.             I get why you don’t feel like praying. Talking…

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    How Should We Handle Overwhelming Feelings?

    What is the biblical perspective on how to handle overwhelming feelings? There are healthy and unhealthy ways to do that. The healthy way to deal with strong feelings starts with thinking wisely about feelings in general. Our pastor often says that feelings are real (we do feel them, often intensely), but they’re not reliable (they make terrible indicators of what is true). So we should acknowledge them, but not be led by them. Especially powerful, overwhelming feelings. Allowing yourself to be controlled by your feelings is unwise and immature. The flip side of that is our example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. No one ever experienced the strength…